ISPS Handa Premiership is back! The top tier of New Zealand football had its first matches played this weekend. Oceania Football Center brings to you a review of what happened in these five clashes!
WAITAKERE UNITED 3-1 WELLINGTON PHOENIX RESERVES
After a disappointing 2018-19 season, Waitakere United comes with a promising squad for this ISPS Handa Premiership. The two times OFC Champions League winner tries to revive the good moments they lived in the last decade and they began the season beating Wellington Phoenix Reserves by 3-1 at Fred Taylor Park. Sam Sutton opened the scoreboard for Nix Reserves at the third minute with a free-kick goal. Waitakere United turned the game in the late first half with Dane Schnell (played U20 World Cup thise season for New Zealand) and Lachie McIsaac scoring one goal each. Jake Porter scored the last goal of the match in the late second half. Nix Reserves had eight absent players for this match because they are in Brazil playing U17 World Cup for New Zealand. On the other hand they counted on two Wellington Phoenix main team players: Callan Elliot (played U20 World Cup for New Zealand this year) and Liam McGing.
SOUTHERN UNITED 4-0 TASMAN UNITED
Southern United comes up with a stronger team this season. Joel Stevens returned to his former club and scored a brace for Southern United. Irish defender Stephen Last also scored but he scored the first goal of the match, not the last one. The last goal was netted by Garbhan Coughlan. Tasman United reinforced their attack for this season with Jama Boss and Jean-Philippe Sako but they did not manage to score in this opening round.
HAWKE’S BAY UNITED 2-3 AUCKLAND CITY
Hawke’s Bay United came back to this season with a strong side in comparison to last season. They signed many players from Napier City Rovers that won the last edition of Chatham Cup. Gavin Hoy (former Napier City Rovers) and Jack Parker scored but it was not enough to beat Auckland City. OFC Olympic Qualifier Golden Boot Myer Bevan scored a hat-trick in his first official match after his return to Auckland.
TEAM WELLINGTON 5-1 HAMILTON WANDERERS
Team Wellington smashed Hamilton Wanderers in their season’s debut. Hamish Watson scored a brace in his return to TeeDubs after a spell in Melbourne Knights in Australia Regional Leagues. The other goals were scored by Angus Kilkolly, Andrew Bevin and former Waitakere United Ollie Bassett. Wadenders goal was netted by Derek Tiaku with a long range shot in the first half. The large win was a big surprise because it was expected to be a close match.
EASTERN SUBURBS 1-0 CANTERBURY UNITED
Eastern Suburbs had its squad dismantled after winning 2018-19 ISPS Handa Premiership but they still managed to win in their season debut against Canterbury United. The only goal of the match was scored by Jake Mechell, a 20 years old forward who last played for Waitakere United. This game marked the return of Canterbury United’s idol Aaron Clapham.
See the league standings, results and top scorers by clicking here