Late goal keeps Western Springs’ national women’s title dream alive

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A last-gasp goal from Western Springs’ leading scorer Sophia Garcia has kept the Auckland club’s hopes alive for a national title.

Garcia’s goal — given after defender appeals for offside — earned Springs a 3-2 win at Canterbury United Pride and keeps her side in second place on the National Women’s League table.

Main photo: Western Springs’ Sophia Garcia celebrates after scoring into an empty net at Christchurch.

Meanwhile, in Sunday’s other game, Southern United beat Auckland United 4-1.

Here’s our round-up of Sunday’s fixtures:

Stoppage time goal keeps Springs’ final ambitions on track

Canterbury got off to a flying start when Charlotte Roche broke clear in the third minute, firing home a shot from 20 metres.

The home team lead lasted only three minutes before Springs equalised with a splendid team goal in which the ball was played out of defence before Emma Pijnenburg split the Pride rearguard with a 40-metre pass to Lara Colpi.

Her cross was met clinically by striker Sofia Garcia.

In the 34th minute, Springs took the lead when Pijnenburg turned and shot from the edge of the area, with the ball sneaking inside the far post.

Canterbury levelled moments before the half-time whistle when Roche half-hit a shot that wobbled and rolled inside the post.

The second half was even but Springs knew that a draw could be disastrous for their grand final ambitions.

They kept toiling and as the game entered stoppage time, a long ball sailed over the Pride defence and into space for Garcia to chase.

Pride defenders looked to the assistant referee for a flag but Garcia kept her head, rounded goalkeeper Una Foyle and tapped the ball into the empty net.

No offside given and Sophia Garcia rounds Pride goalkeeper Una Foyle to score the winner.

With no offside given, the goal stood and Springs celebrated.

They still had three minutes of added time to run down but they did so sensibly. Their title claims remain intact.

Bryant hat-trick helps Southern to emphatic win

Southern United beat Auckland United 4-1 at Keith Hay Park, with a strong second-half display and three goals from Kennedy Bryant.

But the visitors had to come from behind for the win.

After half an hour of neither side being able to break through, Auckland United went ahead when Bree Johnson scored in the 34th minute.

Her first shot rebounded off the ‘keeper’s feet but her reaction was quick and her finish deadly when she reached the ball for a second attempt.

Southern struck back a minute before half-time with a fast counterattack that saw Bryant on the end of the move, striking her shot firmly into the net from 15 metres.

Bryant scored her second in the 56th minute when she was on the end of an excellent cross by Jasmine Prince.

A minute later, Bryant completed her hat-trick with a fierce shot from outside the area.

Southern stretched their lead to 4-1 in the 67th minute through Chelsea Whittaker.

Auckland stuck to their task and kept up their work rate but Southern had control of the game and flew home with three deserved points.


Games played on Sunday November 13, 2022

Canterbury United Pride 2 (Charlotte Roche 3′, 45+1′)
Western Springs 3 (Sofia Garcia 6′, 90′, Emma Pijnenburg 34′)

Auckland United 1 (Bree Johnson 35′)
Southern United 4 (Kennedy Bryant 45′, 58′, 59′, Chelsea Whittaker 67′)

Games played on Saturday November 12, 2022

Click here for match reports >>>>

Central Football 1 (Grace Smith 12′)
Eastern Suburbs 9 (Nicole Mettam 3′, Deven Jackson 15′, 32′, Olivia Page 21′, Tayla O’Brien 40′, 62′,  Juliette Lucas 73′, 90’+3′, Charlotte Carroll 76′)

Capital Football 0
Northern Rovers 4 (Rene Wasi 21′, 48′, Mackenzie Longmuir 22′, Shannon Henson 75′)


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