21 Dec 2009

New Zealand Football Championship wrap-up

12:07 pm on 21 December 2009

Waitakere United increased its lead at the top of the New Zealand Football Championship despite recording a dramatic 2-all draw against Hawke's Bay United in Napier.

Leon Birnie was the hero for the home side, converting a penalty in the 11th minute and scoring a 63rd minute header to complete a sensational comeback after Allan Pearce and Neil Sykes first half goals gave the visitors a 2-1 lead at halftime.

Auckland City and Youngheart Manawatu now trail Waitakere by three points but have games in hand - Auckland with two and Manawatu one.

Both clubs remain in second and third place respectively with 10 points, just two ahead of a resurgent Canterbury United.

Canterbury United closed the gap on top spot to five points with a resounding 3-1 derby win over rivals Otago United at Carisbrook while in the capital, the ten men of Team Wellington snatched a thrilling 2-1.

The next scheduled round of NZFC matches begins Saturday January the 9th.