Rovers win as Benni Scores
17:00 5th August 2006
Benni McCarthy scored one and created another as he kicked off his Rovers career with a win. Jason Roberts and Morten Gamst Pedersen scoring the others in a 3-2 win over German Bundesliga side Alemannia Aachen.
A fine Volley from Benni McCarthy brought Rovers level after they had fallen behind to an early Alemannia Aachen goal, before goalscorer turned provider for Jason Roberts who gave Rovers a lead. The home side managed an equaliser of their own before Morten Gamst Pedersen`s strike saw Rovers come away from the Tivoli Stadium with a victory.
The match marked an impressive Debut for Rovers` new South African International signing McCarthy, only with the club for little over a week. One other effort would only just miss the target and a further had to be cleared off the line, so one goal could have easily been a hat-trick.
The Partnership with Roberts may only have been 65 minutes old when it ended with McCarthy`s removal but the early signs are promising.
Alemannia Aachen, fresh from a draw with Dutch outfit PSV Eindhoven called Brad Friedel into action early in the game; the American had to be alert to make two very good saves to keep Rovers in the game.
Even Friedel was unable to prevent Sascha Rösler giving the home team the lead, his screaming 25 yarder flying into the corner of the net. Alemannia Aachen 1 Rovers 0.
Rovers didn`t have long to wait before they had themselves back on level terms as Benni McCarthy arrived in the area to volley home Morten Gamst Pedersen`s cross to mark his debut with a goal. Alemannia Aachen 1 Rovers 1.
McCarthy almost had Rovers in from ten minutes before the break but hit his effort narrowly over the Alemannia Aachen bar.
Alemannia Aachen 1 Rovers 1
Alemannia Aachen - Sascha Rösler 15
Rovers - Benni McCarthy 17
Having ended the first half strongly Rovers continued in the same vein and four minutes after the interval had themselves a head through Jason Roberts, McCarthy this time turning goal provider for his strike partner. His strength being enough to hold of his marker before putting Roberts in who calmly lobbed the ball over the advancing goalkeeper and into the net. Alemannia Aachen 1 Rovers 2.
One player at the centre of a will he won`t he leave drama Brett Emerton was ruled out of the game through injury, another and fellow Aussie Lucas Neill was at fault as the hosts brought the game level once again. An unusual Neill mistake let in Emmanuel Kontiris who beat Friedel. Alemannia Aachen 2 Rovers 2.
Rovers Substitutions: 60 mins Lucas Neill (Off) Jonathan Douglass (On), Robbie Savage (Off) Sergio Peter (On)
A few minutes later and with his last contribution to the game McCarthy came close to scoring again and restoring the Rovers lead however his effort was cleared off the line.
Rovers Substitution: 65 mins Benni McCarthy (Off) Paul Gallagher (On)
McCarthy`s replacement Paul Gallagher fresh from the news Hughes wants him to fight for his first team spot this season got into the game with immediate effect. His lay off to Pedersen seeing the Norwegian midfielders shot putting Rovers ahead for a second time with their third goal. Alemannia Aachen 2 Rovers 3.
Rovers Substitution: 68 mins Zurab Khizanishvili (Off) Dominic Matteo (On)
Rovers Substitution: 71 mins David Bentley (Off) Tugay (On)
Rovers Substitution: 77 mins Jason Roberts (Off) Shefki Kuqi (On)
Rovers Substitution: 82 mins Michael Gay (Off) Jay McEveley (On)
As the game neared its conclusion Shefki Kuqi got onto the end of fellow substitute Jay McEveley's pass to get in a shot that Kristian Nicht was able to divert away with his legs.
Alemannia Aachen 2 Rovers 3
Alemannia Aachen - Sascha Rösler 15, Emmanuel Kontiris 57
Rovers - Benni McCarthy 17, Jason Roberts 49, Morten Gamst Pedersen 67
Alemannia Aachen - Nicht, Herzig, Krontiris, Koen, Ebbers, Lehmann, Leiwakabessy, Leiwakabessy, Noll (Balaban 70 mins), Casper, Rösler (Dum 63 mins).
Rovers - Friedel, Mokoena, Neill (Douglas 60 mins), Khizanishvili (Matteo 68 mins), Gray (McEveley 82 mins), Reid, Bentley (Tugay 71 mins), Savage (Peter 60 mins), Pedersen, McCarthy (Gallagher 65 mins), Roberts (Kuqi 77 mins)