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Zubikarai the hero as Navy Blues win

Words: ACFC Media

Sunday 11 November 2018

Picture: Phototek

AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Enaut Zubikarai was the hero again as Auckland City FC defeated Eastern Suburbs 1-0 in the Gridlock derby at Riverhills Park on Armistice Day. 

Zubikarai underlined his reputation as the best goalkeeper in the country with a stunning first half penalty save from All Whites striker Andre de Jong just 10 minutes into the match.

The 34-year-old Spanish stopper also pulled off a highly contentious but nonetheless brilliant second half save to force Tim Payne's goalbound header onto the post to maintain the visitor's slender 1-0 lead.

While Zubikarai was kept busy at one end, Auckland City FC were wasteful at the other with Reid Drake missing two gilt-edged chances to score alongside others by Dan Morgan and Dylan Manickum.

Manickum, the Navy Blues hero off the bench in last week's 2-1 win over Hawke's Bay United, further enhanced his standing when he won the ball of Nando Pijnaker before slipping a delightful finish beyond Andrew Withers ten minutes after the break.

His trickery, link play and pace were constant threats in a match that kept watchers glued to the action.

Coach Ramon Tribulietx was understandably pleased with his side's performance, their fourth win in a row and a return to the top of the table.

He also reserved praise for the performance of his goalkeeper. 

"It was a very good game, very intense and I think we dominated for the most part. After we went 1-0 up they pushed us very high and they had a succession of set-pieces.

"We created a lot of chances and I am very happy with the response of the team and we played a fantastic game and I think we have to be very proud of the way our team played.

"The way we played in the first half was unbelievable in the way we moved the ball from side to side. For the way they play we needed to show a lot of patience and I think we did that and created three or four chances.

"The penalty was a pivotal moment and Enaut (Zubikarai) pulled off a terrific save and its great to see the team in these crucial moments switch on to the task.

"Last week we weren't at our best but today I was a lot happier. The intensity of today's game means we'll go into recovery mode and look ahead to our next match with Canterbury United," he told www.aucklandcityfc.com.

Next week's match is with Canterbury United at Kiwitea Street on Sunday 18 November 2018 and kicks off at 2pm NZST.

Ends

WATCH: Relive Enaut Zubikarai's penalty save from Andre De Jong and his second half stop from Tim Payne's header below.

Match Result
ISPS Handa Premiership
Sunday 11 November 2018
Eastern Suburbs 0
Auckland City FC 1 (Dylan Manickum 55')
HT: 0-0
Enaut Zubikarai (AC) saved an Andre De Jong (ES) penalty 14 minutes.

AC: 1. Enaut ZUBIKARAI (GK), 4. Mario BILEN, 5. Angel BERLANGA (c), 7. Cam HOWIESON, 9. Javier LOPEZ, 12. Dylan MANICKUM (21. Maro BONSU-MARO 87'), 14. Jordan VALE, 15. Dan MORGAN (Takuya IWATA 90+1'), 16. Yousif ALI (6. Brian KALTAK 87'), 17. Reid DRAKE, 20. Te Atawhai HUDSON-WIHONGI.

SUBS NOT USED: 18. Ruben PARKER (GK), 23. Alfie ROGERS.

COACH: Ramon TRIBULIETX

Other results
Hawke's Bay United 0
Hamilton Wanderers 2 (Shaw, Semmy)
HT: 0-0

Team Wellington 3 (Ilich, Sinclair, Hailemariam)
Southern United 1 (A. Al Kalisy)
HT: 1-1

Waitakere United 3 (Abba 2, Butler)
Tasman United 0
HT: 0-0

Wellington Phoenix 2 (Ebbinge 2)
Canterbury United 3 (Hoyle, Schwarz, Thurston)
HT: 2-1

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