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Rogerson scores stunner in friendly win

Words: ACFC Media

Saturday 26 October 2019

Picture: Phototek

AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Auckland City FC completed pre-season preparations with a comfortable 2-0 win over Waitakere United at Kiwitea Street today.

A brilliant long range volley from Logan Rogerson and a header from Thomas Drillien bookended a Conor Tracey penalty save on a beautiful but windy day in Sandringham.

GOAL - Logan Rogerson's sensational opener

The first chance of the match came when Nick Draper tipped an Andrew Blake effort just wide of his left-hand upright after 10 minutes and that set the tone for the afternoon.

Auckland City FC dominated the ball for large swathes of the first half but without cutting the visitor's defence but that changed ten minutes from the break when Rogerson underlined his class when he unleashed a beautiful long range volley that gave goalkeeper Draper no hope.

Rogerson was the standout for the Navy Blues and was a constant threat on the edge of the Waitakere United penalty box while the visitors were happy to sit off and attempt to hit the Navy Blues on the counter attack.

AUDIO - "Logan Rogerson is an important player for us" - Ivan Vicelich

Stand-in coach Ivan Vicelich made three changes on the hour mark handing opportunities to Thomas Drillien, Matt Hodgson and goalkeeper Conor Tracey then emptied his bench with Junior Navy Blues Matt Ellis and Deandre Vollenhoven also thrown into the mix.

It was a move that would eventually pay dividends towards the end of the match.

Waitakere United were handed a way back into the match midway through the second half when they were awarded a penalty after a foul by Matt Hodgson only for Tracey to dive right and palm the ball away to safety.

The lead was extended with a goal straight out of the Junior Navy Blues playbook when Matt Ellis curled in a beautiful cross to an unmarked Drillien who made no mistake with a powerful header.

Drillien could've had a second a moment later when he turned a Cam Howieson shot just over the crossbar with a cheeky deflected touch that went close.

Stand-in coach Ivan Vicelich, in charge while Jose Figueira is on international duty, was pleased with the performance.

"We worked very hard but it wasn't easy the pitch was immaculate but it was a dry pitch and we focused on a few things we've been working on for the last few weeks and the performance was pleasing.

"We had a few chances and it was great to get a goal from Thomas Drillien and I thought the cross from Matt Ellis was beautiful and it was good to put it away.

"Conor had another great save and he's done that twice in pre-season from the penalty mark and it was very good. The game could've gone one all at that point and we got caught asleep at the back with their breakaway but great for the keeper to stand up and make the save.

"Beautiful goal. Logan's got some very good qualities and we've seen that more and more as pre-season goes on today we saw that again with that strike that he's going to be an important player for us and for the team.

GOAL - Thomas Drillien heads home the second

"What showed today was that we made a few changes with people in different positions but they still put a good performance in and worked hard for the team and that's very positive.

"This is our last friendly because last week's was cancelled last week which was unfortunate but the team is working hard in pre-season so they're getting their fitness worked and we're looking forward to the start of the season," he said.

Auckland City FC open their campaign in the ISPS Handa Premiership away to Hawke's Bay United on Saturday 2 November 2019, at Bluewater Stadium at 4.30pm NZST.

Ends

Match Result
Pre-season friendly
Saturday 26 October 2019
Auckland City FC 2 (Logan ROGERSON 35', Thomas DRILLIEN 80')
Waitakere United 0
HT: 1-0.

AC: 1. Enaut ZUBIKARAI (GK)(18. Conor TRACEY (GK) 60'); 2. Mario ILICH (3. Matt HODGSON 60'), 4. Mario BILEN (11. Keegan LINDERBOOM 46'), 6. Brian KALTAK, 7. Cam HOWIESON, 9. Myer BEVAN, 16. Yousif ALI (8. Deandre VOLLENHOVEN 83'), 17. Andrew BLAKE, 20. Logan ROGERSON (10. Matt ELLIS 75'), 21. Maro BONSU-MARO (12. Thomas DRILLIEN 60').

COACH: Ivan VICELICH.

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