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Clinical Krishna is key for Kiwis

The Tahitian champions’ cause was not helped by the early dismissal of goalkeeper Xavier Samin but they had no answer to Waitakere’s emphatic attacking display, led by a clinical performance from Roy Krishna.
The Fijian international found the net a remarkable five times and was joined in being a multiple scorer by Ryan De Vries, who also struck a hat-trick, and Allan Pearce, whose two goals would usually have made him a strong contender for man of the match.
There was only one logical choice for that mantle, however, and even Pearce and De Vries would have been embarrassed if they had walked away with it.
Emblen was full of praise for his five-goal hero at the final whistle and believes the 24-year-old will be a key figure again in Waitakere’s next O-League fixture, a tricky home tie against Krishna’s countrymen from Ba.
“If Roy plays like he did today we’ll have a good chance,” Emblen said.
“He’s a big personality over in Fiji and has a lot of support as well. I’m sure they’ll be hoping he doesn’t play too well that day but we definitely need to keep him fit and ready for that game.”
Krishna, who spent time training with the Wellington Phoenix in 2008 and has reportedly caught the eye of Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven, is on a roll after also enjoying recent success with his hometown club.
The fleet-footed frontman returned to Fiji to link up with Labasa in the New Zealand off-season and was named player of the tournament as the side picked up its first Inter District Championship title for 17 years earlier this month.
But his focus has now turned to helping Waitakere secure their first O-League title for three years – and a return to the FIFA Club World Cup that triumph would bring – and was at the heart of much of Saturday’s talking points.
It was he who got the afternoon off to the best possible start for Waitakere in the seventh minute when he ran onto a through ball from captain Jake Butler and drew a foul out of Samin, whose offence led to both a penalty and the Tahitian number one’s sending off.
Former All White Allan Pearce stepped up to smash home the spot kick and, from then on, the result never looked in doubt.
“It was a very early sending off and was a bit unlucky for them,” Emblen said. “But it was a great little ball to put Roy through and the ‘keeper probably had to go to be fair.”
Waitakere capitalised on their numerical advantage to post the highest ever winning margin in the history of the O-League and Emblen believes those 10 strikes will come in handy.
“In this competition, goal difference is always a key factor come the fifth or sixth game so to get those goals on the board so early is great. It’s only three points but with those goals it’s like having four really.”


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