Brock Messenger’s goal three minutes into added time has secured Canterbury United a 3-2 win at Hamilton’s FMG Stadium Waikato and all but crushed our hopes of making the 2015/16 ASB Premiership play-offs.
Earlier, we had recovered from a 2-0 half time deficit to level the game up going into added time and looked the most likely side to score the winner. Goals from Mario Ilich and Sanni Issa, both from set pieces, had cancelled out first half goals from Canterbury’s young guns Angus Kilkolly and Andre de Jong.
The visitors were indebted, at times, to keeper, Coey Turipa, for keeping WaiBOP at bay. The Canterbury custodian was down for nearly ten minutes midway through the first half after bashing his head into the upright when denying Federico Marquez and went down with another head knock in the 66th minute after saving a Scott Hilliar shot.
That meant he had to be removed from the game and the first task his replacement, Reuben Parker Hanks, had was to take the ball out of the net after Illich’s goal.
A far better second half performance should have been rewarded with at least a point. Wade Molony seemed to be shoved over in the Canterbury box not long after Ilich’s goal, while there was an obvious hand ball in the lead up to the visitors’ winner.
Countering that, Canterbury’s Juan Chang was unlucky when his shot from distance hit the underside of the cross bar, after which the ball was ruled not to have crossed the line.
There was also the curious case of Dan Terris getting away with not being booked for a shirt pull in the first half, even though referee Kerr had his card out. Terris was then shown a yellow for a foul early on in the second half, which should have been his second booking.
The win moves Canterbury back up to second, while WaiBOP United now sit six points behind Hawkes Bay United and Team Wellington.
Loaded WaiBOP United 2-3 Canterbury United (ht: 0-2)
WB: Mario Ilich 67′, Sanni Issa 89′.
CU: Angus Kilkolly 4′, Andre de Jong 32′, Brock Messenger 90+3′.
Loaded WaiBOP United: Zac Speedy; Scott Hilliar, Tyler Lissette, Ryan Tinsley, Finn Cochran; Alexis Varela, Mario Ilich (Cory Mitchell 72′); Mark Jones (Wade Molony 72′), Sean Morris, Federico Marquez; Stephen Hoyle (Sanni Issa 54′). Subs: Neil Achary (rgk), James Hoyle.
Canterbury United: Coey Turipa (Ruben Parker Hanks 66′), Dan Terris, Julyan Collett (Jesse Dingjan 76′), Tom Schwarz, Aaron Clapham, Gary Ogilvie, Juan Chang, Andre de Jong, Brock Messenger, Andreas Wilson, Angus Kilkolly (Aaron Spain 89′). Subs: Dan Schwarz, Arkin Kaua.