November 10, 2013Score: 2 – 1
Rotorua International Stadium, Rotorua. Kick-off: 1.00pm (ASB Premiership)
WaiBOP United has begun life as an ASB Premiership team with a 2-1 victory over perennial play-off contenders, Canterbury United.
Superb strikes from Milos Nikolic and Maksim Manko cancelled out an early Dan Terris goal to get head coach, Peter Smith, off to an excellent start as a national league coach.
WaiBOP took a while to settle into this one and coughed up a goal inside ten minutes after they failed to clear a Canterbury long throw.
There wasn’t much to write about for the remainder of the half, until a fine piece of work from Mikhail Bredeveldt released Nikolic who spanked home his 1st goal for WaiBOP United, and 17th in the ASB Premiership, to level the scores.
The goal came at the right time for WaiBOP as the team was beginning to gain the ascendency and being on level terms meant the side could come out with more confidence after the break in their hunt for victory.
Half time: 1-1.
WaiBOP continued their improved form into the second half, with the jet black kit proving less of a hindrance than might have been expected on such aÂ sweltering early summer afternoon. The team’s job was made just that little bitÂ easier when Canterbury’s Steve Morrison dove in on Nikolic just after the hour make, then looked up to see referee, Chris Kerr, brandishing red.
In the 68th Manko had a rasping drive tipped onto the cross bar by Adam Highfield thenÂ ten minutes later he was played in by Masaki Nomoto to slap home what turned out to be the winner.
The visitors had a couple of half opportunitiesÂ after the goalÂ but they were gobbled up by WaiBOP’s Andy McNeil, who had a solid debut in his first game of football in New Zealand.
Smith made a couple of late substitutions with Scott Hilliar and Jack McNab coming on for the tireless Shaydon Young and impressive Bredeveldt.
WaiBOP comfortably ran the game out to secure their first three points and emulate predecessors, Waikato FC, who also won their first matchÂ in the leagueÂ way back in 2003.
|1. Andy McNeil|
|2. Liam Higgins|
|3. Aaron Scott|
|4. Takahiro Yokota|
|5. Tyler Lissette|
|6. Masaki Nomoto||Assist|
|7. Mark Jones|
|8. Mikhail Bredeveldt||Assist|
|99. Milos Nikolic||Goal|
|99. Maksim Manko||Goal|
|9. Shaydon Young|
|12. Jack McNab||Sub8|
|16. Scott Hilliar||Sub9|