Cup games spur girls to greater heights

South Waikato News - - SPORT CLASSIFIED -

Toko­roa High School’s girl’s foot­ball team have been en­joy­ing the chance to learn from the fu­ture Mes­sis, Ney­mars and Suarezs at the FIFA Un­der 20 World Cup by at­tend­ing the games at Waikato Sta­dium.

The ex­pe­ri­ence seems to be pay­ing off, with the team in the last eight of the Waikato Sec­ondary Schools knock­out cup af­ter beat­ing For­est View 3-0, in the sec­ond di­vi­sion for the first time and sur­pris­ing the usual pow­er­houses by sit­ting top of the ta­ble un­beaten af­ter Satur­day’s 5-2 win over St Paul’s Col­le­giate.

The girls then watched the world cup games, ac­com­pa­nied by three teach­ers – coach Ja­son Jowett, tech­ni­cal direc­tor Dean Tereu and sys­tems strate­gist Chris Teague. The pas­sion of th­ese three seems to be rub­bing off on the girls who were amazed by the skills, pace and fit- ness of the fu­ture su­per stars.

Cap­tain Ahere Hapi loved all the ball skills and tricks on show, while sis­ters Trena and Ana­hera Hu­napoMoetu were amazed by the head­ing abil­ity and power of the cen­tral de­fend­ers.

Mean­while the Toko­roa men’s side suf­fered a heart-break­ing 2-1 loss to vis­i­tors Te Puke in their Fed­er­a­tion Cham­pi­onship game at Strath­more Park on Satur­day.

On the back of a cred­itable 1-1 with ta­ble-top­ping Cam­bridge the week be­fore, hopes were high for the home team.

Af­ter a bright start by both teams, Toko­roa took a de­served lead af­ter a clever ex­change of passes as Billy Man­they pro­duced a com­posed fin­ish from just in­side the box.

At this stage Toko­roa had a stran­gle­hold on the game and pressed for a cru­cial sec­ond goal, which was de­nied by a very tight off­side call. De­spite cre­at­ing sev­eral chances, it was Te Puke who equalised af­ter Toko­roa’s de­fence failed to win the first header from a long free kick and the re­bound was buried.

A lack of con­cen­tra­tion then saw Te Puke score the match win­ner with a long straight ball catch­ing out the Toko­roa de­fence. The home team then pressed for an equaliser and af­ter Con­nor Wood was crudely brought down were given the chance of a late penalty.

Cap­tain Chris Teague stepped up, only to see his spot kick saved by for­mer Toko­roa player Charles Hall.

Best on show were Kee­gan Wil­lis, Cody Ch­ester­man and Zac Cos­grove, while Billy Man­they picked up player of the day honours.

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