Chris Wood to miss OFC Nations Cup final to attend sister's wedding

Picture Supplied by Action Images

The Leeds United striker proves family is the most important thing.

Picture Supplied by Action Images

Leeds United striker Chris Wood has had a busy couple of weeks out in Papua New Guinea. He has been captaining New Zealand in the OFC Nations Cup and has helped them reach the final of the competition by scoring four goals.

The latest goal was a 40-yard free-kick which was spilled into his own net by New Caledonia’s goalkeeper as New Zealand edged their semi-final 1-0 to set up a final meeting with hosts Papua New Guinea on Saturday.

Leeds United's Chris WoodLeeds United's Chris Wood

But Wood, who also had a major injury scare in the group stages when it was thought he had dislocated his shoulder, will not be able to play in the final.

Because he will be attending his sister’s wedding back in New Zealand.

Radio NZ quote Wood as saying:

"I'm gutted I won't be able to take part in the final but my sister's wedding is something I've looked forward to for a very long time and it's something that is very important to me."

New Zealand's Chris Wood shoots at goalNew Zealand's Chris Wood shoots at goal

Meanwhile his national team boss Anthony Hudson stated:

"You think maybe Chris will come in and, with more discussions, you might be able to sway him the other way.

"But once I'd heard it from his mouth and seen in his face what it meant to him it was no problem with me."

Chris Wood celebrates after scoring the first goal for Leeds from the penalty spotChris Wood celebrates after scoring the first goal for Leeds from the penalty spot

It is a strange move from Wood to avoid a potentially cup winning experience but it is clear that family comes first to the striker – which is something of a rare and endearing quality from the player in the modern game.

But no doubt the Leeds striker will be keeping track of the result in PNG throughout the ceremony.

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