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Riera warns of Manukau United Cup danger

Words: ACFC Media

Friday 17 June 2022

AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Albert Riera has warned of the dangers Auckland City FC face in tomorrow's Chatham Cup meeting with Manukau United.

The Kiwitea Street men host Manukau United for their third round tie clash in what is Riera's first Chatham Cup campaign as Navy Blues coach into New Zealand Football's premier men's knock out Cup competition.

Auckland City FC must overcome their South Auckland opponents to reach the last 16, and the City coach is wary of the threat posed by Rudy Mozr's side.

"Manukau is always a very, very, hard game. We won 3-0 the last time we met in the league but they always make it very hard for teams to feel comfortable. They do that very well and they've also added some players to the squad and strengthened the team," Riera said.

"It's going to be a tough game, and if you take into account its a one off game, it's going to be even moreso. We have to be very wary of the threats that they represent.

"We've worked very hard during the week trying to anticipate what might be happen but we're focussed on the way we want to play the game. As everyone knows, its all about trying to impose our style, so hopefully we do that well," he said.

Auckland City FC will be without striker Angus Kilkolly who is serving a suspension after his red card in the 4-0 win over Takapuna last week but Riera is confident his squad can handle the situation.

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS - Manukau United 0-3 Auckland City FC

"We have a lot of confidence, we are in a very good spot right now, but we have to be very wary about the one-off nature of the game, and we need to take into account in every minute that goes by in the game.

"Hopefully, we have a good day tomorrow and plenty of support from our Kiwitea Street crowd which is always very helpful as well."

Manukau United's season has run hot and cold with consistency a problem for Mozr. Mozr himself was also suspended for one game recently after a furore over a rapid fire substitution of two U-20 players in a Northern League match.

Since then, United have added new faces to their squad with Yousif Al-Kalisy and Joao Moreira adding muscle and attacking edge to their ranks, and at the same time, strengthening the group of former Auckland City FC players in their midst.

Maro Bonsu-Maro, Keegan Linderboom, Mohamed Awad, Al-Kalisy and Moreira make the ex-City contingent swell to five, with the quintet boasting a combined 171 appearances and 55 goals during their Navy Blues careers.

Riera is a big admirer of Moreira in particular and believes he will deliver a lot of value to Mozr's team.

"Joao is a face that's very familiar to all of us and I had the privilege to play with him during his time at Kiwitea Street and he's a player that likes to play on the front foot.

"He has fantastic technical ability and holds the ball up very well and links up with the players around him extremely well.

"Joao is a player who is going to help Manukau United achieve what they want to achieve," he said.

Tomorrow's game kicks off at 2.00pm NZDT at Kiwitea Street.

If the score is level after 90 minutes there will be 30 minutes extra time and if no winner is found, penalty kicks will decide the winner.

There is no U-23 match scheduled for the weekend.


Match Details
Chatham Cup Round 3
Saturday 18 June 2022
Auckland City FC v Manukau United
Kiwitea Street, Sandringham
Kick-off: 2.00pm NZDT

AC (Squad to be selected from): 1. Conor TRACEY (GK), 2. Mario ILICH, 3. Adam MITCHELL, 4. Christian GRAY, 5. Angel BERLANGA, 6. Matt ELLIS, 7. Cam HOWIESON, 8. Gerard GARRIGA, 10. Dylan MANICKUM, 11. Ryan DE VRIES, 12. Sam BROTHERTON, 13. Nathan LOBO, 14. Jordan VALE, 15. Aidan CAREY, 16. Joe LEE, 17. Reid DRAKE, 19. Liam GILLION, 20. Emiliano TADE, 21 Ilham HAMEEDI, 22. Takuya IWATA, 24. Cam BROWN (GK).

SUSPENDED: 9. Angus KILKOLLY (3 Games/1 Served).


Rudy brings knowledge of football beyond his years and a passion for player development that will be of immense benefit to Manukau United and the wider South Auckland community. Mozr recognises there is a vast untapped potential in South Auckland and has thrived in his club's vibrant community. Mozr holds an UEFA A License, making him one of the most qualified coaches in New Zealand.

Somalia international Mohamed Awad returned to New Zealand after a brief spell in Turkey and fans of Auckland City FC know a thing or two about the skill he brings to the table. During his tenure at Kiwitea Street, Awad scored eight goals in 22 games and went on to make his debut for Somalia against Djibouti almost a year ago to the day. He also played at the inaugural FIFA Arab Cup last December. 

26.03.22 v Waiheke United (A) won 3-0
02.04.22 v Auckland United FC (H) lost 0-4
09.04.22 v North Shore United (A) lost 0-2
15.04.22 v Bay Olympic (H) lost 2-3
18.04.22 v Melville United (A) won 1-0
23.04.22 v Western Springs (H) lost 0-1
30.04.22 v Eastern Suburbs (A) won 2-0
07.05.22 v Auckland City FC (H) lost 0-3
14.05.22 v Takapuna (A) won 3-2
21.05.22 v Hamilton Wanderers (H) - Match Postponed
28.05.22 v Birkenhead United (H) lost 0-4
04.06.22 v Waiheke United (H) won 3-2
11.06.22 v Auckland United (A) lost 1-4

v. East Coast Bays (H) won 8-1, 2019

v. East Coast Bays (A) lost 2-6, 2018

v. Onerahi (A) won 13-0, 2019

v. Bay Olympic (H) lost 0-3, 2019.

18.10.20 v Manukau United (A) won 2-0 (Jordan VALE, Abdulbaset KHALIFA)
02.04.21 v Manukau United (H) won 3-1 (Mohamed AWAD, Reid DRAKE, Dylan MANICKUM | Sanni ISSA)
26.06.21 v Manukau United (A) drew 2-2 (Dylan MANICKUM, Reid DRAKE | Maro BONSU-MARO, Jade MESIAS)
07.05.22 v Manukau United (A) won 3-0 (Emiliano TADE, Angus KILKOLLY, Mario ILICH)

In four Northern League campaigns, United's best finish is fourth, achieved in their inaugural 2018 season. Subsequently, United have finished seventh and eighth with the 2020 Covid-19 cancelled campaign bookended by both.

Manukau United are relatively new to the domestic scene having been formed just six years ago. In three Chatham Cup campaigns, United's best run was in 2018 when they reached Round 6 after wins over Hamilton Wanderers (3-1), Three Kings United (3-0), Mount Albert Ponsonby (3-1) before falling to Cashmere Technical (1-2).

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