Words: ACFC Media
Sunday 11 July 2021
AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Ten-man Auckland City FC is through to the Chatham Cup last eight after a dramatic penalty shoot out win over Birkenhead United at a packed Shepherd's Park today.
A crowd of around 1,500 watched the two sides exchange three goals each before Navy Blues goalkeeper Conor Tracey saved three out of four of the Birkenhead United spot-kicks.
The visitors took the lead when Dylan Manickum was felled in the box and referee Hayden Tutbury did not hesitate in pointing to the spot.
Angus Kilkolly slammed home an unstoppable penalty kick to net his 16th goal of the season.
Auckland City FC had to wait 20 minutes before they scored again. Alfie Rogers initiated the move with a brilliant individual run before he slipped in Jordan Vale on the left.
Vale, who made a lung bursting run to join the attack, let loose a devastating finish that gave Damian Hirst no chance.
Kilkolly could've added a third ten minutes before the break but dragged his shot wide as Auckland City FC carved United open almost at will.
The match swung back into the balance when Alex Connor-McLean steered a near post flick on from Nick Milicich's long throw beyond Conor Tracey.
With the game on a knife edge tempers frayed with a series of niggly free-kicks and robust challenges.
Cam Howieson then gave United something to think about when his swerved free-kick struck Hirst's left hand upright.
United equalised when a cross from City's left found Sanni Issa lurking at the far post and the former Manukau and Navy Blues striker lofted a delicate finish into the back of the net at point blank range.
It was Issa's second goal against Auckland City FC this season, his first scored for his previous club Manukau United in a 3-1 defeat at Kiwitea Street on April 2.
Hirst was then called into action to palm away a goal-bound Kilkolly volley.
The momentum was clearly with United and they had an excellent shout for handball turned away by Tutbury who thought otherwise.
With the match pitched into extra-time, United nearly fell behind almost immediately when Kilkolly crashed through their defence and fired a shot goalwards that Hirst tipped onto the face of the crossbar.
But United weren't to be denied and substitute Josh Turner was the hero sweeping past Tracey six minutes into additional time to hand Birkenhead the lead for the first time in the match.
In a game of twists and turns it fell to Howieson to haul City's Cup hopes out of the fire when he scrambled home a close range finish to make it 3-3 just before the break ion extra time.
The Navy Blues hopes of reaching a penalty shoot-out took a major setback after Reid Drake was sent off after connecting with a high foot, Tutbury issuing the midfielder his second caution of the game with six minutes of extra-time left.
When the penalty shoot-out carnage ensued it was Tracey who emerged as the difference between two sides who delivered a Chatham Cup thriller worthy of the competition's illustrious history.
Birkenhead United have lost just two of their last 22 Chatham Cup matches spanning five years.
THE PENALTY SHOOT OUT
Birkenhead v Auckland City - Chatham Cup (Penalty Shootout) https://t.co/XXOPDHdQmy— Auckland City FC (@AucklandCity_FC) July 11, 2021
Elsewhere in Chatham Cup action, Miramar Rangers advanced after a 4-1 thrashing of Lower Hutt City, Hamilton Wanderers were too good for non-league Ngaruawahia United in a 5-1 romp and North Shore United edged Waiheke United 1-0 at Allen Hill Stadium.
The shock of the round saw Otago University hammer South City Royals 4-1. The other Southern Region match saw Cashmere Technical brush by Christchurch United 3-0.
The other matches played on Sunday included Melville United defeated Bay Olympic 2-1 and Western Suburbs reached the last eight beating Waterside Karori 2-0.
The draw for the last eight is expected to be held early next week.
The Chatham Cup quarter finals are scheduled for the weekend of 1-2 August 2021.
Auckland City FC's next match is in the Northern League when the Navy Blues travel to Porritt Stadium to face Hamilton Wanderers.
The match kicks off at 3.00pm NZDT.
Chatham Cup 4th Round
Sunday 11 July 2021
Birkenhead United 2 (3) 3 (Alex CONNOR-McLEAN 40', Sanni ISSA 65', Josh TURNER 96')
Auckland City FC 2 (3) 3 (Angus KILKOLLY 12'-pen, Jordan VALE 28', Cam HOWIESON 100')
AC: 18. Conor TRACEY (GK), 2. Mario ILICH, 4. Mario BILEN, 6. Brian KALTAK, 7. Cam HOWIESON, 9. Angus KILKOLLY, 10. Dylan MANICKUM, 11. Reid DRAKE, 14. Jordan VALE (17. Andrew BLAKE 91'), 21. Ilham HAMEEDI (8. Adam THURSTON 102'), 23. Alfie ROGERS.
SUBS NOT USED: 24. Cam BROWN (GK), 3. Adam MITCHELL, 12. Sam BROTHERTON.
COACH: José FIGUEIRA
ASSISTANT COACH: Ivan VICELICH
GK COACH: Enaut ZUBIKARAI
PHYSIO: Matt PAYNE
TEAM MANAGER: Keith COTON
S&C COACH: Adria CASALS
ANALYST: Jarrod WALLACE
ANALYST: Dan GORDON
CHATHAM CUP 4th ROUND
SATURDAY 10 JULY 2021
Cashmere Technical 3-0 Christchurch United
Hamilton Wanderers 5-1 Ngaruawahia United
Miramar Rangers 4-1 Lower Hutt City
North Shore United 1-0 Waiheke United
South City Royals 1-4 Otago University
SUNDAY 11 JULY 2021
Melville United 2-1 Bay Olympic
Western Suburbs 2-0 Waterside Karori
Sunday 4 December 2022, Wellington Olympic, Mount Smart Stadium