NZFC - Week 11
Sunday 24 January 2010
Jason Hayne 11
Greg Draper 33
Halftime: 1-1 Referee: Mirko Benischke Crowd: 823
by Bob Pearce at Kiwitea Street
Auckland City retained their position on top of the NZFC table by repelling a strong Team Wellington challenge 3-1 at Kiwitea St.
It was one of Auckland's toughest games of the season and it took some magic by three of their most experienced players to secure the win.
Auckland had gone ahead in the 11th minute when Matt Williams laid on a pass behind the Wellington defence for Jason Hayne to chase down and for once the visitors were caught napping as Hayne squeezed his shot in from an acute angle.
Wellington continued to keep the home team under pressure and it paid off in the 33rd minute.
Auckland goalkeeper Jacob Spoonley dwelt too long on a clearance and Greg Draper nipped in to dispossess him and score unopposed.
Halftime and it was anybody's game but Auckland were forced into an unscheduled substitution as Daniel Koprivcic was seeing stars after a collision just before the break.
On came veteran striker Grant Young and it paid dividends in the 55th minute.
Ivan Vicelich lobbed a perfectly weighted pass into Young's path and, with a burst of speed belying his 38 years, he outpaced the defence to score.
The game was made safe for the champions in the 85th minute when Ki-Hyung Lee, whose cannon shooter delivery left a few Wellingtonians with sore shins from his freekicks, finally found the answer with a curling freekick from 25 metres, which even the long arms of James Bannatyne could not reach.
Both teams could rue a number of missed chances with perhaps Draper's misdirected header in front of an open goal soon after Young's strike the most costly.
It was a measure of Auckland's possession, particularly in the second half, that they earned 15 corners to Wellington's five.
But it was also a tribute to Bannatyne and Wellington's defence, particularly Chris Davies at right back and the lofty Trent Watson, that the corners yielded little reward.
Wellington coach Stu Jacobs, his arm stitched and bandaged after a dog attack in the capital, was disappointed but conceded that his team probably didn't deserve to win on their second-half performance.
"We can't talk about but-ifs, we've got to take a game like this by the scruff of the neck," he said.
"We weren't going to sit back, believing that if we pressed them, we might be able to pinch something and that was what happened. I was very pleased with the first half as we got ourselves back in the game.
"But then we gave them too much time and space and got punished."
Auckland coach Paul Posa was understandably happy to take the three points against a team vastly improved from their first encounter early in the season.
"They're a good team," he said. "I'm glad we don't have to face them again. We haven't had to work this hard since the Waitakere game here.
"They pressured us and it worked. But in the end we worked out how best to play them."
Posa was reluctant to single out any of his players, but captain Vicelich both on the ground and in the air showed why he had a long and successful stint in Europe at the top level.
Next Saturday Auckland travel across town to Fred Taylor Park to take on Waitakere in a top-of-the-table clash.
1 Jacob Spoonley (GK)
1 James Bannatyne (GK)
3 Ian Hogg
3 Jamie Duncan
5 Matt Williams (64 Dickinson)
4 Chris Bale
6 Ki-Hyung Lee
5 Michael Winsauer
7 James Pritchett
6 Chris Davies
8 Chad Coombes
7 Cole Peverley (Keat 75)
11 Daniel Koprivcic (Young 45)
9 Greg Draper
15 Ivan Vicelich
15 Bryan Little
16 Jason Hayne(Morgan 83)
17 Gary McDermott (Fifii 66 mins)
17 Adam McGeorge
18 Trent Watson
20 Greg Uhlmann
19 Andy Barron
4 Sam Campbell
2 Adam Birch
10 Grant Young
22 Michael Fifii
18 Paul Gothard (RGK)
24 James McPeake
22 Adam Dickinson
25 Dan Keat
28 Daniel Morgan
=2 yellow cards
= red card
Overcast and breezy with a good crowd Stu Jacobs on hand with bandaged arm from dog attack in Wellington
Auckland kick off fromclubhouse end.
First corner to Auckland. Lee to take cleared
Koprivcic makes ground on right cross blasted over top by Williams
Fierce tackling brings a couple of freekicks, Auckland earn another corner
Both teams making good use of fine passing surface
GOAL! Williams gets ball wide to Hayne behind defence and angled shot finds net.
Bale shot deflected over bar. Corner cleared behind
Wellington press but defence closes them down
Coombes, Hogg have shots cleared off line by Duncan
Another corner for Auckland sees Lee shot stopped by Winsauer
Coombes and Watson chase, collide with Bannatyne. Bannatyne gets yellow for dissent.
Lee backheel sets up Bale, shot saved by diving goalie
GOAL! Spoonley caught in possession, dispossessed by Draper who scores.
Freekick to Auckland on edge of box, Lee shot blocked
Auckland corner falls to Coombes whose shot is deflected over.
Another corner blasted wide by Uhlmann.
Koprivcic off with head knock but returns
Wellington threaten as Draper harries Auckland defence
Two minutes added
45 plus two
Halftime 1-1 after plenty of action at both ends. This is a better Wellington side than came north to play Waitakere
Substitution Auckland. Young for Koprivcic
Lee long-range freekick again into wall.
Coombes eludes Bannatyne but final pass behind Young
Young Coombes combine but shot goes wide.
GOAL! Vicelich lays on perfect pass to Young who scores unchallenged
Draper heads wide with open goal at mercy from Petherley cross.
Lee corner, substitution Dickinson on for Williams
Vicelich header from corner on to crossbar and behind
Long range shot by Barron spilled but regathered by Spoonley
Substitution Keat on for Peverley
Good run by Coombes, Young shot blocked by goalie
Bale creates chance but fails to pull trigger as defence panics
Yellow for McGeorge foul on Fifii
Substitution Morgan on for Hayne
GOAL! Cannon shooter Lee curls 25m freekick into top left-hand corner.
Barron clear but blasts over bar
Lee yellow for time wasting on freekick
Four minutes added on
90 plus two
Coombes shot blocked by Winsauer
90 plus four
Fulltime 3-1 to Auckland City