NZFC - Semi Final 2nd Leg,
Sunday 11 April, 2010
Russell Kamo 26, 57
Halftime:0-1 Referee:Mirko Benischke Crowd:927
by Bob Pearce at Kiwitea Street
Russell Kamo led from the front as Canterbury United beat Auckland City 3-0 to overturn a 2-1 deficit and earn a place in the NZFC grand final for the first time in four years.
It was a well-deserved reward for a team coming off one of their worst seasons at this level in 2008-9 and it sets up an intriguing clash with Waitakere, whom they beat 4-0 in Christchurch during the regular season, in the final on April 24 at Fred Taylor Park.
The 26-year-old Kamo came back home after spells at Olympic in Wellington and in the Brisbane State league. He was the spearhead of the Christchurch plan to take the game to Auckland from the start.
After 26 minutes he jinked round his marker and scored the opening goal that raised Canterbury confidence. He added a second in the 57th minute with another clever move around a strangely static Auckland defence.
The coup de grace came two minutes into time added on from substitute Andrew Barton when the Aucklanders were all forward seeking salvation.
It was a cracking game with plenty of football played by both teams, making best use of the immaculate Kiwitea surface.
Auckland never quite played at their best but all credit to Canterbury who were positive and, feeding off Aaron Clapham's skills in the midfield, began to find gaps in the Auckland defence.
Auckland had reason to be grateful to goalkeeper Jacob Spoonley, who managed a double save from Clapham and Kamo in the 39th minute.
At the other end there were chances but no real finish as crosses sailed wide or were cleared by the dominant head of veteran Gareth Rowe.
Perhaps the best chance to the home side came from one of several freekicks from the educated feet of Ky-Hyung Lee.
His best effort dipped just over the bar and left the Korean with his head in his hands in frustration.
When Auckland needed goals to get ahead, they threw plenty of bodies forward but couldn't finish the job. At the death goalie Tom Batty made a great catch under pressure to keep the lead intact.
"For most of the season we've been playing one up front and it's hard working on your own," said a jubilant Kamo.
"Today we had to take it to them and we pushed more forward which made it easier for me."
Canterbury coach Keith Braithwaite, who deserves credit for reviving a faltering franchise, was pleased for Kamo but praised his whole squad.
"Russell led from the front but everybody did their job. We knew we had to push forward and that's what we did.
"At the start of the season we set goals for ourselves and the key was we had to believe in ourselves. We believed in ourselves today and on our day we can beat anyone."
A bitterly disappointed Auckland coach, Paul Posa, congratulated Canterbury and wished them well for the final.
"Canterbury played really well. They took their goals well and we became a bit frantic. We had chances but didn't finish."
1 Jacob Spoonley (GK)
18 Tom Batty (GK)
3 Ian Hogg
4 Gareth Rowe
5 Matt Williams
5 Matt Boyd
6 Ki-Hyung Lee
6 Andy Pitman
7 James Pritchett
7 Aaron Clapham
8 Chad Coombes(Dickinson 61)
9 Russell Kamo
11 Daniel Koprivcic
11 Tom Lancaster
15 Ivan Vicelich
12 Nick Wortelboer
16 Jason Hayne
15 Paul Dirou
17 Adam McGeorge
17 Glen Collins
20 Greg Uhlmann
19 Darren Overton
4 Sam Campbell
1 Chris Sinclair (RGK)
9 Paul Urlovic
10 Andrew Barton
13 Alex Feneridis
13 Hue Frame
18 Paul Gothard (RGK)
16 Daniel Burns
22 Adam Dickinson
=2 yellow cards
= red card
Beautiful day again, with only a light zephyr to cool the players and the growing crowd
Dirou breaks clear foiled by great save by Spoonley
Hayne crosses and Coombes is too short to capitalise. End to end with the visitors giving as good as they get.
Kamo shot turned wide by goalie, probably missing.
Corner to Canterbury falls to Clapham and his thunderbolt is just wide.
Fourth corner to Cantabs but Spoonley gathers.
Yellow for Overton for lowering Hogg
Freekick cleared for corner, second corner.
Corner springs to Vicelich, McGeorge and Coombes and all are blocked.
Canterbury freekick by Clapham, Dirou header wide.
More football in 20 mins than in 90 at the Fred yesterday!
Lancaster brings down Koprivcic on edge of box. Freekick Lee just over bar.
Coombes gets yellow for diving after tackle.
Lee from long range well saved. The Korean is a constant threat with his laser shots
GOAL! Kamo jinks round Uhlmann and scores from narrow angle.
Dirou finding space in box and Kamo just robbed as he loads for strike
Hayne gets great chance out of nothing but blasts high and wide.
Hayne crosses from right and Williams fails to get his head to it.
Williams shoots but straight at Batty
Corner falls to Clapham, Spoonley saves, Kamo pounces but Spoonle gets out a hand to flick it off his foot.
Freekick by Clapham, Uhlmann shoulders Rowe in clash of the Titans.
One minute to be added
45 plus one
Halftime. Canterbury lead 1-0 and deservedly so. But they still need another goal. Don't change channels
No changes at halftime. Linesman looks like Mao's last dancer.
Lee freekick earns corner. Just cleared
Clapham climbs but just fails to reach cross.
Yellow card Pitman lucky not to be red. Lee freekick sails over bar.
Kamo's cross but Clapham puts it over top from in front with only goalie to beat.
Lee dinks to Hogg but shot well saved by Batty.
GOAL! Kamo leaves Uhlmann standing and buries ball for the goal that puts Canterbury to 2-0 and a winning position overall.
Sub: Dickinson on for Coombes
Sub Barton on for Pitman.
Yellow for Dickinson for alleged dive. Dubious decision.
Canterbury break out of defence with great ball from lancaster but Kamo can't capitalise.
freekick to Auckland on edge of area, just cleared. Corner almost falls to Uhlmann.
Sub Urlovic on for Williams.
Yellow for Barton for time wasting
Urlovic lobs goalie but just over bar.
Dickinson makes space but fires well wide.
Auckland throw everyone forward but the defence
Left wing corner for Aucckland, McGeorge heads down but just over.
Sub Burns on for Kamo. Three mins of stoppage to go
90 plus one
Great take by Batty
90 plus two
Goal ! Barton scores as Canterbury pillage non-existent defence
90 plus three
Final whistle. Canterbury play Waitakere in the final.