Team Taranaki take 1-0 win over Miramar to stay unbeaten
Team Taranaki might be having their troubles in front of goal, but it hardly matters when they're still winning games.
Through their opening two Central League matches, both of their goals came from the penalty spot and they continued that trend in their 1-0 win over Miramar Rangers in New Plymouth on Friday.
Damien Mosquera's 18th minute spot kick was the difference in the match and continued Energyworks Team Taranaki's unbeaten stretch.
And, as coach Ian McGrath said, it's better that way than to be scoring plenty of goals and losing.
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"Scoring from open play is something that we need to be doing and we're just not creating enough opportunities and then taking them when they appear. It would just take the pressure off a little bit from those players struggling in front of goal in open play.
"But even under pressure we are still showing really resolute defensive qualities and very solid organisation and that's what's winning us games at the moment."
Miramar began the match fast and looked to put pressure on their hosts almost from the outset.
They staying in charge for the opening 10 minutes before Team Taranaki fought back and gained control.
After a five minute period of sustained attack in which Miramar looked panicky at the back, the home side earned a penalty when Wade Randle was brought down in the box. Mosquera cooly converted to remain at a 100 per cent hit rate from the spot (3-3) this season.
That was the way it stayed for the first half as Team Taranaki dictated the play through to the break.
It was a stagnant start to the second half as both sides looked vulnerable.
As the half went on, Miramar got more and more aggressive and began take over the game and ask questions of the Taranaki backline.
The hosts were able to stay strong, albeit a little shaky, to hold out the opposition and when Miramar lost Roland Bala to his second yellow card of the match, it was going to be a tough ask for them to take the result.
In the end, the single penalty was enough for the hosts to claim their second 1-0 home win in a row and improve their record to two wins and a draw through three games.
"It's a great result," McGrath said.
Team Taranaki now face a short turnaround as they travel to Wellington for a meeting against Wellington Olympic on Monday.
"We had a target of getting seven points out of the first three games and we've achieved that, but I've told the players that the start or the evaluation of the start doesn't begin until Tuesday."
"The start isn't over yet."