Football: Auckland to host both Chatham Cup semis

Jack Caunter of Waitakere City competes with goalie Danny Knight of Cashmere Technical. Photo / Getty Images
Jack Caunter of Waitakere City competes with goalie Danny Knight of Cashmere Technical. Photo / Getty Images

The semi-finals of the Chatham Cup will both be held in Auckland after two teams from the City of Sails were drawn to play at home in the final four of New Zealand's oldest and most prestigious winter club competition.

The official draw for the semi-finals was held today at New Zealand Football headquarters and resulted in Birkenhead United hosting Miramar Rangers and Waitakere City doing likewise against Three Kings United.

It means each semi-final will be staged by a club from the Northern Football Federation with Waitakere welcoming Three Kings to their Fred Taylor Park home in Whenuapai and Wellington's Miramar hitting the road yet again to meet Birkenhead at Shepherds Park on the North Shore.

The draw continues to be unkind to Miramar, who have performed admirably to make it this far without once enjoying the benefit of home advantage. The capital men have also proven they can foot it with the best in the country after beating a top-flight team in each round.

All of the semi-finalists will go into the make-or-break ties in good form after each finding the net multiple times in their quarter-final victories last weekend.

Three Kings went on the goal rampage against cup bolters North Wellington, pulling off a 6-1 win thanks largely to a hat-trick from former All White Allan Pearce and a Cameron Philpot double.

Birkenhead also had a brace-scorer in their 3-0 triumph over neighbours Forrest Hill-Milford United with Jack Salter on target twice late on.

And there were plenty of goals elsewhere as Waitakere defeated Dunedin's Caversham 3-1 at home and Miramar disposed of Cashmere Technical 4-2 in Christchurch.

None of this year's semi-finalists are strangers to the latter stages of the competition.

Of the four, Three Kings and Birkenhead are yet to lift the trophy but the former finished runners-up in 2009 while this is a second consecutive semi-final appearance for Birkenhead.

Miramar have a strong history of success having won the cup twice in recent years - in 2004 and 2010 - and boasting four titles in total.

Waitakere are also one of the Chatham Cup's glamour sides and enjoyed a golden run in the mid-nineties with a trio of successive triumphs from 1994. They have established a reputation as bridesmaid since then however, making the final but ending up on the losing end in 1999, 2004 and 2013.

Player-coach Jake Butler was a member of the team three years ago and got on the scoresheet in that final but wasn't able to prevent a 3-1 loss to Cashmere Technical.

The semi-finals of this year's edition of the cup with be held on the weekend of August 27 to 28 with the match details to be confirmed later this week.

Chatham Cup Semi-Final Fixtures

August 27-28
Birkenhead United vs Miramar Rangers
Waitakere City vs Three Kings United

- NZ Herald

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