NZFC - Round 4
Newtown Park, Wellington
Saturday 29 November, 2008
Luis Corrales 60
Paul Urlovic 77-pen
Halftime: 0-0 Referee: Chris Kerr Crowd: 500
by Gordon Irving at Newtown Park
If ever a game of football needed a goal it was this one at a sweltering Newtown Park between title contenders Team Wellington and Auckland City.
For an hour these two teams huffed and puffed on a beautiful day in the capital without ever testing either goalkeeper. In fact so under used were Phil Imray and Ross Nicholson that they should have paid their $10 entrance fee and watched from the stands like the rest of us.
But then the goal came, and to keep in context with the rest of the match, it was a scrappy effort.
Sam Blackburn had not long arrived into the action as a second half substitute when he was set free down the right flank. His cross was initially saved by Nicholson before Luis Corrales turned the ball home to give Wellington a lead they just about deserved.
Up till then the quality of the football in the attacking thirds of the field had been poor.
Team Wellington probably shaved the better of the chances with attempts going the wrong side of the post, but really it was a game that was easily forgettable up until the goal.
That was the bomb Auckland needed and they came more into the game, putting pressure on the Wellington goal but it was going to take something extra special or a silly mistake to stop Wellington taking all three points at that stage.
Up steps Paul Urlovic. The former All Whites striker had come off the bench after Wellington’s opener and surged down the inside right channel in the 77th minute. The tackle was hasty, Urlovic appealed and was given the penalty. Never one to turn down a goalscoring opportunity Urlovic then stepped up and slotted in the spotkick.
One-all and Wellington seemed to have blown their opportunity of picking up just their second win over Auckland in 14 attempts.
But within a minute they had taken the lead again, a lead they weren’t going to surrender a second time.
Wellington were awarded a free kick in the centre of the field, midway between the halfway and the penalty area. It was a free kick that would usually be pumped up into the danger zone in the hope that something would come of it.
Instead Brian Little kept it low and it appeared to take a deflection on the way through a crowded area and nestled in the corner of the net.
Game over at that stage. There were a couple of half chances at either end after that but Wellington had the points and a two win two loss record in the NZFC.
Wellington coach Stu Jacobs was naturally happy with the points.
“We gave them too much respect in the first half and we stood off them far too much. The second half was better but we still made life difficult by giving away the penalty and then a free kick on the edge of the box that caused a few problems late in the game.’
“But we’re getting better and remember we were without a number of players including Andy Barron, Adam Birch, Jeremy Brockie, so all in all I’m pleased,” said Jacobs.
It was hardly the case for Auckland coach Colin Tuaa however, who was less than happy.
“We showed good composure in the first half but the second spell was patchy.”
“There just wasn’t enough quality in our attack but I still believe we’ll be in the mix at the end of the season.”
Photos: Marty Melville
1. Phil Imray (GK)
1. Ross Nicholson
5. Michael Eagar
2. Nelson Sale Lilifa
8. Peter Howe
3. Matt Friel
9. Ross McKenzie
5. Matt Williams (out 85)
10. Luis Corrales (out 90+1)
6. Ki-Hyung Lee
11. Bryan Little
8. Chad Coombes
13. Karl Whalen (c)
15. Ivan Vicelich
14. Sam Jenkins
16. George Suri
16. Pedro Garcias (out 52)
20. Greg Uhlmann
18. Peter Halstead (out 77)
23. Liam Mulrooney (out 61)
21. Tim Schaeffers
24. Milos Nikolic (out 61)
6. Mike Pickering (in 90+1)
4. Jonathan Raj (in 85)
7. Sam Blackburn (in 52)
9. Paul Urlovic (in 61)
15. Allen Chote
11. Alick Maemae (in 61)
24. Jake Gleeson (RGK)
12. Jacob Spoonley (RGK)
25. Paul Whitmarsh (in 77)
=2 yellow cards
= red card
Nettown Park looks a picture on a sweltering day in the capital. Can Welllington back-up their first win of the season with their first home win over Auckland or will Colin Tuaa's side be too strong. Auckland have had a number of changes forced upon them after an high injury count in a derby loss to Waitakere on Wednesday night. Nelson Sale lilifa, Greg Uhlmann, and George Suri all come into the starting 11, while Sam Jenkins comes in for Adam Birch in Wellington's only change.
The game is underway with TW having the better of the opening minutes without creating any clear opportunities
It's a real midfield battle at Newtown. TW with lots of possession but nothing happening in the penalty area......yet!
Lots of huff and puff but still no shot in anger from either side
first yellow card of the game to TW's Peter Halstead for an elbow to Ivan Vicelich
at least the yellow card got people out of their seats as there's little else to shout about. The grass in the centre circle is getting worn out
Yes! A shot in anger but Luis Corrales pulls it wide of the Auckland goal. Still that's a bit more enterprising
second yellow card of the game to TW's Peter Howe
best chance of the game but Nikolic heads over the TW bar while under little pressure. Should have done better
the goalkeepers could have stayed out of the sun, or joined us in the grandstand with a sausage and a coke so under used they've been
shouts for handball in the area against TW but the ref points to the corner flag instead. It would have been a harsh one had it been given but we'll take any excitement hear to liven up a game that's full of industry but very little composure
5 minutes to the break and at least the supporters on the bank will go home with a tan on a beautiful Wgtn day cos the football's not that inspiring
It's halftime at Newtown Park and it's been a game where two good sides have cancelled each other out. Just hoping for more goal mouth action in the second spell. It's needed.
Underway in the second spell, hoping against hope that there's a shot on goal sometime real soon
an early chance for TW as halstead shrugs off Suri but drags his left footed shot just wide of the right hand upright
another yellow card for TW this time to Brian Little
if we thought the halftime break might change things....we were wrong. Still not enough creativity and composure in the final third by either team
SUB - Sam Blackburn on for TW in place of Pedro Garcias
It's a one sided affair in bookings - Ross Mckenzie is the fourth TW player in the book
GOAL - 1-0 - at last a shot on target and it's brought a goal. Sam Blackburn is sent free down the right and his cross is scrambled home by Corrales at the second attempt
SUB - Auckland have replaced Nikolic with Paul Urlovic as they go looking for the equaliser but so far they've been poor in front of the TW goal
TW will need to throw this away if Auckland are to get the points. The visitors have been very poor and it'll need a mistake or something extra special to stop TW taking three points. Colin Tuaa can't be happy with his team today
commentators curse! PENALTY! Urlovic goes down in the box and will take the penalty.............
GOAL! 1-1 as Urlovic tucks it away in the corner of Imray's net. Auckland will feel relieved if they get away with a point.
GOAL! 2-1 hold on it's raining goals and TW are back in front. Brian Little's free kick from well outside gthe box seems to have taken a deflection but it's in the net all the same.
Free kick fofr Auckland on the corner of TW penalty area and it's well taken by Urlovic but deflected wide off the wall
Now we've got a football game. Plenty of action as Auckland look to get back on level terms. TW may need to just hang on if they're to record just their second win over the Aucklanders in 14 attempts
Yellow card to Auckland's George Suri
What a run from Corrales. He picked the ball up from his goalkeeper depp in his own half and set off at the heart of Auckland's defence using his pace to leave defender after defender in his wake before dragging his shot narrowly wide
3 minutes to be added as Auckland almost grab and equaliser and TW make a sub for TW as Michael Pickering on for Coralles
Fulltime at Newtown Park and TW have the points in a 2-1 win. It was a match that didn't spark into life until the opening goal but the final quarter of the game was thoroughly entertaining and TW deserved the three points. Auckland were off the radar for much of the game and while they'll be there or thereabouts at the end of the season, Colin Tuaa must be a bit concerned after today's effort