Navy Blues cruise past Wanderers to go top

Words: ACFC Media

Sunday 12 November 2017

Picture: Phototek

AUCKLAND, New Zealand – The Navy Blues put in a comprehensive performance in a 6-0 drubbing of Hamilton Wanderers at Kiwitea Street on Sunday to move to the top of the ISPS Handa Premiership table.

The win, combined with Easter Suburbs’ home defeat to Hawke’s Bay United, propelled the Navy Blues back to the top of the table – ahead of Team Wellington on goal difference –although the pair have played a game more than the chasing pack.

Ryan De Vries and Emiliano Tade both scored in each half and fellow forward Callum McCowatt chipped in with one with a second half own goal rounding out the scorecard.

Such was City’s dominance that goalkeeper Enaut Zubikarai’s gloves were only called into action once and not until midway through the second spell.

Navy Blues head coach Ramon Tribulietx believes his side is starting to find their groove.

“We’re looking like we’re starting to get our type of football,” Tribulietx said.

“It was a very good first half and even a very good second half. They changed – they were a little deep at the beginning and then went and pressed a little higher towards the end of the first half and at times in the second half.

“But we reacted very well positionally and also with the ideas we had to use against that type of football. Overall, it was a very good performance.”

The Navy Blues continually caught Wanderers square throughout the first half, and it took just 14 minutes for the visitors’ defence to open up with De Vries latching on to Fabrizio Tavano’s through ball to get the scoring underway.

Before the half hour mark, Tade let an Albert Riera pass run through for McCowatt who buried the ball between Matt Oliver’s legs to double the scoring, and when De Vries was put through again three minutes before the break he squared it for Tade who took a touch before netting Auckland’s third.

“They were not pressing too high at the beginning but holding a very high line,” Tribulietx said, “and we used the space behind them well, although we got caught offside a few times, and then when they went a little higher we knew how we needed to do it – through or direct behind.” 

“The decision making is beginning to be very good. We’re beginning to understand the situations because this is all about recognising the situations and making the right decision.”

City piled on the misery in the second half with Tade and De Vries both grabbing second goals and may well be regretting golden opportunities to complete their respective hat tricks. Between the pair of successful strikes, an unfortunate Liam Fellowes turned a Darren White pass across the face of goal into his own net.

Next week, the Navy Blues welcome Wellington Phoenix Reserves to Kiwitea Street with kick-off at 2pm on Sunday.

Match Result
Sunday 12 November 2017
ISPS Handa Premiership
Auckland City FC 6 (Ryan De Vries 14’,90’; Callum McCowatt 27’, Emiliano Tade 42’, 78’; Own goal 67’)
Hamilton Wanderers 0
HT: 3-0

AC: Zubikarai (GK); Iwata, Berlanga (captian, Morgan 70’), Howieson, Riera, White (Hudson-Wihongi 82’), Kim, Tavano (Edge 73’), Tade, McCowatt, De Vries.
Subs not used: R. Drake, D. Drake (RGK).

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ISPS Handa Prem

Sun 21 Oct 2018, kick-off 2pm NZST

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