Words: ACFC Media
Sunday 13 November 2016
AUCKLAND, New Zealand - The Navy Blues travel to Invercargill for their latest Stirling Sports Premiership showdown this time with rejuvenated Southern United at Rugby Park.
The Navy Blues hit a speed bump last week when they were held to a 0-0 draw by Canterbury United at Kiwitea Street and now they take aim at another South Island rival as they face the Paul O'Reilly-coached Southern United.
History says this match should be no more than a formality for the Oceania champions but coach Ramon Tribulietx has dismissed the past as a yardstick for a challenge he describes as one of his team's most difficult yet.
New signing Harshae Raniga travels with the Navy Blues but is not expected to be involved although with All Whites Clayton Lewis and Te Atawhai Hudson-Wihongi both in New Caledonia and midfield regular Mario Bilen injured there may yet be other adjustments made to the side.
Southern United vs Auckland City FC
Rugby Park Stadium, Invercargill
Sunday 13 November, 2pm
Referee: H McCabe
Assistant Referees: A Verolino, J Cowie
Fourth Official: C Berg
Southern United: 1. Liam Little (GK), 2. Conor O'Keeffe, 3. Craig Ferguson, 5. Stephen Last, 6. Danny Ledwith, 8. Michael Hogan, 9. Harley Rodeka, 10. Ben O’Farrell, 11. Andy Mulligan, 12. Sam Cosgrave, 14. Ross Howard, 15. Andrew Ridden, 18. Cam Higgins, 20. Tennessee Kinghorn, 23. Cam McPhail, 25. Chris Kessell
Coach: Paul O’Reilly
Auckland City FC: 1. Enaut Zubikarai (GK), 3. Takuya Iwata, 5. Angel Berlanga, 7. Reid Drake, 8. Albert Riera, 9. Darren White, 10. Ryan De Vries, 12. Nicolai Berry, 13. Alfie Rogers, 16. Daewook Kim, 17. Joao Moreira, 18. Danyon Drake (GK), 19. Micah Lea’alafa, 20. Emiliano Tade, 21. Harry Edge, 23. Marko Dordevic, 24. Jacob Spoonley (GK), 25. Fabrizio Tavano
Coach: Ramon Tribulietx
Southern got off the mark with a pleasing point at Waitakere and will be looking to frustrate one of the giants from the big smoke for the second week running. If ever there is a good time to play Auckland this might be it as the Navy Blues will be without two key players in Clayton Lewis and Te Atawhai Hudson-Wihongi, who both featured in the All Whites’ win over New Caledonia. The Navy Blues have welcomed back skilful winger Micah Lea’alafa though and that’s a real worry for Southern as he is capable of causing all sorts of problems. In a significant blow, the hosts are likely to again be without injured striker Eric Molloy.
Paul O’Reilly (Southern United): “They’re a top side and have some real quality all over the park. It will be tough for us but I don’t think they’ll enjoy travelling down to Invercargill and their All Whites will be missing.”
Ramon Tribulietx (Auckland City FC): “They definitely look more competitive than in the past. They’ve strengthened their squad in a lot of areas and their first few results have been pretty decent.”
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