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Navy Blues earn comeback win

Words: ACFC Media

Sunday 18 November 2018

Picture: Phototek

AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Auckland City FC earn a come from behind 4-1 win over ten man Canterbury United to stay among the frontrunners in the ISPS Handa Premiership.

The Dragons went ahead when Stephen Hoyle lashed home a superb right foot finish that gave Enaut Zubikarai no chance.

But the flow of the match changed when referee Peter Linney sent off Adam Thurston for a crude challenge on Reid Drake.

After a rusty start, the Navy Blues kicked into gear thereafter with the visitors sitting back defending as the home side found their rhythm.

That change in numbers soon turned into a change of score when Dan Morgan wriggled clear of the Canterbury defence to slot past Conor Tracey at the near post.

Canterbury United were still reeling when the Navy Blues earned a penalty mere moments later with Javier Lopez steering the ball beyond Tracey to hand Ramon Tribulietx's side a halftime

Lopez, on target for the fourth time in five matches, had Tracey working just after the break when his long range shot forced the Dragons keeper into a stop.

Tracey was then sent scrambling when a speculative Reid Drake lob evaded the Dragons goalkeeper then struck the post as the former Navy Blues gloveman tried to recover.

Navy Blues pressure continued when Jordan Vale thrashed a powerfully hit shot just over the Dragons' crossbar.

Reid Drake extended the home team's advantage when he swept home a Morgan cross from the left to ensure a two goal buffer with 16 minutes left to play and Dylan Manickum put the icing on the cake when he hit a carefully bent shot out of reach of Tracey. 

Auckland City FC's final home match of the calendar years means the Navy Blues face three consecutive games on the road starting with next week's trip to Wellington to face Wellington Phoenix on Sunday 25 November at 3pm NZST.

They face Hamilton Wanderers at Porritt Stadium on Sunday 2 December in the live television match at 4.35pm NZST.

There is a bye because of Team Wellington's involvement in the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2018 before a trip to Nelson to take on Tasman United at Trafalgar Park on Sunday 16 December at 2pm NZST.

The first match of the new year pits the Navy Blues against Waitakere United in the Super City derby at Trusts Arena on Sunday 6 January 2019 at 2pm NZST.


Match Result
ISPS Handa Premiership
Sunday 18 November 2018
Auckland City FC 4 (Dan MORGAN 44', Javier LOPEZ 45+2'-pen, Reid DRAKE 74', Dylan MAICKUM 87')
Canterbury United 1 (Stephen HOYLE )
HT: 2-1
Adam Thurston (CU) red card

AC: 1. Enaut ZUBIKARAI (GK), 4. Mario BILEN, 5. Angel BERLANGA (c), 7. Cam HOWIESON, 9. Javier LOPEZ, 12. Dylan MANICKUM, 14. Jordan VALE, 15. Dan MORGAN (3. Takuya IWATA 85'), 17. Reid DRAKE (2. Hayden McHENERY 89'), 20. Te Atawhai HUDSON-WIHONGI, 23. Alfie ROGERS (16. Yousif Ali AL- KALISY 82'). 




Sunday 25 November
Wellington Phoenix v Auckland City FC
David Farrington Park, 3pm NZST

Sunday 2 December
Hamilton Wanderers v Auckland City FC
Porritt Stadium, 4.35pm NZST (Live on Sky Sport)

Sunday 16 December
Tasman United v Auckland City FC
Trafalgar Park, 2pm NZST

Sunday 6 January, 2019
Waitakere United v Auckland City FC
Trusts Arena, 2pm NZST

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