Waitakere United's Ryan de Vries is brought down in the
tackle of Otago United's Craig Ferguson during the ASB
Premiership match at Forsyth Barr Stadium yesterday. De
Vries scored from the ensuing penalty. Photo by Craig
Two late goals gave added gloss to Waitakere United's 4-1
win over Otago United in the ASB Premiership match at Dunedin's
Forsyth Barr Stadium yesterday.
At 2-1, with 90 minutes on the clock and the Otago crowd
baying for a home result, Waitakere striker Milos Nikolic
broke away and scored, then Ryan de Vries slotted his third
goal, as referee Isaac Trevis slipped down the popularity
stakes when he awarded a second penalty to Waitakere for the
final 4-1 result.
Referee Trevis had earlier awarded a penalty on the hour
after a ragged tackle by Craig Ferguson. Otago keeper Liam
Little brilliantly saved the spot kick, and possibly ignited
Otago's thrilling fightback in the last 30 minutes.
In a classic mix of inspiration and perspiration, Otago
United kept champion side Waitakere more than honest for
nearly 90 minutes with an inspired battling performance in
the stadium's green house atmosphere. And at 2-1 coach
Richard Murray's side played its best attacking football, and
looked capable of grabbing a draw.
Otago started limply, conceding two soft early goals,
allowing space for Dylan Stansfield to set up De Vries for a
simple chance in the ask minute, then it was Allan Pierce
sliding a perfect through ball for De Vries to make the score
2-0 after 37 minutes. Clearly, Waitakere is a classy unit,
unbeaten this season, and aiming at Oceania League
Coach Paul Marshall's side cranks up ball speed and one-touch
football that reduces opposition to near meltdown, and
Sunday's temperature did not help an Otago side determined to
apply pressure and try to close down the visitors. But Otago
accepted the challenge and harried and tackled Waitakere with
unremitting energy, battling the visiting side's style.
After some good attacking combinations with striker Regan
Coldicott leading the attack, in front of some hard running
from Sam Mepham, Aajay Cunningham, Victor da Costa and Seamus
Ryder, Waitakere started to make errors.
Former Otago captain Tristan Prattley, who recently
transferred to Waitakere, got in a muddle with Tim Myers and
the ever alert poacher Coldicott swooped in to steal
possession and drill the ball past keeper Danny Robinson for
a 49th-minute goal that had the scoreboard read 2-1.
Ryder wriggled free to deliver a near-post cross that skiffed
past Coldicott's boot, then Ryder beat Prattley to roll an
inviting pass in front of Tom Connor who switched play for
Cunningham to arch backwards and head the ball on to the roof
of the visitors net.
Not that Waitakere did not have its share of attacks, but
Myers and his defence were forced to scramble away a series a
Otago free kicks and corners that landed in Row Z. However,
the late goal and penalty settled Waitakere, and coach
Marshall admitted that the result probably did flatter
'' We have had a few injuries which meant striker Roy Krishna
and some others could not play, so it was a good opportunity
to give Dylan [Stansfield] a run. He is just 17, and both
Ryan [De Vries] , who got a hat trick, and Milos [Nikolic]
are just 20-years-old.''
Otago coach Murray was again mixture of pride in his team's
performace, and frustration at some refereeing decisions.
''You can't give a top team like Waitakere a two-goal start,
but on the plus side, we had spells of good attacking play
that on another day might have got us a draw,'' he said.
In the curtain-raiser, Otago United's youth team continued
its strong form with a 2-1 win over Manawatu youth side.
Goals by Matt Webb and Taylor McCormack did the damage while
Rhys Gaylor scored for Manawatu.
In the Futsal National League in Auckland, Queenstown's
Futsalsouth striker Carlos Hermann took his personal goal
tally to eight when his team beat Auckland 1-0, Northern 4-2,
and WaiBOP 1-0, to remain mid-table.
Otago United 1
Regan Coldicott 49
Waitakere United 4
Ryan de Vries 31, 37, 90+3 pen, Milos Nikolic 89