National Youth League race goes to the wire

Words: ACFC Media

Sunday 24 November 2019

Picture: Phototek

WELLINGTON, New Zealand - Auckland City FC have reignited their National Youth League title hopes after a 6-1 thrashing of the Wellington Phoenix in Porirua today.

A hat-trick by Thomas Drillien and one each for skipper Aidan Carey, Matthew Ellis and Deandre Vollenhoven gave the Junior Navy Blues a 5-1 halftime lead that hinted at a second half goal glut to come.

The Wellington Phoenix got on the scoresheet via Benjamin Old but the youngsters terrible start in losing two goals after just four minutes saw the game slip from their grasp early on.

While that goal flood didn't materialise the win has reopened a three way race for the National Youth League title intensified after a weekend marked by a key upset.

Waitakere United suffered their first defeat of the season in a 3-2 reverse to Eastern Suburbs AFC, a loss that leaves the door slightly ajar for Hamilton Wanderers and Auckland City FC to potentially snatch the title from Waitakere United's grasp with just two games to go.

Hamilton Wanderers thrashed Southern United 5-1 and now have two home matches to finish the campaign with one against eighth placed Wellington Phoenix and the other a mouthwatering clash with Waitakere United on the final day.

Auckland City FC will need to win both their remaining games to put pressure on the other two contenders and while a home game with Tasman United appears very winnable their final match of the season is away to Canterbury United.

Team Wellington remain in the mix but their chances of leapfrogging the top three into first place look remote despite their 4-1 away victory at Tasman United. Even two wins in their final two games with Canterbury United and Eastern Suburbs would leave Team Wellington needing other results to go their way.

Further down the table, Tasman United's destiny is still in their own hands and they can have an influence on final placings if they can beat Auckland City FC in their next match. A final day clash with Wellington Phoenix is an interesting prospect but like Team Wellington they are relying heavily on a sequence of results to tumble in their favour - their goal difference is also inferior to all of the teams currently sitting above them.

The Junior Navy Blues take on Tasman United in their penultimate National Youth League clash on Saturday 30 November 2019 at 12pm NZST at the Croatian Club in McLeod Road.

Their season ends on Sunday 8 December 2019 when they meet Canterbury United at English Park in Christchurch. The game is schedule for an 11am NZST start.

Ends

Match Result
National Youth League
Sunday 24 November 2019
Wellington Phoenix 1 (Benjamin OLD 31')
Auckland City FC 6 (Thomas DRILLIEN 2', 29', 62', Matthew ELLIS 36', Deandre VOLLENHOVEN 4', Aidan CAREY 45+1')
HT: 1-5.

AC: 18. Luca TAYLOR (GK) (1. Sam BOTTOMLEY (GK) 65'), 2. Nathan LOBO (5. Dhanush CHANDRA 46'), 4. Nick MILICICH (21. Finn McCRACKEN 76'), 6. Callum McNEILL, 7. Matthew HODGSON, 10. Matthew ELLIS (13. Malcolm YOUNG 46'), 11. Deandre VOLLEHOVEN, 16. Corban PIPER (15. Harry FREEMAN 65'), 17. Thomas DRILLIEN, 19. Bradley WILSON, 23. Aidan CAREY (c).

COACH: Kris BRIGHT.

Other results

Played Saturday 23 November 2019
Tasman United 1-4 Team Wellington

Eastern Suburbs AFC 3-2 Waitakere United

Southern United 1-5 Hamilton Wanderers

Played Sunday 24 November 2019
Canterbury United 2-2 Hawke's Bay United

NATIONAL YOUTH LEAGUE TITLE RUN-IN ANALYSIS

1. Waitakere United: Played 7, Won 6, Drew 0, Lost 1, Points: 18

Goal Difference: +9

30.11.19 v Southern United (H)
08.12.19 v Hamilton Wanderers (A)

Waitakere United need four points to win the National Youth League title
and must be confident of picking up a home win over second to last
placed Southern United in their penultimate game. Where it gets tricky
for the west Aucklanders is playing their final match away to title
contenders Hamilton Wanderers.

2. Auckland City FC: Played 7, Won 5, Drew 0, Lost 2, Points: 15

Goal Difference: +13

30.11.19 v Tasman United (H)
08.12.19 v Canterbury United (A)

Auckland City FC have been in this position before, having to win their
remaining games and hope results go their way. Auckland City FC will be
favourites to beat Tasman United but their final game, away to
Canterbury United, will be a tough one. Like Hamilton Wanderers, Team
Wellington and Tasman United, the Junior Navy Blues fate is largely out
of their control but experience of winning last season's title could
play a crucial role should the pressure tell.

3. Hamilton Wanderers: Played 7, Won 5, Drew 0, Lost 2, Points: 15

Goal Difference: +9

30.11.19 v Wellington Phoenix (H)
07.12.19 v Waitakere United (H)

Hamilton Wanderers will be hoping that Southern United do them an
unlikely favour in Round 8 when they take on Waitakere United but the
Porritt Stadium-based youngsters will have to ensure they do their part
and dispatch the Wellington Phoenix in their next game. If they do that,
they can turn their final match of the season - also at home - into a
cup final with Waitakere United where anything is possible.

4. Team Wellington: Played 7, Won 4, Drew 1, Lost 2, Points: 13

Goal Difference: +5

30.11.19 v Canterbury United (H)
07.12.19 v Eastern Suburbs AFC (A)

Team Wellington have done well to haul themselves into the mix but if
Waitakere United defeat Southern United, as they are expected to,
TeeDubs faint title hopes will expire. Two wins from two difficult games
would put pressure on the contenders but inconsistencies throughout the
season suggest a run of that type might be beyond them. Their goal
difference is also an issue they need to improve.

5. Tasman United: Played 7, Won 4, Drew 0, Lost 3, Points: 12

Goal Difference: +3

30.11.19 v Auckland City FC (A)
07.12.19 v Wellington Phoenix (H)

Two wins will see Tasman United go level on points with Waitakere United
providing the league leaders and Hamilton Wanderers drop points. Like
Team Wellington, it appears highly unlikely Tasman United will be able
to shrug off season-long inconsistencies to produce the type of form
required to create a three-way split for the championship and they'll
need a very special result and performance to take anything off of
Auckland City FC. Goal difference is also weak compared with other
challengers.

REMAINING FIXTURES:

Round 8

Saturday 30 November, 2019
Hamilton Wanderers v Wellington Phoenix
Porritt Stadium, Hamilton - kick-off: 11am NZST

Hawke's Bay United v Eastern Suburbs AFC
Bluewater Stadium, Napier - kick-off: 12pm NZST

Waitakere United v Southern United
Seddon Fields, Auckland - kick-off: 12pm NZST

Auckland City FC v Tasman United
Croatian Club, Auckland - kick-off: 12pm NZST

Team Wellington v Cantebury United
Ole Academy, Wellington - kick-off: 1.30pm NZST

Round 9

Saturday 7 December, 2019
Tasman United v Wellington Phoenix
Saxton Field, Nelson - kick-off: 12pm NZST

Southern United v Hawke's Bay United
Logan Park, Dunedin - kick-off: 1pm NZST

Eastern Suburbs AFC v Team Wellington
Ngahue Reserve, Auckland - kick-off: 2pm NZST

Sunday 8 December, 2019
Canterbury United v Auckland City FC
English Park, Christchurch - kick-off: 11am NZST

Hamilton Wanderers v Waitakere United
Porritt Stadium, Hamilton - kick-off: 11am NZST

ROLL OF HONOUR - NATIONAL YOUTH LEAGUE

2019 - Auckland City FC
2018 - Auckland City FC
2017 - Hamilton Wanderers
2016 - Team Wellington
2015 - Nelson Marlborough Falcons
2014 - Auckland City FC
2013 - Auckland City FC
2012 - Canterbury United
2011 - Waitakere United
2010 - Canterbury United
2009 - Auckland City FC
2008 - Waitakere United
2007 - Auckland City FC
2006 - Capital Football
2005 - Capital Football
2004 - North Harbour
2003 - Capital Football
2002 - Auckland Football

 

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