Ten-man Southern holds on for point

Paul O’Reilly
Paul O’Reilly
Southern United has held on with 10 men to claim a huge draw.

It battled through to finish 0-0 against Team Wellington at David Farrington Park in the Capital yesterday, after losing Sam Carmichael in the 50th minute.

Carmichael received a red card after a mis-timed challenge on Taylor Schrijvers had him booked for a second time.

That forced Southern to battle for the majority of the second half, and battle it did.

That it emerged with a point against a team that entered the round as joint league leader was a "tremendous result", coach Paul O’Reilly said.

"Team Wellington are defending champions, so to hang on 0-0 up here on a boiling hot day against some of the best players in the league is a tremendous result.

"It feels like we’re walking away from a win. It’s only one point, but it feels like a win.

"[It is a] tremendous point because we were down to 10 men for pretty much 45 minutes with a red card in the 48th minute.

"So a lot of passion and desire to go and get a 0-0 draw. 

"It was the first time in a long time that a Southern United team have come up here and got a point, so it was huge."

O’Reilly felt Southern had the better of the first 20 minutes, before the game opened up and was quite even for the rest of the first half.

Both teams had chances, Garbhan Coughlan having Southern’s best one when he hit the cross-bar.

Coughlan then found the back of the net in the 47th minute, but was called back after an  offside ruling. Minutes later the team was reduced to 10-men, necessitating it to battle through the second half.

O’Reilly called it unfortunate, although felt the second booking had been the right decision.

Southern also had a case for a penalty of its own, although it was not awarded.It had been a "difficult one for the referee", O’Reilly said, but he felt it was not dissimilar to instances in which Southern had conceded penalties.

The result left Southern with 11 points at the halfway stage of the competition and in sixth place on the table, having overtaken Tasman United — which lost 3-1 to Auckland City yesterday.

"Of course, massively happy," O’Reilly said when asked if he was happy with the team’s standing.

"We’ve already, in nine games, got more than our total from last season.

"It’s still a work in progress. We still need to improve on lots of areas and we still need to grow as a club and a team.

"We’re still looking to potentially recruit a couple of players over the off break if we can.

"But it’s a good nine games. We need to back it up with another nine games after Christmas."

In other results, the Wellington Phoenix Reserves beat Hamilton Wanderers 3-1, while Canterbury United beat Hawke’s Bay United 3-0.

In the late game, Eastern Suburbs beat Waitakere United 2-0.


National league
The scores

Southern United           0

Team Wellington          0

Halftime: 0-0

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