Words: ACFC media
Sunday 8 November 2020
AUCKLAND, New Zealand - A Dylan Manickum winner gave Auckland City FC a come-from-behind 2-1 win over Waitakere United at the Croatian Club in West Auckland today.
Alex Grieve opened the scoring for the visitors when referee Nick Waldron awarded Paul Hobson's charges a penalty after 36 minutes.
The Navy Blues equalised in spectacular style when Adam Mitchell flung himself at a near post corner to beat his marker and hand his team a way back into the match.
Waitakere United were physical and aggressive and pressed the hosts with intent in a competitive first half but the home side slowly took control.
That control was all the more impressive following a raft of substitutions by Jose Figueira and despite the disruption the Navy Blues intensity and quality visibly lifted.
That intent produced an excellent goal from Manickum who was a line call to be involved with Futsal Navy Blues at the Men's National Futsal SuperLeague this weekend.
AUDIO - Jose Figueira Interview
Manickum combined expertly with substitute Emiliano Tade in the lead up the goal and it was no surprise when the NZF Futsal Player of the Year popped up with the winner.
The victory boosted Navy Blues confidence ahead of next Sunday's ISPS Handa Men's Premiership clash with Gridlock Derby rivals Eastern Suburbs AFC at Kiwitea Street.
Figueira declared himself happy with the performance and the result after last week's hiccup at Hamilton Wanderers.
"We asked the players this week for momentum in this game and I think we certainly got today from the boys.
"It's a good sign that we got stronger as the game went on I thought we started to run over the top of Waitakere and created a host of chances.
"I think we need to be a little more clinical and precise to really put the opposition away. Waitakere have some quality players so when those moments arise - and we had a lot today - we need to be a bit more clinical.
A solid performance & great way to keep building preparations, momentum and connections on the pitch ahead of the next weeks @NZ_Football #ISPSHandaPrem season opener.— José Manuel Figueira (@JoseCoaching) November 8, 2020
Back on the ball tomorrow!!
#StrengthInUnity #NavyBlues pic.twitter.com/gIKSC22pmw
"That's one of the most pleasing things - we want to get minutes into players legs but you also want them to stay connected and stays on task.
"That intensity and tempo remained high which is a really good sign leading into the season to say we've got the depth that can come on and add quality," he said.
Auckland City FC face Eastern Suburbs AFC at Kiwitea Street on Sunday 15 November 2020 at 4pm NZST.
The match is scheduled for broadcast on Sky Sport.
Sunday 8 November 2020
Auckland City FC 2 (Adam MITCHELL 45', Dylan MANICKUM 56')
Waitakere United 1 (Adam GREIVE 36'-pen)
AC: 18. Cam BROWN (GK) (1. Conor TRACEY (GK)), 2. Mario ILICH (15. Aiden CAREY), 4. Mario BILEN (11. Tom DOYLE), 5. Adam MITCHELL, 6. Brian KALTAK, 7. Cam HOWIESON (c), 8. Albert RIERA (20. Emiliano TADE), 10. Dylan MANICKUM, 17. Andrew BLAKE (14. Jordan VALE), 19. Logan ROGERSON, 23. Alfie ROGERS.
SUBS NOT USED: 9. Illam HAMEEDI, 12. Kishan SAMI, 16. Deandre VOLLENHOVEN, 22. Maro BONSU-MARO.
COACH: Jose FIGUEIRA.
v Wellington Olympic, 11 March 2023, KO: TBC