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Sunday, May 14, 2006

Solomon Players click again to lift Youngheart Manawatu to victory

New Caledonian international Andre Sinedo faces a lengthy ban after striking referee Ben Williams late in Saturday night’s Oceania Club Championship match between AS Magenta and YoungHeart Manawatu in Albany.

The AS Magenta captain shoved the Australian official in the side of the head after seeing red for his second bookable offence in an often spiteful match on a water-logged North Harbour Stadium.

Sinedo will face an OFC-convened judicial hearing within 48 hours of the ugly incident which marred Manawatu’s 3-0 win – a result that keeps Colin Tuaa’s men on track for a semifinal berth at the FIFA Club World Cup qualifying tournament.

The defender was first cautioned for dissent after Magenta goalkeeper Michel Hne was injured in a 50-50 tackle with Manawatu substitute Campbell Banks in the 71st minute. Hne was stretchered off with a suspected knee ligament injury.

Sinedo then saw red after again arguing with a decision by Williams in the 89th minute. The strapping defender then lost his head and struck Williams after the official had brandished his red card.

The ugly scenes continued when Manawatu midfielder Adam Cowan was then allegedly spat in the face by a Magenta player as he walked to the sideline to be substituted.

It was a sad end to an uncompromising encounter where the slushy conditions made constructive football difficult and sliding tackles a frightening proposition.

“No one likes to see that,” Manawatu coach Colin Tuaa told afterwards.

“There was a bit of off the ball stuff throughout the match but thankfully for us we kept our heads. We’re two games in and we’ve only had one yellow card so it’s a credit to the boys.”

Manawatu, like Auckland City in their semifinal sealing 3-1 win over Marist FC (Solomon Islands) in the early match today, were unable to capitalise on numerous chances as Magenta’s attempt to play the offside trap failed miserably.

Commins Menapi gave Manawatu the lead in the 22nd minute when he finished coolly after being put through by a delightful Benjamin Totori ball.

But the Palmerston North side had to wait until the 86th minute before defender Andy Boyens put the result beyond doubt when he tucked home a loose ball from an Ian Robinson freekick.

Totori made it 3-0 a minute later when he cut in from the right and slipped the ball under Magenta’s reserve goalkeeper Dimitri Petemou.

Robinson and Ian Sandbrook pulled the strings in midfield while Totori was a fancy-footed creator down the right flank again following an eye-catching display in Manawatu's earlier 2-2 draw against Fiji's Eagles United. Manawatu’s defence, bolstered by Team Wellington import Matt Adams and former All White Sanjay Singh, were rarely troubled.

“I’m very pleased, that was a good performance tonight,” Tuaa said afterwards.

“We were very solid at the back in very challenging conditions, scored three good goals and kept a clean sheet. I couldn't ask for much more.”

Manawatu need a point from their final group B match against Vanuatu’s Tafea FC on Tuesday to be assured of a semifinal berth. The match is to be played at Bill McKinlay Park in Mt Wellington (5pm).

News source:


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