Terrace-Nadi – 2, Rogue XI – 1
Sir Ron Brierley Artificial Turf, Wellington, May 27 2018
Terrace-Nadi came from behind to beat rivals Rogue XI 2-1 in their Wellington Sunday Football Division Three clash at Wellington’s Sir Ron Brierley Artificial Turf yesterday.
In their previous encounter Rogue XI defeated Terrace-Nadi 3-2, and a similar score line looked likely early on. At times it seemed Rogue had all of the advantages over Nadi – youth, speed, height, athleticism, and the ability to win contested ball.
Impressive Dutch import Ted Blankers stood tall and used his footwork to Rogue XI’s advantage in his first football game in New Zealand. He controlled the aerial ball and created several dangerous chances – one of which led to Rogue XI’s first goal as he beat three defenders on the right to set Matthew Carter up with a comfortable shot.
Nadi keeper Elvin Ram kept the team in the game. But for his goalkeeping, Rogue XI might have found themselves up by three or four in the first half. Somehow the chances still came for Nadi, with seemingly innocuous sequences taking them closer to their mark each time.
A chance went begging when Rogue XI’s keeper was rounded by a Nadi player, but defender Sam Forsyth had the vision to cover the open goal and shut down the opportunity. Howard Storey also played a pivotal role in defence by covering the through ball.
Rogue XI seemed unsure of how to shut down Nadi’s organised game of ball retention and short passes, and Daniel Pratap delivered an equaliser near the end of the first half as the ball landed at his feet in the Rogue XI penalty box.
In the second half, Rogue XI’s energy and athleticism continued to spark attractive midfield play. While opportunities came, they found themselves over-reaching with low-percentage passes in search of the exceptional rather than retaining the ball.
In contrast, Nadi looked a different side. As the rain came in, their passing game created sequences of play that saw the team camped up in front of the opposition penalty box for sustained periods of time.
The winning goal was scored by Sanjeev Kumar in a near-mirror image of the first, but the match wasn’t over yet. Rogue XI’s players redoubled their efforts and were awarded a penalty with mere minutes left on the clock when Blankers was shoved to the ground in the box while contesting a cross – but the resulting penalty sailed over the crossbar.
Terrace-Nadi is a Fijian community football team with a 33-year heritage. Team manager Kanak Kishore said the team included three different generations from the Fijian community and played with the purpose of having fun and keeping the community together.
Amazingly, several players from their original line-up are still playing and graced the field for the match, with players in their 60s competing alongside teenagers.
“I think we played really well as a team”, said Mr Kishore. “We had a team talk at half-time and it was really awesome to see the boys putting in full effort after that.”
Rogue XI team manager James McNeill said the game had been evenly matched.
“It was a tough loss. There were plenty of opportunities, we just couldn’t connect.”
Several teams had been promoted or relegated this week as a result of performances in the first half of the season. Harimau Wellington faced a tough contest in its first Division Three match after promotion, not least as the Malaysian team’s Ramadan fast broke midway through the match. They were beaten 2-0 at Wakefield Park by a strong Ball Tamperers side as gale force winds swept heavy rain in off Cook Strait.
Also promoted to Division Three were Expected Tolouse, which drew 2-2 with Sharks FC. Alcoholics Albion went down 5-1 to Westwood United after demotion from Division Two.
In this week’s Division One action, Sudakas FC retained top spot over close rivals Tuskan Raiders after an incredible last-minute blinder from Osorio Wilmer that must be one of the shots of the season.
Sunday Blazers retained second place despite a 9-2 defeat at the hands of North Wellington, while Lokomotiv Beer Quarter went down 2-1 to Lazy 11. Levuka FC put an end to newly-promoted Zazaspor’s run of high scoring wins with a 1-0 victory.
V-Well extended its winning streak in Division Two to eight games with a win over Four Four Two, while Marauders ascended back to second place thanks to the promotion of Zazaspor and a victory over Fireraiders. Valley FC Trust is hard on Marauders’ heels in third after a 3-1 victory over the promoted Battlers FC.
Sevens dominated the scores in Division Four, with SVH beating Trentham United 7-1 draw, second-placed Wellington Chinese United beating Sunday Cardigans 7-3, and Pirates FC beating The Dave Bakers 7-1.
A record 37 teams are competing in this year’s Wellington Sunday Football League, a community based 11-a-side league that was founded over 40 years ago and is growing year-on-year. A full table of results and fixtures can be found at https://tinyurl.com/WSFL2018.
Next weekend’s action (June 3)
Next weekend’s Division One action will see an unpredictable North Wellington side take on top placed Sudakas FC. Lokomotiv Beer Quarter will play against second-placed Sunday Blazers, while Tuskan Raiders take on recently promoted Zazaspor.
The match to watch in the second division may be Valley FC Trust’s contest with Inter Galactic FC, while the unbeaten V-Well take on recently promoted Battlers FC.
The recent promotions of Harimau Wellington and Expected Tolouse will add excitement to Division Three, while Wellington Chinese United will look to stay in touch with current Division Four leaders SVH with a victory in their match against Pirates FC.
Categories: Wellington Sunday Football League
I alternate between club, indoor and street football. I'm keen on the social game and have been known to bother urban Wellington by playing street football at night. I usually play keeper or wing back, and I'm enough of a geek to enjoy football manager games.