Team Wellington 6 Waitakere United 6
Team Wellington won 3-2 on pens
Stirling Sports Premiership Semi-Final
Dave Farrington Park, Wellington
Sunday 26th March 2017
Attendance : 300
12 goals...........6 goals each..... YES that's what happened! An epic epic game!
This is quite a hard blog to write because I don't really think I can do justice to the incredible game I witnessed, but I'll try.
When Team Wellington beat Tasman United 5-1 last week to confirm 2nd place and a home semi-final, it was widely assumed that the game would be played at Westpac Stadium as a curtain raiser to the Phoenix v Newcastle Jets A-League game. NZ Football even put out an advert stating this.
However Team Wellington, quite rightly, pointed out that they had worked hard to secure 2nd spot and a home ground advantage, and the stadium wasn't their home. Their home is the boutique David Farrington Park, where their blazer clad fans are so close to the action they can easily discuss the finer points of the game with the opposition players.
|The "Boutique" David Farrington Park The JourneyFan|
NZF, somewhat surprisingly given their track record with this sort of thing, agreed. This led to the next issue, TV Coverage. With David Farrington Park being set into a hillside, it's not the easiest ground for TV setup's. However Sky were willing to work around this, something they hadn't been before, but it was a resource consent issue that thwarted them this time. So up stepped the Yellow Fever, and in particular, Patrick Barnes, who organised to live stream the game on the internet and what a game it was!
35 minutes - Pascal Reinhardt shoot's across goal, at the far post Team Wellington's Guillermo Moretti jumps to stop it and may have got to it before it crossed the line, but it was going in anyway so Reinhardt can have the goal 1-0 Waitakere.
45+1 Gulley storms through the penalty area and beats Strasser to make it 1-1 on the stroke of half time.
49 Pascal Reinhardt restores Waitakere's lead. Waitakere 2-1
65 Dan Morgan makes a solo run, the Team Wellington defence stands off him, so he thinks why not have a shot, he does and scores. Waitakere 3-1
Auckland City fan Nick Brown tweets that it's game over for Team Wellington and they'll be seeing Waitakere United in the final next weekend.
66 Team Wellington's Nicholas Zambrano breaks through, from possibly an offside position, but it isn't called and with the ball on the edge of the penalty area, Waitakere keeper Pirmin Strasser fails to deal with it, Zambrano rounds him and pulls one back for Team Wellington. Waitakere 3-2
75 From a corner, Team Wellington's Bill Robertson, under close attention from Julyan Collett, uses his experience well and wins a penalty. League golden boot Tom Jackson has no problem making it 3-3 from the spot.
78 Dan Morgan gets a second goal Waitakere 4-3
|Dan Morgan celebrates his second goal, the Ball boy despairs The JourneyFan|
80 A rash challenge from Guillermo Morretti earns a yellow card, it's his second so his season's over, whatever the result.
|Morretti sees red, Butler shows him the way The JourneyFan|
87 A long ball into the Waitakere United box sees a Team Wellington player end on the ground. The ref points to the spot, Waitakere players and bench are up in arms. Team Wellington players and fans look at the ground, realising it probably wasn't a penalty but they'll take it. Well, Tom Jackson does and it's now 4-4
|Collett & Thelen question the ref's penalty call The JourneyFan|
Full time 4-4
91 Dylan Stansfield makes a statement for Waitakere United with a goal straight away. Waitakere 5-4.
Waikato football aficionado, The kiwicanary, watching via the live stream, tweets that he is half expecting an alien spaceship to pull up and watch!
111 It's back to all square as Team Wellington's Joel Steven's make's it 5-5
119 Joel Steven's shot sails over Strasser's head and Team Wellington have the lead for the first time in the game with only a minute to go. Team Wellington 6-5
120+1 We couldn't have a game like this not go to penalties, and Pascal Reinhardt makes sure it does completing his hat-trick in the last minute of added on time in extra time.
Final Score 6-6 aet
The highest ever scoring draw in the NZ National League
Waitakere's Jake Butler takes the first, Scott Basalaj saves it with his legs
|Scott Basalaj saves the 1st penalty The JourneyFan|
Joel Stevens makes it 1-0 for Team Wellington
Scott Basalaj does it again this time saving with his chest from Dylan Stansfield
|Scott Basalaj saves the 2nd penalty The JourneyFan|
Now it's Pirmin Strasser's turn to save a shot from Andy Bevin, but he is adjudged to have moved off his line. Andy Bevin goes the other way with the re-take but so does Strasser who saves it!
|Pirmin Strasser saves the initial penalty from Andy Bevin The JourneyFan|
Hat-trick hero Pascal Reinhardt makes no mistake with his to make it 1-1
Team Wellington's Leo Villa send's his penalty over the bar
Scott Basalaj has made 2 great saves already, law of averages says he can't make another can he? Law of averages is stupid! Basalaj saves again, this time from Waitakere's Stefan Thelen.
|Basalaj dives to make his 3rd save of the shootout The JourneyFan|
Tom Jackson completes a personal hat-trick of penalties for the day - he was never going to miss 2-1 Team Wellington
Juylan Collett has to score to keep Waitakere United in it and he does
It's now into sudden death after Strasser saves Justin Gulley's effort
Scott Hillar puts the ball not only over the bar, but over the (2-storey) clubrooms and on to Darlington road
Niko Kirwan, who has been one of the best players on the park all day, steps up and cooly slots the winner for Team Wellington.
|Team Wellington and fans celebrate The JourneyFan|
So that was it, one of the most incredible games I have ever seen. Both teams would have been worthy winners, on the day the rub of the green went Team Wellington's way and they get to defend the National League trophy against the team they beat in the final last season, Auckland City. Which is on at QBE stadium on Sunday 2nd April kick off 4:35pm