Auckland College Sport defends decision to stop talented female player from playing against boys

Auckland College Sport is defending the decision not to allow a top female footballer to compete in the boys' division, despite being a New Zealand representative.

The player in question, Dayna Stevens - a New Zealand under 20 representative - wasn't awarded dispensation to represent her Glenfield College first XI in the boys' division.

Appearing on TVNZ 1's Breakfast this morning, College Sport CEO Jim Lonergan explained the decision to reject the 17-year-old's request.

"We try to promote boys sport as much as girls sport," Lonergan said.

"When this first came to our attention, there was one girls' team, and two boys' teams - the girls' team was going to die.

"We also considered that the girl was a top quality player. She played the very top league in New Zealand. We didn't think that she would actually be challenged in the boys' grade anyway."

Auckland-based female footballers have in the past been able to play with and againt men, with Football Ferns Jenny Bindon and Victoria Esson both having done so in the past.

A top female footballer's move to play in the boy's grade was rejected. Source: Breakfast


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Watch: Stunning late goal gives Liverpool dramatic Champions League victory over PSG

Roberto Firmino had an eye for goal just when Liverpool needed a winner against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.

Liverpool had thrown away a two-goal lead at Anfield today, with Kylian Mbappe striking an 83rd-minute equaliser, but the French World Cup star's carelessness at the other end proved costly for PSG in stoppage time.

Mbappe was dispossessed by James Milner, giving Liverpool a final chance to attack the visiting goal.

Firmino, who only came on in the second half after scratching his eye in Sunday's victory at Tottenham, found the space to weave through the PSG defence and strike the ball low into the net to seal a 3-2 victory.

For his celebration, the Brazilian covered his left eye as teammates leapt on him.

It made for painful viewing for PSG coach Thomas Tuchel, who had seen similar scenes before.

As Borussia Dortmund coach, Tuchel's side also conceded in the first minute of stoppage time at Anfield to go out of the Europa League in the quarterfinals in 2016.

The stakes weren't as high this time. This was only the opening game in Group C of the Champions League and PSG has five games to secure one of the top two places to advance to the round of 16.

But four months after losing last season's final, Liverpool showed they might be capable of challenging for the title once again by finding a way to tame Neymar and Mbappe for much of the game.

An emphatic start saw Daniel Sturridge score the opener in the 30th minute and Milner double the lead from the penalty spot six minutes later.

But having failed to turn their dominance into more goals, Liverpool conceded before halftime when Thomas Meunier sliced into the net.

And Liverpool was left reeling when Mohamed Salah misplaced a pass that allowed Neymar to carry the ball forward and Mbappe to produce the equaliser.

Salah was brought off two minutes later, and found his own curious way to celebrate Firmino's winning goal.

The Egypt forward threw a water bottle at the ground looking far from happy.


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Inter Milan star fires home brilliant volley as Tottenham snatch Champions League defeat from jaws of victory

Inter Milan scored two late goals, including a stoppage-time winner, to mark their return to the Champions League with a 2-1 comeback victory against Tottenham this morning.

Inter's first game in the competition since 2012 looked set to end in disappointment when Tottenham playmaker Christian Eriksen's shot took a lucky deflection and looped into the net in the 53rd minute.

But Mauro Icardi equalised with a perfectly struck volley in the 86th and Vecino headed in the winner in injury time to send the San Siro wild.

Tottenham fell to their third straight loss in all competitions despite taking the lead somewhat against the run of play.

Eriksen's initial shot was parried by Samir Handanovic but the Inter defense failed to clear the danger.

The ball came back to the Denmark international and his second attempt took a huge deflection off Joao Miranda and floated over Handanovic.

However, Icardi pounced four minutes from time with a powerful volley into the bottom corner from 20 yards out.

That inspired Inter and they poured forward. After earlier chances to snatch the winner, a corner was nodded on to Vecino who headed in in the second minute of stoppage time.

Meanwhile, Harry Kane's post-World Cup struggles continued.

Kane was the top scorer at the tournament in Russia with six goals in England's run to the semifinals, but the 25-year-old has not found the back of the net since a 3-0 victory over Manchester United last month.

He went closest in the 37th minute as he sprung the offside trap to meet Eriksen's ball over the top but Handanovic forced the England forward wide and he couldn't find the angle to shoot.


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Lionel Messi scores exquisite free-kick in hat-trick heroics for Barcelona over PSV

Lionel Messi scored a hat trick to help Barcelona open their Champions League campaign with a 4-0 win over PSV Eindhoven this morning.

Ousmane Dembele also scored for Barcelona, who were already 3-0 up when they were reduced to 10 men as defender Samuel Umtiti was sent off with a second yellow card for a hard foul in the 79th.

Messi's first goal came with a beautiful free kick in the 32nd minute at Camp Nou Stadium.

He curled the ball over the PSV wall from 25 metres out into the top corner beyond the reach of goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet.

Dembele added to the lead with a well-placed shot from outside the area in the 75th, and Messi sealed the victory with goals in the 77th and 87th minutes.

Umtiti was sent off after a foul on PSV forward Hirving Lozano while trying to stop a breakaway.

The Group B result extended Barcelona's unbeaten run at home to 27 matches in UEFA competitions.

The Catalan club has won 25 matches and drawn only two during the streak.

PSV, back in the Champions League after a one-year absence, is winless in seven matches at the group stage of the European competition.


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