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Figueira pleased with floodlight win

Words: ACFC Media

Saturday 3 July 2021

Picture: Phototek

AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Friday night floodlit football was very much to the liking of Auckland City FC after their 2-1 win over Northern Rovers at the Croatian Cultural Society according to Navy Blues coach José Figueira.

Two goals for top scorer Angus Kilkolly helped guide City to a dogged 2-1 win over relegation threatened Rovers and the margin of victory could've been even wider.

Outstanding for the home side were full backs Jordan Vale and Andrew Blake while the general level of intensity about the team performance was a big step up from last week's 2-2 away draw at Manukau United.

Making the victory even sweeter was the bitterly cold conditions and slick pitch, conditions that can sometimes wreak havoc on teams quality of performance.

Figueira, though, explained why he felt his side revelled in the challenge.

"I'm delighted, I thought the conditions helped us, it was a greasy pitch which made everything very quick.

"I always want us to play on the front foot and play on the edge from start to finish.

"We scored two great goals and could've had more," he said.

While City were in dominant mood the goal they conceded to former Navy Blues midfielder Yousif Al-Kalisy was a sore one with Conor Tracey parrying an Adam Dickinson shot into the path of Al-Kalisy who swept home.

"I'm sure Conor will be disappointed with the goal we conceded when he parried the ball, he sets high standards for himself, but that moment apart I thought we delivered a ninety-nine-point-nine percent performance," he added.

Figueira said his side was determined to exploit every opportunity possible to put Northern Rovers on the backfoot.

"We know teams understand we want to get into space in those pockets and in between lines. Its something we work tirelessly on - attacking teams from all angles.

"It means if the middle of the park is congested and that avenue of approach isn't on, 'can we hurt our opponents in wide areas?', and vice versa.

"I thought last night we mixed up the way we attacked.

"It was great to see Jordan Vale more on the front foot and both full backs getting high up the pitch and plenty of crosses into the box where it just needed a boot stud to put the ball in the net," he said.

Last night's game was a physical one with both teams stepping into the fray without hesitation and Figueira was pleased with the disciplined approach of his side.

"What was great was we kept our heads very well. We face a lot of different types of teams so we have to be ready for whatever is thrown at us but I was delighted we stayed focussed," he added.

In transfer news, New Zealand international Myer Bevan has rejoined the club after a season in the South African top flight.

Bevan, who scored 17 goals in 20 outings for the Navy Blues, adds firepower to the club's plethora of attacking talent.

"Myer Bevan will join us for training on Monday and is on the wider list for the Olympic Games but isn't travelling.

"It's great to have him in and have him back, he's delighted to be playing again and we want to get him settled in nice and quickly," he said.

In other developments, Somalia international Mohammed Awad has confirmed a professional trial in Turkey.

Figueira said Auckland City FC will monitor his progress but is aware that Awad's situation is now fluid.

"Mohammed had two games with Somalia and has had a trial sorted out in Turkey which we're monitoring but everyone at the club wishes him well in that pursuit."


Match Result
Northern League
Friday 2 July 2021
Auckland City FC 2 (Angus KILKOLLY 22', 80')
Northern Rovers 1 (Yousif AL-KALISY 87')
HT: 1-0.

AC: 18. Conor TRACEY (GK), 2. Mario ILICH, 4. Mario BILEN, 6. Brian KALTAK, 7. Cam HOWIESON, 9. Angus KILKOLLY, 11. Reid DRAKE, 14. Jordan VALE, 17. Andrew BLAKE, 19. Ilham HAMEEDI, 20. Addison STEWART.

SUBS NOT USED: 24. Cam BROWN (GK), 3. Adam MITCHELL, 10. Dylan MANICKUM, 12. Sam BROTHERTON, 13. Aidan CAREY.


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