Words: ACFC Media
Tuesday 14 June 2022
AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Auckland City FC are through to the next round of the Chatham Cup after a 6-1 win over Albany United but the Navy Blues had to survive a first half blip.
Coach Albert Riera made five changes to the side that defeated Takapuna AFC 4-0 on Saturday with Matt Ellis, Dylan Manickum, Ryan De Vries, Nathan Lobo and Mario Ilich replacing Jordan Vale, Angus Kilkolly, Gerard Garriga, Reid Drake and Ilham Hameedi.
Sam Brotherton and goalkeeper Conor Tracey returned to the bench with Alfie Rogers absent through work commitments.
In a game played in driving rain and wind it was City who opened the scoring when an Emiliano Tade shot deflected past goalkeeper David Masters after just four minutes to set the right tone for Riera's team.
But Albany United dug in and frustrated the home side for long spells and then struck a telling blow when Jason Hicks - a former Navy Blues player - tucked away a sensational equaliser on a rare counter attack on the stroke of half time.
The travelling support made their presence known with an eruption of cheers with a hint their Chatham Cup dream was well and truly alive.
VIDEO - Emiliano Tade opens the scoring
Riera made two changes at the break with Brotherton replacing Christian Gray and Gerard Garriga in for Ilich.
The switch gave City a big lift and they retook the lead in fortuitous circumstances when a Lobo freekick took a wicked deflection and wrong footed Masters again just five minutes after the restart.
Albany continued to look dangerous on the counter attack with Thomas Nkoy and Tomas Mosquera significant threats but the visitors were unable to make their opportunities pay.
As the game entered the last ten minutes, City's relentless pace saw Manickum and De Vries - along with substitute Reid Drake - come into their own, with some lightening fast combination play that led to a flurry of goals.
Drake netted a quality goal bookended by two from Manickum and finally De Vries, who rounded Masters and a tiring United defence to slot home the sixth.
VIDEO - Jason Hicks equalises for Albany United
Riera was relaxed at the end of a tough game for spectators and players alike but was forthright about his team's shortcomings and paid tribute to Albany who turned in a dogged performance.
"It was a strange game but it's something I've seen before. It was a wet Tuesday night, which is something we don't normally do, which is why it took a little bit of time to switch on, which is the case today.
"Fair credit to Albany United, they worked very hard and made it very hard for us but I thought the reaction of our players in the second half was very good.
"I was happy to see Mario Ilich back after the injury he picked up and he did very well for 45 minutes. I thought Gerard has also been injured, played last week but he's now got more minutes under his belt and he was very good, very energetic.
VIDEO - Nathan Lobo makes it 2-1
"He still has to get better with the ball but with time I think he's going to do that," Riera said.
Auckland City FC can now focus on Manukau United who they face in just four days time in the Chatham Cup 3rd Round and Riera is eager to make the next three training sessions count.
"We have to prepare mentally and physically especially for these one off type of games - we always talk about how in these games anything can happen.
"It comes down to small details and you have a very small margin for error so we're going to use the days we have left between now and Saturday to make sure it goes well," he said.
Saturday's match with Manukau United kicks off at 2.00pm NZDT.
Chatham Cup 2nd Round
Tuesday 11 June 2022
Auckland City FC 6 (Emiliano TADE 4', Nathan LOBO 50', Dylan MANICKUM 83', 88', Reid DRAKE 85', Ryan DE VRIES 90='+1')
Albany United 1 (Jason HICKS 45'+2')
AC: 24. Cam BROWN (GK), 2. Mario ILICH (8. Gerard GARRIGA 46'), 3. Adam MITCHELL, 4. Christian GRAY (12. Sam BROTHERTON 46'), 6. Matt ELLIS (21. Ilham HAMEEDI 82'), 10. Dylan MANICKUM, 11. Ryan DE VRIES, 13. Nathan LOBO, 15. Aidan CAREY, 19. Liam GILLION (17. Reid DRAKE 63'), 20. Emiliano TADE.
SUBS NOT USED: 1. Conor TRACEY (GK).
COACH: Albert RIERA
ASSISTANT COACH: Ivan VICELICH
GOALKEEPER COACH: Enaut ZUBIKARAI
MANAGER: Keith COTON
ANALYST: Jarrod WALLACE
PHYSIO: Matt PAYNE
Chatham Cup 3rd Round
Saturday 18 June 2022
Auckland City FC v Manukau United
Kiwitea Street, Sandringham
Kick-off: 2.00pm NZDT
v Al Ahly, Tangier, Feb 1 2023, KO: 8pm local