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Team Wellington win 12-goal thriller

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 26/03/2017

Twelve goals, extra time, a red card and a penalty shootout - Team Wellington's national soccer league semi-final win over Waitakere United had everything.

Former All Blacks winger John Kirwan's son Niko slammed home the decisive penalty for Wellington's 3-2 win after the scores were level 4-4 at full-time and 6-6 after extra time.

The win means the defending champions will meet Auckland City next Sunday in a repeat of last year's final, after they edged Hawke's Bay United 1-0 on Saturday.

German striker Pascal Reinhardt and Dan Morgan both scored braces for Waitakere, with Dylan Stansfield and an own goal completing their scorecard at the end of extra time.

For Wellington, Joel Stevens found the net twice and Tom Jackson converted two penalties while Justin Gulley and Nicholas Zambrano rounded out the goalscorers.

Wellington lost Guillermo Moretti after a second yellow card late in the second spell, but still managed to find an equaliser through a Jackson penalty with one of the last kicks of regular time.

And although Waitakere hit the front early in extra time, Stevens then scored twice to give Wellington the lead for the first time in the game.

Reinhardt prodded home his second for Waitakere with only seconds remaining, sending the match to a penalty shootout.

Wellington keeper Scott Basalaj stepped up with a hat-trick of saves, Kirwan then coolly putting Wellington through with the final spot kick of the game.

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