Sometimes things just do not quite go your way.
Southern United put up a stoic effort in the National League final, losing 2-0 to Auckland United at Mount Smart Stadium yesterday afternoon.
It was a historic occasion for the Dunedin side as they played in their first national final.
In the end, they had to settle for silver after playing only their 10th game for the season — compared to their opponents’ 26th — in the final.
Spurred on by the small but mighty pockets of their supporters, Southern were classy in big patches throughout the final and the players and staff can hold their heads high after a remarkable season.
They just let Auckland creep in and they made their chances count.
Alexis Cook’s finish in the 25th minute was all class and Maisy Dewell punished Southern with her shot in the second half.
Southern had the better of the opportunities in the opening 20 minutes.
Striker Amy Hislop’s header banged into the crossbar and a couple of other shots went begging.
Yume Harashima was penalised for a foul on Margi Dias at the top of the box.
Smith stepped up to take the kick, but her attempt went over the goal.
Southern controlled most of the ball in those early stages, pressuring Auckland to scramble on defence.
That was until Rene Wasi, who was dangerous when given the chance, stole the ball back off Southern as they tried to exit their end.
She slid the ball across to Cook at the right edge of the box who made no mistake finding the back of the net to give Auckland a 1-0 lead against the run of play.
Dias was fouled again, this time by Danielle Canham, but again Southern were unable to connect and make the most of it.
They struggled to find the finesse on their finishing pass to score in the opening half, trailing 1-0 at the break.
Jemma Wilson and Tahlia Roome replaced Freya Partridge-Moore and Bee Park at halftime, injecting speed down the flanks.
Roome and Hislop’s shots were saved by Auckland goalkeeper Aimee Hall, but things seemed to be starting to stick for Southern.
That unravelled in the 57th minute when Auckland pounced to double their lead.
Chelsea Elliot banged her free kick towards the goal and goalkeeper Lauren Paterson came off her line to punch it away.
But those in front were unable to get ride of the ball. Instead it fell to Dewell who scored to lead 2-0.
Paterson, however, made a stunning save several minutes later, jumping high to swat Elliott’s shot over goal.
Southern continued to battle away and really had their moments, just lacking the accuracy, while Auckland’s defence worked hard to keep them out.
In the curtain raiser, Wellington Olympic beat Auckland City 2-0 in the men’s National League final.
Auckland United 2
Alexis Cook 25’, Maisy Dewell 57’
Southern United 0
Halftime: Auckland 1-0