The top-tier football league in New Zealand is back to action this weekend with exciting matches across the country. Auckland will have a thrilling local derby with two sides coming in a very good moment; Waitakere United and Eastern Suburbs are inside the top-four in the table and come from important victories in the last weekend. Auckland City will also play at home against Phoenix Reserves, while another interesting clash will take place in Wellington where Team Wellington will take on Tasman United at David Farrington Park.
Eastern Suburbs had no mercy from Southern in their previous clash in ISPS Handa Premiership; Martín Bueno scored a hattrick to help his side to beat the team from Dunedin by 6-0 in Auckland. The Lilywhites are three points away Team Wellington in the table and a win can put them in a good position in the run.
Waitakere United counts with the goals of Sam Burfoot and Dane Schnell for this clash; the duo scored the goals that helped their side to complete a comeback away from home against Canterbury United to stay inside the top-four. The former OFC Champions League champions are just one point away Eastern Suburbs in the process and a win at home can place them back closer to the leaders.
Hamilton suffered an away defeat against the top-tabled side Auckland City by 3-1, where Jama Boss made his return to the club after stints in Manukau United and Tasman. The result was not a disaster for Hamilton Wanderers, but they will need to bounce back at home against Southern United. The duo Derek Tieku and Tommy Semmy need to be back on track to help their side to grab a very important to be back to the contetion for the top-four.
Southern lost their head coach Paul O’Reily after their harsh defeat against Eastern Suburbs; a win away from home against Hamilton can give them a relief to settle back to the competition. The likes of Garbhan Coughlan and Andrew Cromb might need to be in very good day to help their side to get all points this encounter.
Hawke’s Bay will be back to Napier to take on Canterbury United. Both sides lost their latest matches in the league and they will looking to recover in the league in this clash at Bluewater Stadium. Hawke’s Bay could not hold Tasman in Nelson, losing by 3-1. The good part of the match for the team co-coached by Chris Greatholder and Bill Robertson is that their striker Ahinga Selemani was back to the scoresheet – the hopes for Hawke’s Bay depends a lot on the good performances of the North-American striker.
Canterbury United suffered another big blow in the season after conceding two late goals against Waitakere United at home to suffer one more defeat in the process. The team coached by Lee Padmore has just nine points in the league and is at the bottom of the table. George King and Reece Dalton will need to be in good form in Napier to help their side to recover from this bad moment.
Auckland City comes in a high; the club celebrates the return of their legend Emiliano Tade for the team. Tade scored a brace in Auckland latest match against Hamilton Wanderers, beating them by 3-1. Auckland continues six points clear in the top of the ladder and will hope to grab another win as they face Phoenix Reserves at Kiwitea Street in this round.
The young side of Wellington Phoenix suffered a defeat hard to accept against Team Wellington, suffering a goal in the last minute through a penalty kick. A silly mistake inside the box allowed the opponent to score – a handball was the cause of the penalty. In the last weekened, WeeNix had a boost in their squad with some first team players, something they will not have in this clash against Auckland City at Kiwitea Street.
Team Wellington had to battle until the final moments of their clash against Phoenix Reserves to find the goal to have a much-needed victory in the process. The talented Jack-Henry Sinclair was cold to score in the 96th minute of play from the spot kick to give his side more three points in the standings. The opponent of this weekend also tends to be a hard challenge for TeeDubs.
Tasman United comes in a high, after a bad start of the season the team recovered themselves are now in the contest for a spot in the top-four. The team won their clash against Hawke’s Bay at home with a brace of Jean-Philippe Saïko. The New Caledonian international turned himself into the most important player of the team so far and Team Wellington will need to deal with his quality if they want another win at David Farrington Park.
To check the full results of the season so far, top scorers and the updated standings, visit our session of the ISPS Handa Premiership.