Forrest Hill claim final on penalties

Forrest Hill celebrate winning the Women's Knock Out Cup Final. Forrest Hill Milford United vs Glenfield Rovers. QBE Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand. Sunday 11 September 2016. © Copyright Image: Ben Campbell /

Forrest Hill Milford United have made history by claiming their first New Zealand Women’s Knockout Cup title in dramatic fashion when they defeated Glenfield Rovers 4-3 on penalties today at QBE Stadium in Albany.

The teams could not be separated after 120 minutes of entertaining football and in the end Tayla Christensen stepped up and coolly slotted the decisive penalty to claim the silverware and send her team and their supporters into raptures.

Click here to watch the highlights from SKY Sport on the NZ Women’s Knockout Cup Final

Maddison Jorgensen had slotted home to give Rovers a 3-2 advantage which was cancelled out by Forrest Hill’s Lily Jervis. Glenfield’s Geneva Gross blasted high over the bar with her penalty and Christensen did not miss with her chance to make history for her club.

The penalty shootout was a fitting conclusion to the final as both teams could not be separated throughout the 90 minutes and also after the added 30 minutes of extra time. Captain Liz Milne, hoping to lead her team to a third title in as many years, looked to have delivered the decisive goal in the 102nd minute when she hit a powerful left foot strike past Forrest Hill keeper Emily Couchman to take a 2-1 lead.

Listen to Ryan Faithful on his team’s 4-3 win on penalties

But Forrest Hill Milford, looking for their first NZ Women’s Knockout title and looking for redemption from the same final two years ago, never gave up and equalised eight minutes later when Emma Rolston finished off from close range.

The two-time defending champions dominated the opening exchanges and captain Milne put them ahead in the 17th minute when she slotted in a low shot from outside the box.

The Forrest Hill Milford United skipper Tessa Berger got her team back into the match in spectacular fashion when she lobbed a long range shot from over 40 yards over the head of Glenfield keeper Alice Noyer in the 52nd minute.

The opening goal was coming from the favourites as Emma Turnbull and striker Katie Rood both had chances within the opening six minutes but could not find the back of the net.

Forrest Hill rallied and came back into the match with a number of promising counter attacks down the left flank. Christensen was at the heart of their attacking endeavour but she could not link with her forwards to finish off one of the many promising moves into the Glenfield box. The one which hurt the most was Christensen cross which found Sam Tawharu with a free header at point blank range which she could not get on target.

Glenfield Rovers’ prolific striker Rood had a chance to double her team’s lead shortly before the break but she was quickly shut down and the chance was gone.

Listen to Andy Clay on his team’s loss in the final.

After the break Forrest Hill Milford United came out and chased the game and created a number of chances on the counter attack once again. In the 51st minute Malia Steinmez had the best chance for Forrest Hill when she was one on one with Noyer in a one-on-one but could not convert from close range. Just when you thought it was going to be that sort of day for Forrest Hill their skipper came up with something audacious to turn things around.

Berger took the ball early from just on her side of halfway and let fly to score one of the best long range goals witnessed in a Knockout Cup Final. That goal changed the mood of the game and all of a sudden Forrest Hill believed that history was within their grasp.

Ten minutes later, Saskia Vosper had a great opportunity to take the lead when she found space and was one on one with the keeper but Noyer came up with a great save on this occasion.

As expected Rovers came back into the match and Dayan Stevens had a great chance to claim back the lead in the 72nd minute. On the end of a well weighted ball she had the chance to side foot in past Couchman but was off target.

In the dying moments of regular time Tawaharu had another golden chance to put the game to bed with a free header but again it sailed wide.

Into extra time and Aneka Mittendorf had a tough chance in a goalmouth scramble before Gross cleared the danger for Rovers.  Still it did not matter as Forrest Hill could savour history and a long awaited NZ Women’s Knockout Cup trophy after a tense finish.

Final Score
Forrest Hill Milford United 2 (Tessa Berger 52’, Emma Rolston 110’) Glenfield Rovers 2 (Liz Milne 17’, 102’) HT: 0-1
QBE Stadium Albany (Forrest Hill wins 4-3 on penalties)
Penalties:  Forrest Hill 4 (Chloe Wilson, CJ Bott, Lily Jervis, Tayla Christensen) Glenfield Rovers 3 (Katie Rood, Liz Milne, Maddison Jorgensen)

Forrest Hill Milford United: 1. Emily Couchman (GK), 2. Chisato Nagahama, 4. Issy Coombes (19. Lily Jervis 107’), 6. Chloe Wilson, 7. Saskia Vosper (18. Aneka Mittendorf 86’), 8. Mahlia Steinmetz (5. Morgan Owen 66’), 9. Tayla Christensen, 10. Emma Rolston, 11. Sam Tawharu, 15. Tessa Berger, 20. CJ Bott
Subs not used: 3. Molly Flynn, 14. Brittany Coleman

Glenfield Rovers: 1. Alice Noyer (GK), 2. Claudia Bunge, 5. Emma Turnbull (16. Sonja Bain 78’), 6. Geneva Gross, 7. Stacey Hallford (15. Grace Evans 113’), 8. Jessica Innes, 9. Dayna Stevens, 11. Katie Rood, 12. Liz Milne, 13. Maddison Jorgensen, 17. Emily Oosterhof
Subs not used: 3. Sydney Bultitude, 4. Hayley Hedges-Flicking, , 18. Sarah Bell (GK)


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