Words: ACFC Media
Friday 11 December 2020
AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Auckland City FC will be without Vanuatu international Brian Kaltack as they prepare for a tricky away visit to Canterbury United on Sunday.
Kaltack, who has been in increasingly influential figure for the Navy Blues in the past year, was sent off in last week's 2-2 draw with Team Wellington in the capital and coach Jose Figueira will be forced into a reshaping his defence.
Complicating matters is the uncertainty over former Wellington Phoenix and New Zealand international defender Tom Doyle who has a hamstring injury.
Mario Bilen (ankle) and Emiliano Tade (calf) are both uncertain for inclusion with the latter hoping to be fit early in the new year.
Canterbury United come into the match having grabbed their first points of the season in a 3-0 away win at Hawke's Bay United and the Dragons will be keen to end a 12 year run without a home win over the Navy Blues.
With the ISPS Handa Men's Premieship becoming defunct in March 2021, it will be the Dragons last chance ever to beat Auckland City FC in Christchurch so on Sunday.
"Its another tough game, another tough challenge - any away game in the ISPS Handa Men's Premiership is difficult.
"We've found that last week with the travel and especially with Canterbury coming off of not only a good result but a really strong performance away to Hawke's Bay United.
"We've had a really good week and the players are really focused and know they've got to be right at it on Sunday.
"We're still carrying a few knocks and niggles and injuries that we're having to monitor on a week by week basis. Tom has a mild hamstring strain and we're unsure if he'll be there this or next weekend.
"Brian is missing which means there will be a slight reshuffle but nothing the players haven't dealt with or experienced before," Figueira told www.aucklandcityfc.com.
While Canterbury United loom on the horizon, there is also the small matter of the FIFA Club World Cup in Qatar between February 1-11, 2021.
Auckland City FC are currently in deep discussion with Sport New Zealand, New Zealand Football, Oceania Football Confederation and FIFA to help make the journey a possibility but Figueira says that's the last thing on his mind.
"There are so many things going on right now in terms of the new league and the current one, plus games are coming thick and fast headed into the Christmas break and we've been focused heavily on those starting with Canterbury United on Sunday.
"The FIFA Club World Cup is in the back of the mind but the players showed last week in their performance and commitment to the games that they're not looking any further ahead than what is in front of them.
"It's the same for myself and the coaching staff we have put all our focus and attention on playing Canterbury United and that's as it should be."
Sunday's game kicks off at 4.00pm NZST and is broadcast live via Sky Sport 7.
ISPS Handa Men's Premiership
Sunday 13 December 2020
Canterbury United v Auckland City FC
English Park, Christchurch
Kick-off: 4pm NZST
LIVE SKY SPORT 7
AC: 24. Cam BROWN (GK), 2. Mario ILICH, 3. Adam MITCHELL, 7. Cam HOWIESON (c), 8. Albert RIERA, 10. Dylan MANICKUM, 12. Abdulbaset KHALIFA, 13. Deandre VOLLENHOVEN, 14. Jordan VALE, 16. Yousif AL-KALISY, 17. Andrew BLAKE, 18. Conor TRACEY (GK), 19. Logan ROGERSON, 22. Mohamed AWAD, 23. Alfie ROGERS.
HEAD COACH: Jose FIGUEIRA.
Saturday 12 December 2020
Wellington Phoenix v Hawke's Bay United
Fraser Park, Lower Hutt - kick-off: 2pm NZST
Waitakere United v Hamilton Wanderers
Seddon Fields, Auckland - kick-off: 3.00pm NZST
Sunday 13 December 2020
Eastern Suburbs AFC v Team Wellington
Madills Farm, Auckland - kick-off: 3.00pm NZST
MILESTONES & STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
It's been 12 years since Auckland City FC last lost to Canterbury United in the ISPS Handa Men's Premiership in Christchurch.
Auckland City FC are on a 17-match unbeaten run against Canterbury United.
Aaron Clapham is the top scorer in this fixture for Canterbury United with seven goals.
Grant Young is the top scorer in this fixture for Auckland City FC with 13 goals.
The only player to score a hat-trick in this fixture is Grant Young who did it twice, once each in 2004-05 and 2008-09.
v. Canterbury United (H) won 3-0 (Mario Bilen, Myer Bevan, Cam Howieson)
v. Canterbury United (A) won 5-1 (Emiliano Tade, Brian Kaltack, Myer Bevan, Jordan Vale, Alfie Rogers | Aaron Clapham)
v. Canterbury United (H) won 4-1 (Dan Morgan, Javier Lopez, Reid Drake, Dylan Manickum | Stephen Hoyle)
v. Canterbury United (A) won 1-0 (Maro Bonsu-Maro)
v. Canterbury United (H) won 3-1 (Callum McCowatt 2, Emiliano Tade | Travis Nicklaw)
v. Canterbury United (A) won 2-0 (Emiliano Tade 2)
v. Canterbury United (H) drew 0-0
v. Canterbury United (A) drew 2-2 (Emiliano Tade, Alfie Rogers | Tom Schwarz 2)
v. Canterbury United (H) won 4-1 (Ryan De Vries, Joao Moreira, Emiliano Tade, Mikael Alvaro | Andre de Jong)
v. Canterbury United (A) won 3-1 (Emiliano Tade, Ryan De Vries, Micah Lea'alafa | Aaron Clapham)
v. Canterbury United (A) won 1-0 (Ryan De Vries)
v. Canterbury United (H) won 3-1 (Oscar Garcia, Joao Moreira, Ivan Carril | Mark Peers)
v. Canterbury United (A) drew 0-0
v. Canterbury United (H) drew 1-1 (Adam Dickinson | Aaron Clapham)
v. Canterbury United (H) won 5-2 (Adam Dickinson 2, Chris Bale, Albert Riera, Emiliano Tade| Julyan Collett, Aaron Clapham)
v. Canterbury United (A) won 3-1 (Alex Feneridis, Daniel Koprivcic, Emiliano Tade | Andy Barton)
v. Canterbury United (A) won 2-1 (Chris Bale, Manel Exposito | Ashley Wellbourn)
v. Canterbury United (H) won 3-1 (Gustavo Souto 2, Adam Dickinson | Ashley Wellbourn)
v. Canterbury United (H) won 3-0 (Daniel Koprivcic, Manel Exposito, Emiliano Tade)
v. Canterbury United (A) drew 1-1 (Russell Kamo)
v. Canterbury United (A) won 2-1 (Stu Kelly, Daniel Koprivcic | Aaron Clapham)
v. Canterbury United (H) lost 0-1 (Ken Yamamoto)
v. Canterbury United (H) drew 1-1 (Ki-Hyung Lee | Aaron Clapham)
v. Canterbury United (A) won 3-1 (Jason Hayne, Daniel Koprivcic, Matt Williams | Aaron Clapham)
v. Canterbury United (A) won 2-1 (Jason Hayne, Daniel Koprivcic |Gareth Rowe)
v. Canterbury United (H) lost 0-3 (Russell Kamo 2, Andy Barton)
v. Canterbury United (A) lost 1-2 (Keryn Jordan | Tom Lancaster, Gareth Turnbull)
v. Canterbury United (H) won 5-0 (Jonathan Raj, Grant Young 3, Milos Nikolic)
v. Canterbury United (A) won 3-0 (Bryan Little, Grant Young 2)
v. Canterbury United (A) won 2-1 (Ki-Hyung Lee, Alex Feneridis | Michael Fifii)
v. Canterbury United (H) won 4-1 (Riki van Steeden, George Suri, Paul Urlovic 2 | Tom Lancaster)
v. Canterbury United (A) drew 1-1 (Dean Gordon | Henry Fa'arodo)
v. Canterbury United (H) won 2-0 (Paul Urlovic, Grant Young)
v. Canterbury United (H) lost 0-3 (Henry Fa'arodo, Blair Scoullar 2)
v. Canterbury United (H) lost 2-3 (Grant Young, Paul Urlovic | Brent Fisher 2, Craig Short)
v. Canterbury United (H) won 4-3 (Jonathan Smith, Paul Urlovic, Chad Coombes, Keryn Jordan | Andy Barron, Stu Kelly 2)
v. Canterbury United (A) lost 1-2 (Paul Urlovic | Stu Kelly 2)
v. Canterbury United (H) won 3-0 (Keryn Jordan, Liam Mulrooney, Grant Young)
v. Canterbury United (H) drew 3-3 (Grant Young, Keryn Jordan, Chad Coombes | Stu Kelly 2, own Goal)
v. Canterbury United (H) won 5-0 (Paul Urlovic, Grant Young 3, Neil Sykes)
v. Canterbury United (A) drew 1-1 (Grant Young | Nathan Knox)
v. Canterbury United (A) won 3-0 (Paul Urlovic 2, Paul Seaman)
Wed 6 Dec 2023, United FC, Dubai, UAE, KO: 6.00pm local