Words: ACFC Media
Monday 3 February 2020
AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Jose Figueira hailed his Navy Blues front line as Auckland City FC overcame a dogged Hamilton Wanderers in a 3-1 win at Kiwitea Street on Sunday.
Last week, Auckland City FC misfired in their third goalless draw of the season with multiple chances going begging at Team Wellington's David Farrington Park.
But it was all change on Sunday as Myer Bevan and Emiliano Tade stamped their mark on the game.
"During the week one of my comments was about being a bit more ruthless in front of goal and the chances we create to capitalise on them.
"In Hamilton's best spell in the first half our first breakaway or true clear chance we scored. on reflection that gives us a good step to build from.
"After a few adjustments at half time our build up play was a lot better and a bit more controlled," Figueira told www.aucklandcityfc.com.
The Navy Blues supremo acknowledged Hamilton Wanderers had posed a much tougher proposition than their first meeting at the end of last year.
"Hamilton chased the game at the end and threw bodies forward and we needed to have clearer minds in those moments.
GOAL!!! Myer Bevan slots home Emiliano Tade's cross as the Navy Blues down Wanderers 3-1
"We knew Hamilton would be tough right to the end - their performances and results have said that and today they're a real handful. On another day they take their key chances and it's a different game.
"We're really happy with our guys after the other results and we've handled the pressure and executed our game plan well," he said.
Bevan, who netted his 13th goal of the season, and Tade - who scored his 108th goal of his Navy Blues career in his third spell with the club, showed they have an exciting chemistry that is only just getting started.
With Logan Rogerson also making a top contribution, Auckland City FC's goal hopes are in sound hands.
"Our frontline worked so hard for each other. Myer did well to set up Emiliano for the first goal and Emi repaid the favour for Myer for our third one.
"It's great to see them start to link up together so well and I believe there is even more to come from them which is a major positive," he said.
On the injury front, Auckland City FC will monitor the progress of Mario Bilen and goalkeeper Conor Tracey who each received cuts in a sickening head clash with Joe Nottage.
The Hamilton Wanderers player emerged unscathed from the innocent collision but Bilen sported a cut to the top of his head while Tracey's eye was swollen after the game and he also experienced bleeding from a cut on his forehead.
"Mario has come off a bit worse with a bit of a cut and we have to observe the concussion issue there.
"Conor came through and we were able to strap him up but we were in a position where we had to hold back our subs to see how he came through.
"He has a nasty gash and some swelling and we'll have to see how he comes through that over the next few days," he said.
Auckland City FC's next match is at Kiwitea Street against ninth placed Wellington Phoenix on Sunday 9 February, 2020.
The match kicks off at 2.00pm NZST.
ISPS Handa Premiership
Sunday 2 February, 2020
Auckland City FC 3 (Emiliano TADE 34', Own Goal 44'', Myer BEVAN 77')
Hamilton Wanderers 1 (George OTT 85')
AC: 18. Conor TRACEY (GK), 3. Adam MITCHELL, 4. Mario BILEN (14. Jordan VALE 65'), 5. Angel BERLANGA (c), 7. Cam HOWIESON, 9. Myer BEVAN (21. Maro BONSU-MARO 80'), 11. Tom DOYLE, 13. Emiliano TADE (2. Mario ILICH 78'), 17. Andrew BLAKE, 20. Logan ROGERSON, 22. Clayton LEWIS.
SUBS NOT USED: 1. Enaut ZUBIKARAI (GK), 10. Dylan MANICKUM.
COACH: Jose FIGUEIRA.
Saturday 1 February, 2020
Wellington Phoenix 0-1 Team Wellington
Sunday 2 February, 2020
Tasman United 3-1 Hawke's Bay United
Canterbury United 1-2 Waitakere United
Eastern Suburbs AFC 6-0 Southern United
Sunday 1 October 2023, 3pm, Kiwitea Street, Auckland