Words: ACFC Media
Saturday 9 September 2023
AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Auckland City FC U-17 got their Boy's Youth National League off to a winning start by beating Melville United U-17 at Croatian Cultural Society on Friday evening.
The teams went into the half time break having shared six goals in a frantic and exciting end-to-end first half with City ahead 4-2 after goals by Kaio Martinez, Jesse Burge, Giancarlo Alonso and Carlos Stulich.
VIDEO - Auckland City FC 1-0 Melville United
The visitors replied through Maxwell Gurnick and Thomas Cave.
However, in the second half the technique, creativity and impetus of Melville United's game told with the Hamiltonians dominating possession and territory but without being able to find a way through a well organised City side led by an impressive performance from Luka Vicelich who played a key role in Burge's goal on 28 minutes.
With City leading 1-0, Vicelich struck a beautifully timed long range pass that set the home side in behind through Burge who capped off an exciting moment with a composed finish past goalkeeper Ryan Cole on the half hour mark.
"I looked up and saw the chance to get the ball forward and hit it. We got in behind their defence and it was a good goal by Jesse.
"We played well in the first half but Melville are a strong team and we had more defending to do in the second half," Vicelich said.
Head coach Archie Dias said the game was a tough one against a strong opponent: "We tried to play the type of game we like to do at Auckland City FC - we wanted to press Melville United, have a good shape, keep possession and be positive in attack. We scored some good goals in the first half but Melville United came back strong in the second half.
VIDEO - Auckland City FC 2-0 Melville United
"They are a very good team with good technique and they are very well organised but I am proud of the way our players stuck to the task of defending. Sometimes it wasn't the methodology we aim for but the players showed personality," he said.
Auckland City FC U-17's next match is away to Auckland United U-17 at Keith Hay Park on Sunday 17 September with a 2.30pm kick-off.
In other results, FC Tauranga Moana lost 2-1 at home to Eastern Suburbs while Auckland United and East Coast Bays produced a 0-0 draw.
Boy's National Youth League
Northern Group A
Friday 8 September 2023
Auckland City FC 4 (Kaio MARTINEZ 12', Jesse BURGE 28', Giancarlo TAVANO 40', Carlos STULICH 45')
Melville United 2 (Thomas CAVE 34', Maxwell GURNICK 45')
AC: 18. Ethan TAIT (GK), 7. Niko TAWARA, 8. Cayden STEFFENER, 10. Jesse BURGE, 11. Carlos STULICH, 13. Jeremy FOO, 14. Joel LYNCH, 15. Luka VICELICH, 17. Yousuf ALI, 19. Kaio MARTINEZ (c), 20. Stipe UKICH.
SUBS: 1. Binath PERERA (GK), 2. Marlo BAYLISS, 3. Hunter SUTTON, 4. Austin FOX, 5. Harry LILO, 6. Giancarlo TAVANO.
COACH: Archie DIAS
ASSISTANT COACH: Valerio RACCUGLIA
ASSISTANT COACH: Ivan VICELICH
TEAM MANAGER: Dinesh CHAND
SUNDAY 10 SEPTEMBER 2023
FC Tauranga Moana 1-2 Eastern Suburbs AFC
East Coast Bays 0-0 Auckland United
NORTHERN GROUP A FIXTURES:
17.09.23 v Auckland United (Keith Hay Park) - 2.30pm kick-off
24.09.23 v Eastern Suburbs (St Peter's College) - 2.30pm kick-off
01.10.23 v. FC Tauranga Moana (St Peter's College) - 12.30pm kick-off
08.10.23 v. East Coast Bays (St Peter's College) - 2.30pm kick-off
Sunday 1 October 2023, 3pm, Kiwitea Street, Auckland