TODAY |

'I knew today I was gonna score' - US-based Kiwi striker dedicates goal to goalkeeper killed in Christchurch attacks

Kiwi footballer Elliot Collier has paid tribute to slain goalkeeper Atta Elayyan, after his former teammate was one of 50 killed in last week's horrific Christchurch attacks.

Playing the new Memphis 901 FC in America's United Soccer League Championship on loan from the Chicago Fire, 24-year-old striker Collier netted the equaliser in his side's 1-1 draw with Loudoun United, the first goal in the club's history.

But the moment was bittersweet for the Kiwi forward - never having felt further away from home and dealing with the loss of his close friend.

Collier and Elayyan played together in the New Zealand five-a-side futsal side. He said his strike was a tribute to his former teammate.

A black armband in Elayyan's memory was apt for Collier, giving a kiss after finding the back of the net.

"That's why I have the black band for this game. I knew today I was gonna score," Collier said afterwards, paying tribute to Elayyan.

"A real genuine standout Kiwi bloke that had a positive vibe in everything he did."

Sadly, though, Collier's story isn't out of the ordinary in Memphis, a city gripped by violence with over 150 shootings per year.

The Memphis fans felt Kiwis' pain, though, after Friday's attacks - observing a minute's silence on 49 minutes, one for every life lost at the time.

Your playlist will load after this ad

Elliot Collier’s strike for Memphis 901 FC was in memory his old friend, Atta Elayyan. Source: 1 NEWS