Auckland City FC extend lead at top of the table

Words: ACFC Media

Saturday 7 May 2022

AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Auckland City FC defeated Manukau United 3-0 at Walter Massey Park on Saturday to extend their lead at the top of the Northern League to seven points.

Albert Riera's side dominated the 90 minutes and broke the deadlock with only 17 minutes on the clock after Emiliano Tade struck a brilliant right foot volley past Ernest Wong.

Mario Ilich pounced on some slack marking at a Tade corner to double the Navy Blues' lead just after the half hour before Angus Kilkolly added a third, also from a set-piece, after he latched onto Angel Berlanga's pinpoint header to finish at close range.

Tade was denied a second goal when Wong, who had an outstanding game for Rudy Mozr's team, made a super save low to his left.

POST MATCH REACTION - Albert Riera

The Navy Blues have now gone eight games unbeaten and show no signs of slipping up in their bid to defend the Northern League title they won last year.

Despite the three goal deficit, Manukau United were not without their opportunities.

The home side threw everything at the Navy Blues through the tireless Maro Bonsu-Maro and they even saw a late header smash off the visitors crossbar.

Goalkeeper Conor Tracey was called into action several times towards the end but there was always the feeling that City could grab another goal on a counter attack.

Riera was

"I always knew it was going to be hard against Manukau United. I talked about last year's game with them when we drew 2-2.

"Teams are going to come here and they're going to struggle because they know what they're doing and they hurt you on the counter.

"But for the vast majority of the game we were very good but I thought the second half perhaps wasn't the best but we got the win.

"When you're top of the league everyone wants to beat us so we have to be good in every area not just with the ball but without it.

"We always talk about the transition and if we get caught out with the ball we can struggle a little bit.

"That extra pass is always the one that can give you that security at the back that's so important," he said.

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS - Manukau United 0-3 Auckland City FC

In other matches, Melville United tipped over Auckland United FC 2-0 at Gower Park, a result that lifts Sam Wilkinson's team up to third while Hamilton Wanderers, their local rivals, grabbed second after they beat Bay Olympic 2-0 at Olympic Park.

Western Springs heaped pressure on Eastern Suburbs AFC after they won 2-1, while Takapuna AFC grabbed a deeply satisfying derby win over Birkenhead United 2-1 at Shepherd's Park.

In the battle at the bottom of the league, North Shore United and Waiheke United shared the points in a six-goal thriller at Allen Hill Stadium.

Next week, the Navy Blues host Western Springs at Kiwitea Street on Saturday 14 May 2022 at 3.00pm NZDT.

Ends

Match Result
Northern League
Saturday 7 May 2022
Manukau United 0
Auckland City FC 3 (Emiliano TADE 17', Mario ILICH 35', Angus KILKOLLY 63')
HT: 0-2.

AC: 1. Conor TRACEY (GK), 2. Mario ILICH (21. Ilham HAMEEDI 73'), 5. Angel BERLANGA (c), 7. Cam HOWIESON, 9. Angus KILKOLLY, 12. Sam BROTHERTON, 13. Nathan LOBO, 14. Jordan VALE, 16. Joe LEE (0. Dylan MANICKUM 57'), 17. Reid DRAKE, 18. Finn DOCKERTY (GK), 20. Emiliano TADE (11. Ryan DE VRIES 57'), 23. Alfie ROGERS.

SUBS NOT USED: 14. Jordan VALE, 18. Finn DOCKERTY (GK).

COACH: Albert RIERA
ASSISTANT COACH: Danyon DRAKE
GOALKEEPER COACH: Enaut ZUBIKARAI
MANAGER: Keith COTON
PHYSIO: Matt PAYNE

MATCH OFFICIALS
REFEREE: Ashley WILSON
ASSISTANT REFEREE 1: Khalid ELGANA
ASSISTANT REFEREE 2: Tom DAY

SATURDAY 7 MAY 2022 - OTHER RESULTS
Melville United 2-0 Auckland United FC
North Shore United 3-3 Waiheke United
Bay Olympic 0-2 Hamilton Wanderers
Birkenhead United 1-2 Takapuna AFC
Manukau United 0-3 Auckland City FC
Western Springs 2-1 Eastern Suburbs

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