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Figueira rues top saves

Words: ACFC Media

Monday 27 January 2020

Picture: Phototek

AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Auckland City FC coach Jose Figueira looks back on Sunday's 0-0 draw with Team Wellington as the Navy Blues unbeaten run continues.

Pitching two new faces into the fray in All Whites defender Tom Doyle and club-record scorer Emiliano Tade signalled a sign of intent from the Navy Blues coach as the hosts sought to half the gap between the two clubs.

Figueira was satisfied with an away point but it was clear there is room for improvement.

"I thought it was an entertaining game, one of those entertaining nil-nil draws. I'm happy to come away from what is a difficult place with a point.

"I know David Farrington Park very well and Team Wellington have got an excellent home record this season, so to come away with a draw and keep the distance between us at six points is a positive.

"We had some big moments, some very well worked opportunities that we didn't take, and on another day, with a bit more precision, we would take and be coming back to Auckland with a little bit more," he said.

The Navy Blues opened the match seemingly in a rush to get the win inside the first half an hour with a fusilade of chances denied by Scott Basalaj who was outstanding in goals for the hosts.

AUDIO - Figueira rues top saves

"We were excellent in the first half and our plan worked exceptionally well - we were able to control and dominate the game and progress the ball up the pitch through the lines with real quality.

"If it wasn't for three or four very very good saves from Scott Basalaj we could've been one or two goals up at halftime.

"The game went up in tempo and intensity in the second half when they pressed us higher and that caused us a few problems and we had to defend well on a couple of occasions but overall it was a solid performance from us," he said.

Doyle and Tade were both stand out performers on a hot day in the capital but Figueira said patience was required as both try to regain match fitness after long spells away.

"Both Tom and Emi showed some really good moments but at the same time it's clear they're not quite at their usual match sharpness and speed just yet which is obvious because it's their first game in a few months.

"Tom gave us some really good momentum going forward in the first half linking up with Alfie Rogers and Emi.

"Emi slotted in straight away as if he'd never been away and created a number of really good opportunities for himself that he's frustrated at not taking.

"He had a few other opportunities and set another one up for Myer Bevan for a one-on-one so a very positive display from both of Tom and Emi and lots more to build from," he told

Auckland City FC's next match is at home to Hamilton Wanderers on February 2 and kicks off at 2.00pm NZST.

The Navy Blues are at home for the next three weeks with clashes against Wellington Phoenix (February 8) and Canterbury United (February 16).


Match Result
ISPS Handa Premiership
Sunday 26 January 2020
Team Wellington 0
Auckland City FC 0
HT: 0-0.

AC: 18. Conor TRACEY (GK), 5. Angel BERLANGA (c), 6. Brian KALTAK, 7. Cam HOWIESON, 9. Myer BEVAN, 11. Tom DOYLE, 13. Emiliano TADE (21. Maro BONSU-MARO 79'), 17. Andrew BLAKE, 20. Logan ROGERSON (10. Dylan MANICKUM 74'), 22. Clayton LEWIS (8. Albert RIERA 79'), 23. Alfie ROGERS.



Other results:

Saturday 25 January 2020
Waitakere United 3-2 Tasman United
Southern United 2-1 Canterbury United

Sunday 26 January 2020
Eastern Suburbs AFC 3-0 Hamilton Wanderers
Hawke's Bay United 0-2 Wellington Phoenix

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