Tasman stuns Team Wellington; Auckland City remain on top in ISPS Handa Premiership

The New Zealand football top tier had some interesting matches in this fourth matchweek and for sure the most surprising result of the round was the first win of Tasman United in the season – and it came against the powerhouse Team Wellington that now is three matches without a win.

The first goal of the New Caledonian important Jean-Philippe Saïko through a penalty kick put the team from Nelson upfront the scoreline already in the second half, this margin would be enough to make Tasman to secure their first three points in the competition as the 1-0 was the final result of the clash. Saïko goal was his first and also Tasman first goal in the campaign. The first victory of the team coached by Jess Ibrom saw the club leaving the bottom of the table – now Wellington Phoenix Reserves is the last placed team and Tasman United is now the 8th in the run.

Saïko and his teammates celebrates the first goal of Tasman United in the ISPS Handa Premiership – NZF Media

Auckland City opened a narrow lead in the leadership of the league as they won once again, this time their victim was Wellington Phoenix Reserves that could not hold the firepower of the Navy Blues at WestPac Stadium. Logan Rogerson lost a penalty kick in the 21th minutes of play, but another penalty was awarded to Auckland City and this time Myer Bevan made no mistake – the team from Auckland took the lead still in the first half. Just after entering pitch in place of David Browne, the Futsal Whites member Dylan Manickum put Auckland one more goal ahead. After losing a penalty, Logan Rogerson assisted for the third and final goal of current ISPS Handa Premiership premiers that came through a beautiful shot of Jordan Vale.

Dylan Manickum celebrates his goal for Auckland City – NZF Media

Southern United could prevail against Hamilton Wanderers with an emphatic win by 4-0. Former Auckland City player Abdulla Al-Khalisy scored two beautiful goals to help the team from Dunedin to recover from their defeat in the last round against current title holders Eastern Suburbs.

The Southern United captain Connor O’Keeffe scored his first goal for his team after more than 50 caps for the team. He tapped home a scrumble in defense that was firstly awarded as an offside, but the referee changed his call and Southern could add one more to the scoreboard. Joel Stevens scored his third in the campaign as he added Southern fourth in the injury time. Stevens is having a very inspiring comeback to his former club after winning OFC Champions League with Team Wellington and a short stint in Swedish football.

A imagem pode conter: 2 pessoas, pessoas sorrindo, atividades ao ar livre
Jordan Spain and Joel Stevens celebrate Southern goal – Southern Media

Hamilton Wanderers nightmare continues as the team drops for the 9th place in the table. Their star player Tommy Semmy lost a penalty kick when the game was still 2-0 – it could have changed the story of the game. Hamilton has the worst defensive record of the season so far with 14 goals conceded in only four matches played.

Canterbury United managed to score first in their clash against Hawke’s Bay United at English Park in Christchurch through the effort of Cory Mitchell, but the final whistle would see a different outcome of the clash. The North-American striker Ahinga Selemani would score his second goal since joining Hawke’s Bay to equalize the encounter in the early minutes of the second half and the Japanese midfielder Sho Goto would find the nets to make the team co-coached by Chris Greatholder and Bill Robertson complete the comeback.

The Dragons could still earn a point from their home game when Juan Chang scored a late equalizer to give final numbers in the scoreboard. The draw kept HBU inside the top four zone. A lively encounter entertained the fans at English Park and a draw really seemed a fair result for both sides.

A imagem pode conter: 4 pessoas, pessoas praticando esportes e atividades ao ar livre
Fans saw a very interesting match in Christchurch – Mak Shots Photography

In the final match of the round, Eastern Suburbs faced the city rivals at Madills Farm, Waitakere United. The final result was a 1-1 draw from a very lively clash. Waitakere United would take the lead with an easy finish inside the penalty box from Dane Schnell, scoring his second goal in the campaign for Waitakere. Just moments after Dylan de Jong equalized for Eastern Suburbs with a very beautiful shot in the edge of the penalty box.

The things turned hard for the current ISPS Handa Premiership champions when their striker Martin Bueno was sent off. The Uruguayan striker received a controversial red card – according to the referee he used his elbow against the opposition player. With 10-men in the pitch, the second half was hard for Eastern Suburbs that needed to defend most of the game. They suceeded in their duty, but Waitak seemed close in various moments, with shots from Dane Schnell and another chance that ended up hitting the post from Solomon Islands international Andrew Abba.

A imagem pode conter: 2 pessoas, pessoas praticando esportes e atividades ao ar livre
De Jong and his teammates celebrate the equalizer of the Lilywhites – ESAFC Media

Auckland City opened two points lead against the second placed side Waitakere United, that has Hawke’s Bay United and Eastern Suburbs completing the top four. Team Wellington remains with only five points in the run, while Wellington Phoenix Reservers dropped for the 10th and last place in the laddar with just one point. You can check the full standings of the league before the end of this fourth matchweek by clicking here.

Myer Bevan scored one more goal in the round and now has seven in the competition – the Auckland City new signing scored in all four matches of the league so far. Hamish Watson of Team Wellington comes behind in the golden boot race with four goals scored. Several players in the league already scored three times in the run, as Southern United key players Garbhan Coughlan and Joel Stevens and the Hawke’s Bay United number 10 Dylan Sacramento.

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