Southern falls to two quick goals from Auckland

Kirsty Hayr
Kirsty Hayr
First it slipped behind.

Then a moment later the game was gone.

Two goals in two minutes ended Southern United's unbeaten start to the national women's league yesterday.

Auckland scored in the 76th and 77th minutes to pull away and win 4-2 at McLennan Park, in Auckland, yesterday.

A Britney Cunningham-Lee strike from outside the box gave the host a 3-2 lead, before a slick Stephanie Skilton pass found Tessa Leong for another a minute later.

It was the defining period of an otherwise competitive showing against a top team for Southern.

Southern coach Ignacio Sande had been pleased with the way the team played.

However, he said it could not put away its chances, while Auckland did.

He felt Southern had the better of the first half, although that evened out in the second.

Cunningham-Lee gave Auckland an early lead, finishing on the rebound after Skilton hit the crossbar in the third minute.

Southern continued to apply pressure and nearly equalised in the 23rd minute through Chelsea Whittaker.

It did draw level five minutes later, as Ruby Anderson headed in to make it 1-1.

Amy Hislop went as close as she possibly could to giving Southern a halftime lead in the 45th minute.

Auckland keeper Alisha Perry deflected her shot on to the crossbar, but the ball bounced back down on to the goal line for Perry to save.

Sande was unsure whether the right call was made as it was hard to tell from his position.

However, Southern may have felt a little unlucky when Skilton scored from long range seconds later for Auckland.

Kirsty Hayr tied the score once again at 2-2, heading in a Shontelle Smith free kick on the hour mark.

But Auckland's two minutes of dominance proved to be the difference.

The loss leaves Southern tied for second on seven points heading into a bye weekend.

However, both the teams it is tied with - Auckland and Northern Lights - have a game in hand.

Northern continued its goal-scoring ways, beating Central 7-1 yesterday.

In the other game Canterbury United continued its perfect season with a 5-0 win over WaiBOP.

Canterbury has scored 15 goals in three games and is yet to concede one.


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