Words: ACFC Media
Saturday 7 October 2017
AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Auckland City FC have finished their pre-season build-up with a morale boosting 2-0 win over Waitakere United at Auckland Grammar today.
The Navy Blues made a number of changes to the team that drew with the Wellington Phoenix and lost to Canterbury United last week with Albert Riera, Marko Dordevic, Darren White and Takuya Iwata all rested while skipper Angel Berlanga returned for the first time since last season's OFC Champions League triumph over Team Wellington.
All Whites midfielders Te Atawhai Hudson-Wihongi and Cam Howieson were also handed opportunities to start with the latter in the thick of the first half action going close with a header from a free-kick.
Emiliano Tade's first half strike was supported by a second half own goal forced by the Argentine forward when he saw his cross deflected home just after the restart.
The lead could've been extended when Ryan De Vries saw his goal bound effort cleared off the line following some unselfish work by impressive midfielder Owen Parker-Price.
Parker-Price was a standout for the Navy Blues and almost got on the scoresheet himself when he ended a mazy midfield run with a long range shot that was forced away for a corner.
Waitakere United were handed a golden opportunity to half the deficit when Dae Wook Kim gave away a penalty kick but goalkeeper Enaut Zubikarai demonstrated his class when he dived low to his right to block Jake Butler's tame effort.
Coach Ramon Tribulietx was pleased with the performance ahead of next week's season opener.
"It wasn’t bad, I think we are looked better than we have especially in the first half - maybe the first hour we were very good. Our attacking game was very good. There are a few things that are still not 100 percent but with some more work and a few more weeks I think we will be very competitive.
"We’ve got a lot of players. Every position is filled with two players. The beauty with this team is no matter who we play we will be competitive. That’s our main aim, not to settle just on a starting eleven but to make sure everyone feels a part of it.
"That means when we have injuries or different games we can still rotate the team and still be strong. For me that’s the main thing, we’re not just the 11 players who start the game we are a squad of 25 and everyone is important," he said.
Auckland City FC's next match is the ISPS Handa Premiership/NZF Charity Cup clash with defending champions Team Wellington.
The match is scheduled for Sunday 15 October at David Farrington Park.
Kick-off is 2pm.
Saturday 7 October 2017
Auckland City FC 2 (Emiliano Tade 24', own goal 47')
Waitakere United 0
Enaut Zubikarai (AUC) saved a Jake Butler penalty 75'
Sun 30 Sep 2018, Auckland Grammar, 11.30am