NZFC - Week 13,
Sunday 7 February, 2010
Mark Jones 52
Ki-Hyung Lee 60
Halftime: 0-0 Referee: Crowd: 513
by Matt Richens at Centennial Park
Auckland City were given, according to coach Paul Posa, their biggest test of the 2009/2010 New Zealand Football Championship and came out with yet another three points.
The defending champions went a goal down to Waikato FC at Ngaruawahia’s Centennial Park and had to dig deep to find first an equaliser then the winner to beat their hosts 2-1.
Posa said his side “showed great character” and they had to.
Waikato didn’t park the bus, not even after young Taupo winger Mark Jones had given them the lead.
Much to their credit they continued to attack in search of a winner and even once Ki-Hyung Lee had leveled things with a superbly taken freekick, Waikato brought on striker Dan Peat from the bench in search of a winner.
But Auckland City were too strong. They eventually won the battle of the midfield and a charging Grant Young met a low, powerful cross and the wily veteran had got away from his markers to volley in the winner with nine minutes to go.
Waikato were distraught. They’d come so close to beating, then sharing the spoils with the best “amateur” team in the country and let it slip away.
Captain and All White Ivan Vicelich congratulated his team as they stretched afterwards, but it was a different congratulations from when his side smashed Waikato 5-0 in the opening round.
Posa too was rapt to have taken the points from a warm Ngaruawahia.
“We’re really happy with those three points,” he said.
“That wasn’t easy and we had to work hard and show a lot of character to win.”
Posa applauded Waikato’s game plan, their tenacity and their physicality and said his side would benefit from the contest.
“I said before the game this team had a lot of character and we just had to show it.”
He said he was expecting nothing less than the fight his side got and Waikato were one of the best teams in the competition.
“They’re definitely a top four side, but maybe they’ve left their run a bit late.”
Whether it was a plan of the Waikato team or not we will never know, but to be physical and confrontational seemed to work for them.
Auckland City got dragged into the contest and their game suffered.
“I thought the second half was a lot better for us,” said Posa who added his side had done well to back up after the tough 1-1 draw with rivals Waitakere a week earlier.
Waikato’s playoff hopes are hanging by a thread and because Hawke’s Bay United got up in Wellington, Waikato are now backing last spot.
They played nothing like an eighth placed team, but with an away game to Otago United in a fortnight – they have next week off – a home fixture against Team Wellington and finishing with a tough match against Waitakere United, it may be too late for Waikato to make the top four.
Auckland City on the other hand are cruising. They are on top of the table and still have two games in hand.
1- Alex Carr (GK)
1- Jacob Spoonley (GK)
2- Che Bunce
3- Ian Hogg
4- Charlie Hoyle
5- Matt Williams (van Steeden 78)
6- Jason Chewins
6- Ki-Hyung Lee
8- David Samson
7- James Pritchett
10- Michael Gwyther
8- Chad Coombes (Urlovic 46)
13- Shaun van Rooyen
10- Grant Young (Nikolic 85)
17- Mark Jones (Te Pou 89)
15- Ivan Vicelich
5 - Joe Simpkins
16- Jason Hayne
23- Alex Barlow
17- Adam McGeorge
24- Maurie Wasi (Peat 76)
20- Greg Uhlmann
3- Richard Beard
4- Sam Campbell
7- Tewi Te Pou (on 89)
9- Paul Urlovic (on 46)
14- Dan Peat (on 76)
21- Riki van Steeden (on 78)
16- Paul Stewart
25- Milos Nikolic (on 85)
26- Scott Robinson
18- Paul Gothard (GK)
=2 yellow cards
= red card
Welcome to the the internet version of Auckland City v Waikato FC from Ngaruawahia's Centennial Park. It's overcast, but muggy. Rather warm and could get a bit sticky out there. I'm Matt Richens and I'll try and let you know everything that's going on in front of me. Auckland City are the hottest of favourites and with a bench including Urlovic, van Steeden and Nikolic it's hard to bet against them.
If you have any questions or queries, feel ftree to email me on email@example.com and if I have time, I'll get back to you. Waikato have won their last two games and are on a mini-roll, but it doesn't get much harder than Paul Posa's Auckland City.
Waikato nearly give away the softest of goal swhen keeper Alex Carr spejnds too long on a back pass and his clearance, from within his own 6 yard box is partially deflected
early doors yet, but neck and neck. Waikato doing well on the ball but being put under a lot of pressure. Playing a 4-4-2 with captain van rooyen in a defensive midfield role. Auckland City have Young up front with Hayne and Coombes pushing and playing just behind him.
Hayne let to run too far and gets a shot away, but off targhet with his left foot. If Waikato allow too manyh chances, Auckland City are too good to waste them all day
not a lot to report, except Jason Chewins and Grant Young could be twins.
YELLOW CARD to Che Bunce, he clattered former Ngaruawahia hero Matt Williams who is, obviously, now in Auckland City colours. He's getting treatment. Good crowd here, 513 by my count, but alas, the loudest five people are City fans.
Still 0-0 Auckland look the better side, but that was always going to happen - they are the better side - but the longer the games stays at 0-0, the better it is for the home side. Lee goes down, might havebeen a bump/slap to the face. He's gone down like he was shot, but the magic water looks to be doing what it's meant to. He may have a bleeding niose, now he's off getting treatment
25yard bicycle kick effort from Wasi... it went closer to Spoonley's goal, just... me thinks Waikato should focus on the basics before trying to get too fancy
Neither team has a shot on target yet
Gwyther put through on goal by Jones, but offside. Bit of nice play here from Waikato. - he said somewhat surprised.
another freekick to AC, Lee takes it and for the fourth time it's not a great delivery. Mr Riley blows time and it's drinks break time... not that hot I would have thought... maybe they could all have a nice drink of harden up juice!
Players are all refreshed now, that is a bit ridiculous, it's about 23 degrees, not 33!
Waikato have a couple of freekicks in a row, Barlow takes them, but nothing comes of it
Spoonley does well for AC, has tocome out and clear after the ball gets away from his defenders, was outside his box and under pressure byut did well.
Hayne makes a long run, but both sides just watch him and he has no support. Looks so good on the ball, but couldn't get a shot away. But Lee earns a corner...which is cleared by either Grant Young or Jason Chewins, seriously these guys may have the same dad. (Apologies to Mr Chewins and Mr Young)
YELLOW CARD to Matt Williams, for a shot on Che Bunce - bit rough, tit for tat from the Melville United team-mates
YELLOW CARD - David Samson - dangerous positiojn here, Lee to take it again, edgeof the box, left side... cleared, well sort of. corner.
Straight at Carr, Waikato get a cross in at the other end, but straight at Spoonley
Waikato are good for this scoreline, and they're not parking the bus, they're trying to attack too. Auckland City dhaven't looked that dangerous yet, but they have too much quality for Waikato to relax for long
There will be four minutes to add on
Corner number 7 for AC - Waikato haven't had one, but short corner breaks down.
YELLOW CARD to Chad Coombes, for repeat offending, All the cards to Waikato players so far
Barlow goes over the wall, bending to Spoonley's near post and the keeper makes a good save
YELLOW CARD to Ian Hogg, not happyand Barlow again forces Spoonley to maike a good save around the wall - parried out for a corner
Bunce goes desperately close to a 1-0 lead for Waikato jumping higher than anyone. That Silver Fox haircut is had to miss.
HALFTIME - 0-0 Pretty even so far. Paul Posa will not be happy with his team's inability to break Waikato down. Good game so far despite it being 0-0.
halftime - It took me a while, but found out Jeff Campbell is at a wedding which is why he's not here playing against his old club - about to start again
Young shoots from 25 metres on the turn, not a lot behind it and it was wide, but shows Auckland City are desperate to create more. Waikato aren't dominating by any means, but they're not being dominated either
GOAL 1-0 Waikato! Wasi makes a break and avoids a head high tackle on the way, 3 on two, gives it to Gwyther on his right, he crosses out of the reach of Spoonley and Mark Jones scores his first NZFC goal. Well isn't that just something!
Williams and van Rooyen clash - Williams neesds to be careful, he's on a yellow and getting a bit of stick it appears, doesn't want to leave his side a goal and a man down.
This is getting very interwesting. Auckland City are desperate but Waikato are doing well... Could be park the bus time soon... Waikato beat Waitakere when they hadn't lost in a year this time last year, at the same ground... but there is still half an hour to go...
uh oh, Auckland City have a perfect freekick opportunity
GOAL too easy Ki-Hyung Lee chips it over the wall and down into Carr's goal, no one moved. He's good, but Waikato didn't give him enough credit 1-1
a draw is a credible result here for Waikato, but they'll need to keep their compusure and shape as Auckland City finally look like a team who did well at the World Club cup, their confidence is back
van Rooyen turns and shoots but is partially blocked to Spoonley, good chance there, kind of from nothing
YELLOW CARD to Barlow, slows things down, bit sloppy
Paul Url0vic is on for Chad Coombes - thay may have been a halftime sub...
drinks - silly silly silly silly.
Waikato still pushing forward, have earned a corner here, just their second
Bunce heads into ther middle, but it's eventually cleared
Waikato Sub Peat for Wasi
Bunce injured and he clashed with keeper Carr 16year old v 33 year old... 16 wins. And AC take the chance to sub Williams for van Steeden.
GOAL 2-1 to Auckland City - Grant Young charged onto a cross after some sloppy Waikato defending and the ever green Young was too quick running on to it and volleyed in well from close range
AC deserve some credit here, they've done well to come back and show their class, but Waikato are still in it and attacking. I can't see Auckland City conceding though
AC sub Young for Nikolic
Jones very agriculturally pushed over by Hogg and one other... freekick in a good spot, the right hand sideof the box... when Jones gets up. Gte up son, there's not much time left!
Barlow takes it, but it's punched clear by Spoonley
YELLOW CARD Adam McGeorge and auckland sub Jones for Te Pou
Urlovic meets the ball with a diving header but straight at Carr
Bunce finally moves forward - might as well throw the kitchen sink at it
Waikato do well, but are open at the back and Carr makes a good save from a Jason Hayne left foot strike
That's it, full time. 2-1 to Auckland City and they stay unbeaten in their nine NZFC games. But they were made to work for it and Waikato did something many teams have struggled to do this year, give the defending champions a challenge