Words: ACFC Media
Saturday 1 May 2021
DEVONPORT, New Zealand - Ten-man North Shore United have beaten Auckland City FC 3-2 in a shock result in the latest round of Northern League action in Devonport today.
Coach José Figueira made several changes to the team that overcame Western Springs last week with Yousif Al-Kalisy coming into the starting eleven for the injured Emiliano Tade and Deandre Vollenhoven starting instead of Ilham Hameedi. U-23 skipper Brooklyn Heath came into the squad for the first time alongside Addison Stewart.
The match started with intensity and sharpness and it was the home side who struck first when striker Horrace James broke through and lashed home a powerful finish at Cam Brown's near post after just eight minutes.
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Auckland City FC were level within moments when Vanuatu international defender Brian Kaltak slammed home an unstoppable near post header from an Al-Kalisy corner for his ninth goal in just 51 games for the club. The action swung from end to end with the football played by the visitors, at times, thrilling.
Outstanding for Auckland City FC in this regard were veteran Mario Bilen, Yousif Al-Kalisy and Deandre Vollenhoven and when Angus Kilkolly smashed home a brilliant long range shot past Silvio Rodic, there were few arguments the goal and lead were more than merited.
But the match flipped on its head when Kris Naicker was sent off after he picked up two cautions from referee Luke Gardner in the space of three minutes to leave North Shore United down to ten men with almost an entire half left to play.
That should have signalled an opportunity for the visitors to stamp their authority on proceedings but somehow it began to fall apart when substitute Roussin Nkoy levelled the game with 15 minutes left to play after great work down the left by the determined James.
The Jamaican forward stamped his attitude all over this game and it was no surprise when he popped up with the winner with ten minutes to play. Auckland City FC had two chances to score the first a long range shot by substitute Dylan Manickum that was turned onto the crossbar by Shore captain and goalkeeper Silvio Rodic then second when a ball at the feet of Kilkolly who miscontrolled at the crucial moment.
VIDEO - Brian Kaltak equalises after ten minutes
Coach José Figueira cut a frustrated figure after his team lost their first league game of the season and their first competitive league match in any competition since the defeat away to Canterbury United in the ISPS Handa Premiership last summer.
"It was a strange game and sums things up for us. We made a slow start but equalised immediately through Brian Kaltak and then went ahead with Angus' goal to finish the half extremely strongly. We started the second half well but after total domination and handling their counter attacks we've come away with two silly moments that cost us two goals.
"That's cost us the game and we're taking away zero points when we were looking for three. There's a few individuals in our team who should be doing better and as a team we're in a position where we should be killing the game off.
"The first half we were slick and crisp with the ball and we got into the right areas. North Shore showed they are dangerous on the break and I felt we contained that threat for the most part. Its just frustrating to come away with a loss in a game where we had complete control.
VIDEO - Angus Kilkolly makes it 2-1 to Auckland City FC
"Players like Cam Howieson and Mario Ilich were always scheduled to come back into the reckoning next week anyway and they've been training well. The young guys that came on today showed a bright spark. We take selection week by week but I'll be expecting a reaction from the players to this result next week," he told www.aucklandcityfc.com.
Elsewhere, Western Springs fell to their third consecutive defeat after they lost 2-0 at home to second placed Auckland United at Seddon Fields on Friday, a result that lifts United into first place in the table. In Auckland, Melville United were humiliated 9-0 by Birkenhead United at Shepherd's Park in Beach Haven after trailing 8-0 at halftime, Northern Rovers season got worse following a 3-0 defeat to Eastern Suburbs AFC at McFetridge Park while there was a six-goal thriller at Fred Taylor Park as West Coast Rangers earned their first point of the season in a 3-3 draw with Bay Olympic.
Auckland City FC's next match is at home to Birkenhead United on Saturday 1 May, 2021, at 3pm NZDT.
Saturday 1 May 2021
North Shore United 1 (Horrace JAMES 8', 80', Roussin NKOY 75')
Auckland City FC 2 (Brian KALTAK 10', Angus KILKOLLY 38')
AC: 24. Cam BROWN (GK), 4. Mario BILEN (c), 6. Brian KALTAK, 9. Angus KILKOLLY, 11. Reid DRAKE, 12. Sam BROTHERTON, 13. Deandre VOLLENHOVEN (10. Dylan MANICKUM 53'), 14. Jordan VALE, 16. Yousif AL-KALISY (21. Addison STEWART 88'), 15. Aidan CAREY, 22. Mohamed AWAD (19. Ilham HAMEEDI 80').
SUBS NOT USED: 18. Conor TRACEY (GK), 17. Brooklyn HEATH.
COACH: José FIGUEIRA
ASSISTANT COACH: Ivan VICELICH
GK COACH: Enaut ZUBIKARAI
PHYSIO: Matt PAYNE
TEAM MANAGER: Keith COTON
S&C COACH: Adria CASALS
ANALYST: Jarrod WALLACE/Dan GORDON
Sat 22 May 2021, Eastern Suburbs, KO: 3pm, Madills Farm