Football Ferns goalkeeper Anna Leat has played down her own part in Aston Villa’s penalty shootout win over Manchester United in the UK’s Continental Cup.
“It wasn’t quite what I expected but I’m quite happy about it,” Leat (21) said minutes after her four penalty saves saw Villa knock United out of the cup 4-3.
The modest response followed an outstanding first team debut for Leat in which she kept Villa in the game with a last-minute save in normal time.
Immediately after Villa won the shootout, Leat disappeared under a pile of celebrating teammates as they rushed to acknowledge her contribution.
Leat: “I’m quite happy about it’
The Football Fern has made a habit of saving penalties in pressure situations.
In 2015, the teenage Leat achieved national fame when she made saves — and then scored a goal — against Japan, to help New Zealand through to the last four of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Uruguay.
Leat joined Villa during the English summer but has been on the bench, with England international Hannah Hampton the club’s first choice ‘keeper in the FA Women’s Super League.
The Arrowtown-born Leat, who learned her football as a junior with East Coast Bays and Glenfield Rovers, will head to Japan to join the Ferns squad for their October 9 international friendly.