Words: ACFC Media
Sunday 1 November 2020
HAMILTON, New Zealand - Goals by Owen Comber and Xavier Pratt saw Hamilton Wanderers home to a 2-1 pre-season friendly over a ten-man Navy Blues side at Porritt Stadium today.
Comber began the scoring on 37 minutes after the ball spun away from Cameron Brown's grasp after striking the upright.
Moments earlier, Wanderers keeper Matt Oliver pulled off an incredible one-handed save from a powerful Brian Kaltak header while Logan Rogerson went close with two efforts after causing problems for the hosts down the left.
And it was Rogerson who levelled for Auckland City FC just after the restart sweeping home from a high quality passing move.
The All Whites cap blotted his copybook midway through the second half when he was sent off after an altercation with a Wanderers defender leaving coach Jose Figueira to reshuffle his pack.
GOAL - Logan Rogerson scores for Auckland City FC
New signing Mohamed Awad was thrown into the fray and his first piece of action saw him knocked out cold after colliding with a Wanderers defender in the penalty box.
Both players stayed down and required attention with Awad removed from the pitch and requiring assessment from Navy Blues physio Matt Payne.
Figueira gave youngsters Ilham Hameedi and trialist Kishan Sami a run as the game fragmented because of frequent substitutions in the warm conditions and bobbly pitch.
Wanderers spent large spells of the match with a low block preferring to try and hit Auckland City FC on a swift counter attack and it was a similar situation that led to the winning goal.
The Navy Blues gave away cheap possession which allowed Pratt to run directly at a backing off defence before hitting a decent effort past Conor Tracey with just four minutes left.
It was the first time Auckland City FC have lost to Hamilton Wanderers in a competitive or friendly encounter and proved a morale boosting result for coach Kale Herbert.
Auckland City FC move onto their next pre-season challenge against Waitakere United next Sunday at 2pm NZST.
Sunday 1 November 2020
Hamilton Wanderers 2 (Owen COMBER 37', Xavier PRATT 86')
Auckland City FC 1 (Logan ROGERSON 52')
AC: 24. Cameron BROWN (GK) (Conor TRACEY (GK)), 2. Mario ILICH (8. Albert RIERA), 3. Adam MITCHELL, 4. Mario BILEN (11. Tom DOYLE), 6. Brian KALTAK, 7. Cam HOWIESON (16. Yousif AL-KALISY), 10. Dylan MANICKUM (17. Andrew BLAKE), 14. Jordan VALE, 19. Logan ROGERSON, 20, Emiliano TADE (22. Mohamed AWAD (12. Kishan SAMI), 23. Alfie ROGERS (12. Ilham HAMEEDI).
INJURED: 5. Angel BERLANGA, 22. Maro BONSU-MARO.
Sun 29 Nov 2020, Kiwitea Street, Kick-off: 2pm