Royals on wrong end of master class from Auckland

Chocolate and coffee are a good combination.

The Dunedin City Royals could use a bit of both.

Coffee would put some pep back in the step and the chocolate would help lift the mood after a tough day at Logan Park on Saturday.

They were utterly outclassed by Auckland City in a Chatham Cup quarterfinal.

The visiting side popped in six goals. Classy striker Ryan De Vries bagged a hat-trick and former Dunedin local Cam Howieson slotted a penalty and carved up in midfield.

Auckland just had more of everything. More territory, more possession, more control, more skill, more time, more pace, more accuracy.

The home team spent almost the entire game defending. The Royals managed just two shots at goal, but the Auckland keeper only had to use his gloves once for a cross.

It was a difficult day against a quality opponent. Essentially, it was a professional outfit up against a gutsy club side and the gulf in class was obvious from the opening minutes of the game.

Royals coach Richard Murray was philosophical about the result.

“We are disappointed to lose, obviously,” he said.

“But they were class and just too good, to be honest. That is the brutal reality.

“We sort of gave them too much space and they got an early goal. As soon as they got that goal, they had their heads up and were away.”

The Royals trailed 4-0 at the break, but showed some character to restrict Auckland City somewhat in the second spell.

“We pressed them a little bit higher and just rolled the sleeves up, which is what you need to do against teams like that.”

The home side had a tiny fraction of possession and was unable to mount any real pressure.

Auckland played some sublime football and Howieson’s passing game was at another level.

Somehow, he was always able to find Nathan Lobo, who in turn had his radar fixed on Dylan Manickum, and De Vries had the very handy knack of being in the right spot at exactly the right moment.

He whipped in the first goal from just outside the box.

The Royals were exposed down the left flank again and brought Manickum down in the box.

Howieson punched the penalty into the corner of the net.

Joe Lee made it 3-0 with a wonderful strike from distance and De Vries nodded in his second just before the break.

You got the feeling the only way Auckland was going to concede a goal was if it forgot which way it was pointing after the break.

Auckland made some substitutions during the second spell, including giving Howieson a rest.

It missed his finesse and some of the opportunities dried up as a result.

De Vries lobbed the keeper to complete the 6-0 win and register a hat-trick. But Argentinian Emiliano Tade scored arguably the goal of the game when he flicked in a nice volley.

Will Turner and En Watanabe had decent games for the Royals, but Auckland had so much ball no-one in the home team had much opportunity to shine.

In the other Chatham Cup quarterfinals, the Hamilton Wanderers beat Miramar Rangers 4-3, Eastern Suburbs edged Waiheke United 1-0, and Wellington Olympic beat Cashmere Technical 3-2.


Chatham Cup quarterfinal

 The scores

Auckland City                                 6

Ryan De Vries 3, Cam Howieson, Joe Lee, Emiliano Tade

Dunedin City Royals                      0

Halftime: Auckland City 4-0



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