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SUFC 0-3 Waitakere

Photo by Rab Smith

DUNEDIN - A valiant Southern United team went down 0-3 to a Waitakere United team whose new signings showed their class at the Forsyth Barr Stadium this afternoon.

Coming into this game as defending champions, Waitakere United were determined to prove that even without a few star players, they will be a force to be reckoned with in this league.

And they did just that, beating the transformed Southern United 3-0 on the back of some standout performances from some new signings and a dominant second half performance.

Jordan Lowdon in particular tormented the Southern United defenders down the left flank, delivering cross after cross into the Southern penalty area and showed plenty to suggest that he will be a force at this level.

Indeed it was Lowdon that contributed to a key moment in the match just before halftime.

After a very even first half, he beat Otago right fullback Logan Wrightwebb then delivered a fine cross which found the unmarked head of Australian Richard Cardozo who found the top left corner of the net.

Indeed Southern debutant Wright-Webb will no doubt be seeing the Scotsman in his nightmares as he received very little respite throughout the 90 minutes.

In the centre of the park however, Southern United were the equal of the visitors in the first half and the central midfield trio of Patrick Ebanda, Nick Hindson and Peter Rae contained Waitakere well.

Two attacking changes made at halftime by Southern coach Luiz Uehara in bringing on Regan Coldicott and Henrique Viana opened the game up albeit without the penetration they would have hoped for.

While the first half showed signs of parity, the second half was all Waitakere due to their much superior fitness and skill level.

It was only a sensational display of goalkeeping from Tom Batty, on Southern United debut, that kept the score as close as it was.

However he was helpless to stop aerial through-balls in the 62nd and 73rd minutes delivered over the Southern centre-backs that found Dan Morgan and Richard Cardozo respectively, who both skilfully slotted the ball past the former Canterbury keeper to ensure the 3 points would be heading north.

Southern United did have sporadic chances in the second half, but they never brought the best out of Waitakere stopper Danny Robinson who would have enjoyed one of his simplest games at this level.

While disappointed with the result, Southern United coach Luiz Uehara was delighted with his side's performance. "I am very proud of what we achieved today, I thought it was a good performance, trying to play a good form of football and we've learnt a lot and will improve."

Without wanting to single out any players, he felt Geordie Mansford and Nick Hindson showed class and expects them to impress even more in future weeks.

Southern United face a tricky trip to Napier next week, one that Uehara is facing with confidence.

"It will be tough again, but I expect us to step up another level and we will knock teams over this season"

Waitakere co-coach Paul Temple was understandably delighted.

"We had some really good performances, played well and dominated the game and showed some good control so really happy first game up."

While he was happy across the board, Temple singled out two players for particular praise.

"We knew Jordan [Lowdon] was a quality player, he's performed really well here today and there'll be more to come from him too."

"I was really pleased with Go [Sansern Limwatthana], he's only 16, on ASB Premiership debut, filling in for Jake [Butler] and he played so well in the middle of the park and opened the game up well for us."

Waitakere host Team Wellington next Sunday at Fred Taylor Park.

Written by: Mark Currie