Juan Chang scores winning goal in Christchurch United debut

Juan Chang scores winning goal on Christchurch United debut

 

Christchurch United players celebrate the opening goal after a Waimak own goal. Photos: Jim Watts

Christchurch United’s new recruit Juan Chang made a perfect debut for his club by scoring the decisive third goal in their 3-2 win over Waimak United on Saturday at the Christchurch Football Centre.

Chang played for Canterbury United in the National League during the summer and decided to stay in Christchurch for the winter season and play for Christchurch United.

Juan Chang celebrates his first goal for his new club with Chris Constanti who provided the assist. Photos: Jim Watts

The former Guatemala youth international only joined the squad in the days leading up to the match and coach Fernando Lambert started him on the bench against Waimak due to a lack of match fitness.

 

With fellow Canterbury United player Colin van Gool also missing at kick-off due to slight ankle injury, Christchurch United lacked some cohesion in the midfield and struggled to find their usual flow in the first half against a physical Waimak team.

Christchurch United had much of the early possession without getting any reward until the Waimak defence gifted them an own goal after a well-worked corner.

The lead unfortunately did not last long when the first promising attack and cross by Waimak United was promoted into his own net by Christchurch United captain Chris Constanti to set up a 1-1 half time score.

With the introduction of Van Gool as holding midfield and Chang up front, the Christchurch United play instantly became more composed, structured and more threatening after the break.

A number of promising attacks eventually put Jack Cochrane face to face with the Waimak goalkeeper who clipped Cochrane’s feet to give away a penalty.

Van Gool made no mistake from the resulting spot kick to give his team a deserved 2-1 lead.

Chang increasingly showed his class, threatening the Waimak defence and creating space for himself and his team-mates.

With 20 minutes to play, a beautiful Constanti pass put the Guatemalan in the clear and Chang showed pace and a composed finish to open his account for his new club.

Michael O’Connor slips past a Waimak defender.

At this stage Waimak appeared to be on the ropes and  a possible blow-out seemed to be on the cards, until the visitors punished a moment of inattention in the Christchurch defence to close the gap to 3-2 with a beautifully executed goal.

The home team and their fans were forced to sit through an unexpected nervous few final minutes until they were allowed to celebrate their second win on the trot.

Selwyn United stays on top of the Championship after beating Parklands 3-0 with Christchurch United moving into second place ahead of Waimak.

Christchurch United next week again play at the Christchurch Football Centre against Halswell United who have strong aspirations to make a instant return to the Mainland Premier League.