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Auckland City

Canterbury United


NZFC - Round 14
Kiwitea St
Sunday 1 March, 2009


Jonathan Raj 3
Grant Young 11, 34, 39
Milos Nikolic 21




Halftime: 5-0                       Referee: Jamie Cross                                Crowd: 423 

Young hatrick fires Auckland into the playoffs

by Bob Pearce at Kiwitea St

Grant Young bagged a hatrick as Auckland cruise into the playoffs. Photo by Shane WenzlickGrant Young celebrated his return to the New Zealand Football Championship with a hat-trick in Auckland City's 5-0 defeat of Canterbury United at Kiwitea Street.

It was the veteran striker's first three-goal haul for a couple of years and showed that he had lost none of his form in his temporary "retirement" after Christmas.

In fact, the break may well have done him more good than harm.

He was weary after playing the full 90 minutes but the goal-scoring broke a season-long goal drought that had been uncharacteristic of the South African in his more than 100 games for the club.
"I think I'm more relaxed and enjoying it more on and off the field," he said as his team-mates relaxed after a result that left them securely in second place behind Waitakere after the mid-season blues that saw them scrabbling on the edge of the playoffs.
If they had nerves before this encounter, they were quickly settled by two goals in the first 11 minutes.

After three minutes teenaged defender Jonathan Raj scored his first NZFC goal when he headed home a corner at the near post.
Eight minutes later miscommunication between a defender and goalkeeper Michael O'Keeffe allowed Young to slip in and poach a goal.

Auckland celebrate as they make the playoffs after thrashing Canterbury 5-0. Photo by Shane WenzlickA similar mix-up in the 21st minute forced O'Keeffe to foul Matt Williams and another Auckland teenager Milos Nikolic converted the penalty.
Young completed his hat-trick in the 34th and 39th minutes in typical fashion.

First he showed great ball control to bring down a bouncing ball and find the net then he repeated the exercise from a pinpoint cross from Ki-Hyung Lee.
The game was well out of Canterbury's reach but, to their credit, they turned on a determined defensive display in the second half to staunch the bleeding and Auckland were unable to reproduce their firepower.
"That was a great first half," said a delighted coach Paul Posa. "What can you say -about the quality of the finishing. We created five chances and scored five goals.
"They didn't let us dominate the second half in the same way and they spoiled quite well. We didn't get back in that zone."
Tom Laqncaster fires a free kick over the Auckland City wall. Photo: Shane WenzlickCanterbury coach Korouch Monsef was disappointed with the start his team made that effectively played them out of the game.
"We started poorly, conceding a goal from a set piece which is something we've been doing all season."

"Then a lack of communication cost us another and when you give away two soft goals very early, you're always on the back foot.
"Auckland needed to win and when you give them a start like that, you get a wave of attacking football over the top of you."

"The match wasn't as lopsided as the score would suggest. They showed some clinical finishing."
Auckland now look forward to playing YoungHeart Manawatu in the semifinals.

Coach Posa has the luxury of a weekend off but he may arrange a game to keep his players' minds on the job.

Photos: Shane Wenzlick


Team Sheet

Auckland City


Canterbury United

1 Ross Nicholson (GK)

1 Michael O'Keeffe (GK)

5 Matt Williams (McGeorge 55)

2 Dan Terris

6 Ki-Hyung Lee

4 Bill Robertson

7 James Pritchett (Carella 74)

5 Andy Pitman

8 Chad Coombes

7 Ryan Faichnie

10 Grant Young

8 Garry McDermott

13 Alex Feneridis

9 Tom Lancaster

15 Ivan Vicelich

10 Jamie Smith (Miles 70)

20 Greg Uhlmann (Campbell 55)

12 Michael Fifii (McIntyre 84)

24 Milos Nikolic

13 Adam Cowen (Boyd 58)

26 Jonathan Raj

21 Ben Harris



4 Sam Campbell (in 55)

3 Matt Boyd (in 58)

12 John Fletcher (RGK)

17 Geoff MacIntyre (in 84)

17 Allan Carella (in 74)

22 Chris Sinclair

22 Xavi Roca

23 Sam Miles (in 70)

25 Adam McGeorge (in 55)


=yellow card

=2 yellow cards

= red card


Play by Play

0 mins

Beautifully fine with light wind.

2 mins

Pritchett long shot touched on to post by goalie

3 mins

GOAL! Left wing corner headed home by Raj at near post. First goal for youngster in league

7 mins

Canterbury press forward but shot flies wide

11 mins

GOAL! Grant Young slips in when defender passes back to goalie who couldn't pick it up. Easy pickings for the veteran.

14 mins

Flying header by Fifii from cross by Faichnie over the bar

17 mins

Williams one on one with goalie but header goes wide.

21 mins

GOAL! Goalie sent suicide backpass fouls Williams, penalty awarded converted by Nikolic

25 mins

Yellow card Harris for foul on Young. Freekick well saved.

33 mins

Canterbury press forward but Nicholson fields securely

34 mins

GOAL! Young controls ball brilliantly in penalty area and calmly slots goal

39 mins

GOAL! Young fastens on to cross from Lee and completes his hat-trick

45 plus one mins

Halftime 5-0 and Canterbury are shell-shocked

47 mins

Raj header after corner rebounds off post.

51 mins

Yellow card Faichnie for booting ball away when Canterbury had free kick

52 mins

Yellow card Lancaster for wild tackle.

55 mins

Auckland subs: Uhlmann replaced by Campbell, Williams by McGeorge

58 mins

Canterbury sub Boyd for Cowen

60 mins

Yellow card Fifii

62 mins

Lancaster shot straight at Nicholson

63 mins

Yellow card McGeorge

72 mins

Feneridis shoots wide when clear in penalty area.

84 mins

MacIntyre on for Fifii as Canterbury make last sub

86 mins

Yellow card Raj

90 plus two

Fulltime.5-0 after forgettable second half.