Article by Martin Bottomley, Taupo New Zealand
Idyllic conditions made for an entertaining fast tempo game at Owen Delany Park, Taupo New Zealand as the Wellington Phoenix took down the New Zealand Select Eleven side 3-2.
The Phoenix got off to a perfect start four minutes in as Roy Krishna caught defender Michael Boxall being a little complacent in possession. Once on the ball, Krishna accelerated away and clinically lobbed the keeper from long range before he had time to react to the situation.
Fifteen minutes later Krishna was back in the act for a second, showing good control from an intricately placed pass and tucking a neat finish into the bottom corner from the outside of his right boot.
The New Zealand Eleven were unable to trouble the scorekeepers in the first half as they threw everything at the Phoenix, most notably through Jeremy Brockie who hit the back of the net only to see it disallowed due to a contentious offside decision. Brockie rattled the woodwork minutes later with a fierce header and stood perplexed as his firmly struck penalty was miraculously forced over the bar from a keeper at full stretch.
Brockie must have strapped his shooting boots on at half time as The New Zealand Select found the precision they had been lacking quickly in the second half scoring two very tidy goals from some first class pass and move football to place the teams all square.
Some end to end liquid football followed as both teams looked to move the ball wide and several times the Wellington defence was stretched to the limit as Tyler Boyd proved a handful on the wing.
Hunting the elusive winner as always can leave gaps at the back and a swift counter attack had the game finish as it started with Roy Krishna as the star of the show, he scampered past his marker to meet a pin point cross and bested the keeper for the third time completing a hat trick with a late winner.