Words: ACFC Media
Sunday 31 January 2021
NAPIER, New Zealand - Auckland City FC go back to the top of the ISPS Handa Premiership after a satisfying 4-0 victory over Hawke's Bay United in Napier today.
Hawke's Bay hadn't beaten Auckland City FC on Bluewater Stadium for four years and had only beaten the visitors three times in their previous 39 attempts and those unflattering statistics continued after this comprehensive and conclusive defeat.
61' | 0-2#NavyBlues corner Al-Kalisy to take it taken short pinged in to Brian Kaltack who makes an outstanding header to double the lead. #HBvAC #ISPSHandaPrem #NavyBlues #StrengthInUnity pic.twitter.com/IsoS5qhWXk— Auckland City FC (@AucklandCity_FC) January 31, 2021
It took time for the match to settle into a discernible pattern but once it did it became clear Auckland City FC would be in the ascendancy. The last time the two sides met Hawke's Bay United threatened to take the Navy Blues all the way but there was to be no such repeat in Napier.
Dre Vollenhoven opened his personal account for Auckland City FC on his full debut when he latched onto the cross to finish with great aplomb on the half hour mark.
Drama ensued just a minute later when Brian Kaltak nudged a ball offline that took Cam Brown out of play only for the Vanuatu international to recklessly bring down his opponent for a stonewall penalty.
Referee Calvin Berg took a conservative view of the incident awarding Kaltak a yellow card rather than a red but Brown soon took centre stage when he pulled off a superb save from Hugo Delhommelle's penalty low to his left.
The Navy Blues doubled their advantage from an exquisite corner kick - Yousif Al-Kalisy rolled the ball short to Cam Howieson whose bending far post cross was met flush by Kaltak who blasted home an unstoppable header that gave Scott Morris no chance.
Morris was called into action shortly after making a superb double save from Logan Rogerson at close range then was called into action to prevent Mohamed Awad as the Bay clung on grimly.
Awad, who tormented the Bay in the second half, was finally rewarded with 13 minutes to go as he deftly lifted a delightful lob over the advancing Morris to make it 3-0.
With the result beyond Bay's reach proceedings threatened to become a rout but gave Jose Figueira the opportunity to hand a debut to former All Whites striker Kayne Vincent.
Vincent made an instant contribution when his cross intended for Rogerson was cut out by a defender only for Al-Kalisy to blast home from close range for the fourth and his second for the club.
Elsewhere, Team Wellington were beaten by the odd goal in seven as they suffered their first defeat of the campaign to Waitakere United on Saturday. The defeat dislodged the capital men from top spot following today's win for the Navy Blues.
In Hamilton, Wanderers were held to a 1-1 draw by playoff chasing Canterbury United while Eastern Suburbs AFC ruthlessly tore apart the Wellington Phoenix at Madills Farm rattling in eight goals without reply as the Wee Nix finished the match with just nine players.
Auckland City FC's next match is at home to Team Wellington on Sunday 7 February, 2021.
The match kicks off at 4pm NZDT.
ISPS Handa Premiership
Sunday 31 January, 2021
Hawke's Bay United 0
Auckland City FC 4 (Dre VOLLENHOVEN 31', Brian KALTAK 59', Mohamed AWAD 77', Yousif AL-KALISY 87')
AC: 24. Cam BROWN (GK), 2. Mario ILICH, 3. Adam MITCHELL (4. Mario BILEN 80'), 6. Brian KALTAK, 7. Cam HOWIESON (c), 13. Dre VOLLENHOVEN (9. Kayne VINCENT 75'), 16. Yousif AL-KALISY, 17. Andrew BLAKE, 19. Logan ROGERSON, 22. Mohamed AWAD, 23. Alfie ROGERS (14. Jordan VALE 60').
SUBS NOT USED: 18. Conor TRACEY (GK), 8. Albert RIERA.
COACH: Jose FIGUEIRA.
OTHER FIXTURES AND RESULTS
Saturday 30 January, 2021
Team Wellington 3-4 Waitakere United
Sunday 31 January, 2021
Hamilton Wanderers 1-1 Canterbury United
Eastern Suburbs AFC 8-0 Wellington Phoenix
Sat 31 July 2021, Miramar Rangers, David Farrington Park, 2.00pm NZDT