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Green fires Auckland to sixth Women’s League title

Green netted in the 15th, 18th, and 42nd minutes at Bayer Growers Stadium as Auckland claimed their fourth grand final win in succession, with all of those victories coming at the expense of Capital.
“I’m stoked with the goals, but I’m more happy with the team effort and winning the final,” Green said.
After starting the season with lopsided wins, Auckland had faced closer games in recent weeks but Green said there was never a danger of the defending champions playing within themselves in a grand final against an opposition that deserved their respect.
“Like us, Capital had been unbeaten in pool play so we wanted to come at them all guns blazing.”
The midfielder’s first and last goals – a classy top corner shot from the edge of the area and a corner which she curled directly in at the back post – were largely her own making but she needed a slide-rule through ball from Rebecca Tegg to open up the defence before slotting her second.
Tegg made sure to grab one herself in the 38th minute, turning a Kirsty Yallop pass under Capital keeper Aroon Clansey from close range to claim her ninth goal of the season and her fourth straight golden boot title.
Yallop was again provider for Auckland’s fifth, with defender Melissa Ray heading Auckland into a commanding lead on the stroke of halftime.
Ten minutes after the break, Capital’s talismanic captain Renee Leota pulled a goal back with a clinical diving header, but even though teammate Emily McColl had a strong penalty shout turned down with 20 minutes remaining, any thoughts of a comeback remained remote.
Capital coach Johan Koutstaal pointed to Auckland’s height advantage and subsequent aerial dominance as a factor in the result but said stepping up to Auckland’s level in a one-off game was the biggest challenge.
“We’ve got used to being the team that plays,” Koutstaal said.
“In all the games leading up to this one we’ve been the team with the ball, the one making things happen and that suits us. But here we were chasing and that’s a different game for us.
“We don’t get many tough games like this, and by the time we’re getting used to this sort of match it’s over and the medals are being given out.”
Lion Foundation Women’s League Final
Bayer Growers Stadium, Pukekohe
Referee: Anna-Marie Keighley
Auckland Football 5 (Anna Green 15, 18, 42; Rebecca Tegg 42, Melissa Ray 45)
Capital Football 1 (Renee Leota 56)
Auckland Football: 13-Victoria Esson (GK), 2-Melissa Ray, 3-Briony Fisher, 4-Dana Humby (12-Libby Williams 46), 5-Kristy Hill, 6-Priscilla Duncan, 9-Grace Vincent (14-Emily Cooper 69), 10-Rebecca Tegg, 11-Kirsty Yallop, 15-Maia Jackman (8-Melanie Gooch 69), 20-Anna Green.
Substitutes not used: 1-Ashleigh Cox (GK), 19-Sara Lovitz.
Coach: Richard Wilson
Cautions: Briony Fisher
Capital Football: 1-Aroon Clansey (GK), 2-Emily McColl, 4-Amanda Rasch, 7-Renee Leota, 11-Yumi Nuygen, 13-Terri-Amber Carlson, 14-Hannah Wall, 15-Chelsea O’Callaghan, 19-Lucy Sneddon, 20-Toni West, 21-Melissa Bartlett.
Substitutes not used: 5-Noel Pinnick, 6-Kendall Morta, 12-Sandy Cumpstone, 17-Maria Papp, 22-Ronisa Lipi (RGK).
Coach Johan Koutstaal
Golden Boot: Rebecca Tegg, Auckland Football (9 goals)
Story and photo courtesy nzfootball.co.nz

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