Kiwi ‘keeper’s penalty heroics take Welsh club to verge of Europa Conference

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New Zealand age group international Zac Jones is being hailed a hero after the young goalkeeper saved three penalties to take his Welsh club to within a game of qualifying to play in the Europa Conference League.

Jones (22) saved a penalty in normal time and then two spot kicks in a shootout won 4-3 by his Haverfordwest to secure a place in the Cymru Premier European play-off final against Newtown.

Jones, who also made an outstanding save in the final minute of extra time to send the game to penalties, was named Man of the Match and has been the subject of media attention since.

Main photo: Zac Jones interviewed sideline for broadcaster Sgorio.

The former Wellington Phoenix ‘keeper told Sgorio: “I don’t think I’ve saved a penalty in about five years, and then all of a sudden, I save three.”

Jones shrugged off the praise for his performance.

“Honestly, I don’t think I played that great,” he said, crediting teammates for the win.

About the penalties, Jones said he decided which way to dive and then “hoped for the best.”

Haverfordwest face Newton next Saturday (NZT) for a place in Europe and Jones said it meant a lot to the club and its fans.

“But it’s going to be tough,” he warned, with Newton having beaten Haverdwest twice during the regular season.

Jones has represented New Zealand at U-17 and U-20 level and was backup for Oli Sail at the Phoenix, as well as playing for Team Wellington, Wellington Olympic and Miramar Rangers.

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