Words: ACFC Media
Saturday 21 November 2020
AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Auckland City FC return to the scene of a pre-season upset when they travel south to face an in-form Hamilton Wanderers on Sunday.
Hamilton Wanderers sit second in the league table after demolishing Hawke's Bay United 3-0 at Napier last week and that, coupled with a 2-1 win over Auckland City FC just weeks ago, should ensure Kale Herbert's side look ahead to this game with positivity.
Auckland City FC face a difficult task with Logan Rogerson, Mohamed Awad, Mario Bilen and Abdulbaset Khalifa all at various stages of recovery following injury and Navy Blues coach Jose Figueira may face some tough calls ahead of Sunday's match.
"Its a tough challenge coming up. Any away game is difficult. Hamilton come off a fantastic result on the weekend and a really strong performance having watched the game having only met them recently in pre-season they got the up on us.
"No doubts they'll be feeling confident they can maintain a good start to the season. Traditionally, they've always been really dangerous on the transition with the likes of Tommy Semmy and Derek Tieku up front.
"But this year, from what I've seen from the game in pre-season, watching them last week with a couple of new additions to their squad and a second year in charge for Kale they look really well organised.
"They're not only a counter attacking team, they can play through the lines and as a team they're evolving nicely. We'll have to be right at the top of our game to carry on our own good start to the season," he said.
Logan Rogerson's hamstring strain is not as serious as first feared while Mario Bilen's ankle injury is also expected to respond quickly to treatment.
Mohamed Awad has been cleared to play but Figueira may be tempted to hold back handing the former Melbourne Knights player his competitive debut at a venue where he sustained his concussion only a few weeks ago.
One player who remembers the defeat to Hamilton Wanderers in pre-season is Mario Ilich. The midfielder was instrumental in the Navy Blues 1-0 victory but is wary of a Hamilton Wanderers side that is showing good early season form.
"Our bodies were a bit sore after the game on Sunday. Eastern Suburbs are a fit, young, energetic side and they took the game to us. I'm sure the spectators would've enjoyed the match but we were happy we got the right result and three points to start the season.
"It was a tough game last time we played Hamilton Wanderers and we were just coming into our stride inpre-season so we're looking for a different outcome this time after the win over Eastern Suburbs AFC.
"We'll take confidence from our Gridlock Derby win on Sunday and hopefully we can take that forward into the weekend. We've got to be careful of Tommy Semmy and Derek Tieku up front, they're both lethal in front of goal and we can't afford to give them a sniff," he said.
The game kicks off at 2.00pm NZST at Porritt Stadium and be viewed live on Sky Sport Next YouTube channel here.
ISPS Handa Men's Premiership
Sunday 22 November, 2020
Hamilton Wanderers v Auckland City FC
Porritt Stadium, Hamilton
Kick-off: 2.00pm NZST
AC: 24. Cam BROWN (GK), 2. Mario ILICH, 3. Adam MITCHELL, 6. Brian KALTACK, 7. Cam HOWIESON (c), 8. Albert RIERA, 10. Dylan MANICKUM, 11. Tom DOYLE, 12. Abdulbaset KHALIFA, 13. Deandre VOLLENHOVEN, 14. Jordan VALE, 17. Andrew BLAKE, 18. Conor TRACEY (GK), 21. Maro BONSU-MARO, 22. Mohamed AWAD, 23. Alfie ROGERS.
COACH: Jose FIGUEIRA.
Saturday 21 November 2020
Team Wellington v Hawke's Bay United
David Farrington Park, Wellington - kick-off: 1pm NZST
Waitakere United v Wellington Phoenix
Seddon Fields, Auckland - kick-off: 1.30pm NZST
Sunday 22 November 2020
Eastern Suburbs AFC v Canterbury United
Madills Farm, Auckland - kick-off: 4.00pm NZST
Sunday's game is the ninth encounter between the two clubs with Hamilton Wanderers yet to notch a positive result in the previous eight meetings. The top goalscorer in this fixture is Emiliano Tade who has netted seven times in eight games against Hamilton Wanderers.
Hamilton Wanderers have played Auckland City FC four times in the Waikato and have yet to score a single goal against the Navy Blues. By contrast, Auckland City FC have scored 13 goals on their visits to play Hamilton Wanderers.
v. Hamilton Wanderers (A) won 5-0 (Joao Moreira 2, Emiliano Tade 2, Ryan De Vries)
v. Hamilton Wanderers (H) won 4-1 (Emiliano Tade, Clayton Lewis 2, Fabrizio Tavano | Stafford Dowling)
v. Hamilton Wanderers (A) won 1-0 (Micah Lea'alafa)
v. Hamilton Wanderers (H) won 6-0 (Ryan De Vries 2, Callum McCowatt, Emiliano Tade 2, Own Goal)
v. Hamilton Wanderers (A) won 1-0 (Maro Bonsu-Maro)
v. Hamilton Wanderers (H) won 3-2 (David Browne, Maro Bonsu-Maro, Cam Howieson| Tommy Semmy, Martin Bueno)
v. Hamilton Wanderers (A) won 5-0 (Logan Rogerson, Own Goal, David Browne, Myer Bevan 2)
v. Hamilton Wanderers (H) won 3-1 (Emiliano Tade 2, Myer Bevan | George Ott)
Sunday 4 December 2022, Wellington Olympic, Mount Smart Stadium