NZFC - Week 5
Ivan Vicelich 40
Jason Rowley 33
Halftime: 1-1 Referee: Peter O'Leary Crowd: 997
by Bob Pearce at Kiwitea Street
A late goal from Grant Young delivered three vital points to Auckland City as they beat 10-man Waitakere United 2-1 at Kiwitea St.
The West Aucklanders played a man short for all but five minutes after referee Peter O'Leary dismissed Martin Bullock for following through with a stray boot after goalkeeper Paul Gothard had made a save.
Waitakere were kept in the game early on by some superb goalkeeping by Paul Robinson whose denial of a curving freekick by Ki-Hyung Lee in the 20 minutes was the best of a series of saves.
Then at the other end Waitakere shocked the home team with the opening goal in the 33rd minute. Jeremy delivered a well-weighted freekick from the edge of the penalty area and Jason Rowley on his knees headed the ball home.
The equaliser came seven minutes later after Waitakere had partially cleared an Auckland freekick. Chad Coombes delivered the ball from the right and captain Ivan Vicelich nodded the goal.
The well-organised Waitakere defence, anchored by Neil Emblen and Aaron Scott, continued to frustrate the Aucklanders, who were becoming increasingly frustrated conceding a number of yellow cards.
On the break Benjamin Totori and Roy Krishna quickly turned defence into attack but couldn't produce the finish their tricky runs deserved.
Coach Paul Posa pulled a masterstroke when he brought on Adam Dickinson and Grant Young as the minutes ticked by. With 10 to go Dickinson made space for himself behind the defence on the left and while another substitute, Ricardo Monardez, couldn't connect with his cross, Young managed to poke the ball home at the far post.
Trying to scramble across to make the save, Robinson injured his knee and was replaced by Liam Little for the closing minutes.
"I thought we were very unlucky not to get something," said Emblen after the game. "I thought we were worth at least a draw. Performance-wise I was happy but, of course, I'm very disappointed in the result.
"The defence played well but you've got to give credit to Benji and Roy who defended from the front and kept them off balance."
Posa was happy to take the points but had some sympathy for Waitakere and gave them credit for the way they played a man short.
"I feel sorry for Waitakere," he said. "But did I think it changed the game. I think we would have still won if they'd had a full team.
"We let having a man advantage make us a bit over-anxious at times. But then they put us under pressure and pinched a lot of ball off us.
"In the end it's a very important three points and hopefully it will take some of the pressure off us later in the season."
The two great rivals will have a rematch at Fred Taylor Park in Whenuapai next Saturday when they contest an O-League fixture. Bullock will be available for that game.
The following Monday Auckland City head for Abu Dhabi and the FIFA World Club Cup.
18 Paul Gothard (GK)
1 Danny Robinson
3 Ian Hogg
2 Jason Rowley
5 Matt Williams
3 Aaron Scott
6 Ki-Hyung Lee
7 Martin Bullock
7 James Pritchett
8 Brent Fisher
8 Chad Coombes
9 Benjamin Totori
11 Daniel Koprivcic
11 Neil Sykes
15 Ivan Vicelich
12 Roy Krishna
16 Jason Hayne
14 Jeremy Christie
17 Adam McGeorge
16 Neil Emblen
20 Greg Uhlmann
17 Jake Butler
1 Jacob Spoonley (RGK)
4 Tim Myers
4 Sam Campbell
10 Allan Pearce
10 Grant Young (Koprivcic 78)
13 Dimas Da Silva
22 Adam Dickinson (Coombes 65)
19 Dakota Lewis
23 Ricardo Monardez (55 Williams)
22 Liam Little (RGK) (Robinson 80)
=2 yellow cards
= red card
Humid, cloudy with drizzle in the air at Kiwitea but pitch in good area and no wind to worry about.
Late boot change for Pritchett as teams line up.
Early dab by Waitakere sees Fisher shoot into side netting
Lee freekick headed by Williams well saved by Robinson.
Sykes corner to Totori's head, Rowley over bar
Fisher feeds Bullock who has first chance blocked then follows up on goalie and RED CARD for kicking Gothard.
Koprivcic dispossesses Emblen but is foiled by brave Robinson grab
Waitakere's 10 men press forward and force another corner, Uhlmann suffers head knock but recovers
Lee freekick curling in saved by diving Robinson
Yellow card for Lee
Another corner for Waitakere cleared to Krishna who shoots over top
Vicelich yellow for wild tackle on Krishna
Jason Hayne fastens on to cross but guides ball wide
GOAL! Christie freekick on edge of penalty area, Rowley down on knees heads it home
Lee freekick deflected away
GOAL! Equaliser as Coombes crosses from left and Vicelich heads home.
Totori hassles in penalty area, touched wide for a corner. Corner too strong
Williams shot blocked by Scott and then goalie at point blank range
45 plus three halftime
Ten-man Waitakere have had more than the share of the play.
Simply the Best on the HT entertainment but so far neither side has established superiority. Fireworks from the bucket man on the sideline
Early corner for Auckland City cleared
Yellow card Hayne for tackle on Krishna
Monardez makes debut replacing Williams
Monardez shot well saved
Yellow for Coombes, replaced by Dickinson
Totori breaks through and curls shot just wide
Young on for Koprivcic
Pearce on for Totori, Lucas on for Krishna
GOAL! Dickinson pulls ball back, Monardez can't reach it but Young just pokes it home
Robinson injured during attempted save, replaced by Little
Four minutes of time added on
Fulltime. Auckland take the points but Waitakere deserve credit for a brave display with a man short.