Words: ACFC Media
Saturday 9 April 2022
HAMILTON, New Zealand - A Joe Lee thunderbolt gives Auckland City FC a 1-1 draw away to a well-organised Hamilton Wanderers at Porrit Stadium today.
The match was prefaced by a moment's silence to mark the passing of Wanderers club legend Dave Algy and that set the tone for the home side who gave everything to an entertaining afternoon.
Wanderers took the lead an hour into the game when Derek Tieku nodded home at a corner only for Lee to equalise with a beautiful long range strike with just two minutes left to play.
A header by Angus Kilkolly in the 90th minute very nearly gave City all three points but a last gasp vistory wasn't to be.
Auckland City FC dominated the first 45 minutes and created a raft of good opportunities from wide areas with Dylan Manickum and Joe Lee a constant threat to the Wanderers back line.
VIDEO - Reid Drake draws a save from Matt Oliver
Matt Oliver was called upon to make a couple of important saves and Wanderers could've had a goal when they missed an opportunity right in front of Conor Tracey midway through the half.
Cam Howieson, back from All Whites duty in Qatar, raked a powerful shot over the bar and Angus Kilkolly and Reid Drake each drew saves from Oliver after some smart combination play in the build up.
VIDEO - Angus Kilkolly goes close in the first half
Auckland City FC continued to work hard for an equaliser and their perseverance paid off when Joe Lee smashed an unstoppable shot beyond goalkeeper Matt Oliver to level the game.
Coach Albert Riera outlined his thoughts.
"You always know what you're going to get when you come to Hamilton - its always very hard, they always compeyte hard.
"In the first half we played a fantastic game and created a lot of clearcut chances similar to what happened last weekend.
"I told the players if we don't punish Hamilton Wanderers they could create something from a set piece and that happened.
"But I thought for the vast majority of the game we dominated, created a lot but today was an example of how important it is to put the ball in the net.
"We nearly got punished but in a general perspective I'm quite happy with today's performance.
"It's never easy to dominate, create chances and then your opponent scores, you can become flat, but we were quite good and I felt we should've won today's game.
"Everyone played very well and we just need the icing on the cake to score goals," Riera said.
VIDEO - Joe Lee equalises with minutes left to play
Auckland City FC's next match is at home to Waiheke United on Friday 15 April 2022 at Kiwitea Street at 3.00pm NZDT.
Saturday 9 April 2022
Hamilton Wanderers 1 (Derek TIEKU 60')
Auckland City FC 1 (Joseph LEE 88')
AC: 1. Conor TRACEY (GK), 3. Adam MITCHELL, 7. Cam HOWIESON, 9. Angus KILKOLLY, 10. Dylan MANICKUM, 12. Sam BROTHERTON (5. Angel BERLANGA), 13. Nathan LOBO, 14. Jordan VALE (23. Alfie ROGERS), 15. Aidan CAREY, 16. Joe LEE, 17. Reid DRAKE (19. Liam GILLION).
SUBS NOT USED: 21. Ilham HAMEEDI, 22. Kristoff MULLER.
COACH: Albert RIERA
ASSISTANT COACH: Ivan VICELICH
GOALKEEPER COACH: Enaut ZUBIKARAI
MANAGER: Keith COTON
ANALYST: Adria CASALS
PHYSIO: Matt PAYNE
REFEREE: Campbell Kirk KAWANA-WAUGH
AR1: Robbie MARIS
AR2: Jacob PORTER
Takapuna 0-1 Melville United
Auckland United 2-1 Western Springs
Hamilton Wanderers 1-1 Auckland City FC
Waiheke United 1-3 Eastern Suburbs AFC
North Shore United 2-0 Manukau United
Bay Olympic 0-1 Birkenhead United
Sunday 4 December 2022, Wellington Olympic, Mount Smart Stadium