Soccer: City bundles Metro out

By Kelly Exelby

Short of chopping him off at the knees, there's little that can be done to stop former Czech age group international Jindrich Hahn when he's in the sort of mood he was in yesterday.

Hahn was unbelievable, netting a hat-trick and tormenting the opposition defence as Tauranga City United scored a boilover in the first round of the Chatham Cup's knockout competition, sending Auckland side Metro crashing out 3-2, with Tauranga far more dominant than their one goal buffer suggests.

Even calling it a boilover is doing Tauranga an injustice.

Metro might be in the Northern League's first division, one higher than where Tauranga currently sit, but the home side have been journeying well and yesterday's win at Links Ave was no surprise.

Tauranga went a goal down midway through the first half, with Metro's Josh Karika curling a left-footed shot into an open net after a good run down the left from Sebastian Egana Vera.

Their lead was shortlived as Hahn picked up a loose ball after defender Simon Collins slipped, carrying the ball to the byline before rifling a left-footed shot that gave keeper David Ellensohn no chance.

Turning at 1-1, Tauranga came out in the mood to score, with Isaac Bright unlucky with a rocket volley from just inside the area that Ellensohn palmed clear, and Connor Irvine denied by the Metro stopper after he beat two defenders on a jinking run into the penalty area.

Hahn's second came when he controlled a partial clearance and volleyed into the corner of the net from a corner kick.

Two minutes later he had his hat-trick when Irvine sent him clear up the left, Hahn making the game safe with a deft chip over Ellensohn's head that deflected off the post, although the 37-year-old's shirtless salute to the crowd earned him a booking.

On a day Tauranga could have easily had five or six goals, with Tom Livesey firing wide and Hahn and Jordan Culpepper forcing good saves out of Ellensohn, Metro made the last few minutes interesting when Saeed Shahran volleyed into an empty net from 25m after Tauranga were caught short at the back for one of the few times in the match.

Hahn said the result proved Tauranga could compete with the teams ranked higher than them

"It's cup football so of course anyone can win on their day, but we've played well now for the last five games, we're a settled squad with some good teamwork and even though it was me who got the goals it could have been anyone."

Hahn was shocked to score with his weaker left foot, saying it was nice to discover it was for more than just walking on.

Tauranga, he said, need to be concentrating on getting out of the Northern League's second division, where they had been languishing for too long.

"I'd like to see this team in the premier league. We are a city of 100,000 people and Waikato are about the same and have two teams."Tauranga weren't the only Chatham Cup winners from this region, with Waikato-Bay of Plenty Federation league teams Ngongotaha, Whakatane Town and Otumoetai keeping their dreams of Cup glory alive with exciting wins against Northern Football League opposition.

However, for Taupo, Old Blues, Claudelands Rovers and Rotorua United the dream is over for another year.

At Stembridge Rd, Ngongotaha downed Western Springs 2-1 while Whakatane Town remain unbeaten at Rex Morpeth Park this season after a nail-biting 3-2 win over NFL league side Matamata Swifts.

Otumoetai were behind early against Northern League division one side Albany who, with home advantage, were odds on to win comfortably. But in the true tradition of Cup football Otumoetai battled back and Matt Fisher silenced the home crowd when he scored in the 75th minute.

It was all tied up at the end of 90 minutes and after 30 minutes of extra-time. So to the exciting but dreaded penalty shoot out.

With the help of the woodwork and a great save by Graeme Blisset, Otumoetai prevailed 4-2.

Old Blues coach Andy Legget took a young side to Manukau and they lost 3-1, holding Manukau to 0-0 for 70 minutes before conceding three quick goals.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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