Waikato's Chilean striker Eder Franchini leaps over sliding
Otago midfielder Sam Mepham as referee Matt Conger looks on
during the ASB Premiership match at Forsyth Barr Stadium in
Dunedin yesterday. Photo by Rab Smith
Waikato administered six of the best to a below-par Otago
United in the national league match played at Forsyth Barr
While it was not quite as bad as Otago's worst loss, an 8-0
drubbing by Waitakere in the 2006-07 season under Terry
Phelan, the scars are sure to remain for quite some time.
Otago's last home win over Waikato was eight years ago, in
round six of the inaugural revamped league season - a 2-1
victory. The full home record is not good and reads played
10, won one, drew five and lost three.
Waikato confirmed there is life after deposed coach Declan
Edge, and the players who defected with him.
''That's nine goals scored in two matches,'' said a jubilant
Mark Cossey, who took over from Edge last week.
''The media said that we are in disarray. Maybe we should
stay that way, if we keep playing like today, and banging
A brilliant hat trick by Rory Turner spearheaded Cossey's
Waikato side that played with style, control and penetration.
''We stuck to the game plan, and played with a passionate
belief that we were going to win,'' he said.
It took 19 minutes before Jack Hobson laced a bendy free kick
past a rickety Otago defensive wall, and beat keeper Liam
Nine minutes later, Chilean Eder Franchini jinked past weak
tackles through a crowd of defenders and picked his spot with
a driven shot that keeper Little got near, but could not
Trailing by two goals at halftime, Otago coach Richard Murray
appealed for improvement, but the yellow machine continued to
slice through Otago like Christmas ham, as Turner did a give
and go with Franchini that gave him a simple tap-in for 3-0
after 48 minutes.
Then Turner did it again as he converted a low left win cross
that looked like an unopposed training exercise. It was 4-0
The fifth goal was all class, as Hone Fowler capped an
authoritative midfield game by arriving late in Otago's
penalty area and, like Superman, horizontally dive-heading
Unbelievably, Otago was still on the field, still defending
and even creating chances in front of goal.
Young Joel Stevens was the equal of Waikato's athleticism and
raced clear several times, but assorted quality of crosses
brought no reward. Defender Craig Ferguson also raised local
spirits with some determined runs up the wing, but without
On the hour, Otago's reward did come. From a free kick,
captain Tristan Prattley crisply drove the ball past keeper
Matt Upton, and the local crowd managed a plaintive cheer for
the 6-1 scoreline that was finalised by Turner's last goal
just before fulltime.
Otago coach Murray was desolate.
''We played poorly. It was another Jekyll and Hyde
performance. We made a few chances but we did not convert
them, and we made some defensive blunders that Waikato
happily took advantage off,'' Murray said.
The ASB Premiership now goes into summer shutdown. The next
full round of the league is scheduled for January 13, when
Otago travels to play Manawatu.
Rory Turner 3, Jack Hobson-McVeigh, Eder Franchini, Hone
Otago United 1
Halftime: Waikato 2-0.