Riverina Rhinos 0 def. by Gungahlin United 3 (Anthony Giorgi 23’, 53’, Augustine Bangura 72’)
Gungahlin United took a big step towards the finals with a 3-0 win over the Rhinos in Griffith on Saturday afternoon.
Both sides started evenly and there were few chances for either to get ahead, but after 23 minutes Anthony Giorgi pounced on a Rhinos mistake at the back and put his side ahead to build on last weekend’s brace against Canberra Olympic.
United went into the break a goal up, chasing a win to heap the pressure on Tuggeranong ahead of their match on Sunday. And just eight minutes after half-time it got better for the visitors as the referee awarded a penalty against the Rhinos as a United forward went down.
Giorgi stepped up once more to convert the penalty and double his side’s advantage with just over thirty minutes left in the encounter. Eighteen minutes from time Augustine Bangura broke through behind the defensive line and fired home to take the score line to 3-0, but the goal was initially ruled out for offside until a discussion between the officials took place and the goal was allowed to stand.
United now need just one point from their final match with Canberra FC next Sunday to ensure that they cannot be caught by Tuggeranong, who will play the day before. The Rhinos finish their season in Canberra with a clash against Premiers Canberra Olympic.
Woden-Weston 2 (Sebastian Summersby-Mitchell (OG) 2’, Elie Darwich 82’) drew. Monaro Panthers 2 (Joakim Moussinga 12’, Luke Kanjor 24’)
A late Elie Darwich free-kick rescued a point for Woden-Weston at home and ruined Monaro’s hopes of a first win for the season.
Woden-Weston got off to the perfect start, but it was a nightmare for the visitors as Sebastian Summersby-Mitchell turned the ball into his own net after just two minutes to hand the hosts the lead.
It did not take long for the visitors to respond though, as a cross from the right was met in the middle by Joakim Moussinga who finished it off to draw Panthers level. And just twelve minutes later the visitors hit the front as Luke Kanjor rose highest to meet a corner and thundered home his header.
It was a rare lead for Monaro, and they defended it well as the hosts put the pressure on. Nathan Alferink was forced to deny Martin Deng from long range, before Jon Toole came close to extending the advantage with a header. They headed into the break with their first-half time lead of the season and then had some good chances after the interval as well.
Alferink continued to deny the Wanderers as they pushed ahead, but with eight minutes left in regulation, he could do nothing to stop Darwich’s free-kick from finding the back of the net and pulling Woden-Weston level.
Monaro will have a final chance to pick up a win when they face Tuggeranong United on Saturday with their opponents in a must-win situation, and Woden-Weston will finish their season in Cooma against Tigers FC.
Belconnen United 1 (Matt Grbesa) def. Tigers FC 0
A second-half goal from Matt Grbesa gave Belconnen United an important home win on Saturday night and ended Tigers FC’s hopes of playing finals this year.
Full report here.
FFA Centre of Excellence 1 (Kai Trewin 14’) drew. Canberra FC 1 (Niko Kalfas 22’)
A Niko Kalfas penalty to cancel out Kai Trewin’s early goal was enough for Canberra FC to seal their spot in the finals, following a 1-1 draw with the Centre of Excellence at Deakin.
After a tight opening ten minutes, the Centre of Excellence got off to a brilliant start as Trewin found the back of the net after 14 minutes. A great run and cut-back down the left hand side found him in space in the box, and he calmly drilled his finish into the bottom corner to put the visitors ahead.
The home side responded well though to going behind, and levelled proceedings after only eight minutes. Niko Kalfas stepped up take an awarded penalty, and calmly converted to put Canberra FC back on level terms. The score remained the same at the break despite chances at both ends, and the stalemate continued throughout the second half.
While a win going in would have been ideal, the situation at O’Connor meant that a draw for Canberra FC was more than enough to secure their place in the finals series. For the CoE they have a final chance to finish the season on a strong note when they take on Belconnen United next Saturday afternoon.
Canberra Olympic 4 (Joshua Gulevski 26’, Liam Highmore (OG) 29’, Stephen Domenici 37’, Matt King (OG) 45’) def. Tuggeranong United 0
Canberra Olympic delivered a statement ahead of finals and dented Tuggeranong’s top four hopes with a 4-0 victory at O’Connor on Sunday afternoon.
All four goals came in the first half as the Premiers flew out of the blocks and left Tuggeranong needing results to work out for them if they are to make finals.
Olympic started strongly and Josh Gulevski hit the post early with a header from Robbie Cattanach’s cross. Tuggeranong proved dangerous in their own right though, with Fernando Jorquera threatening from set plays, something the league is wary of after this effort last week. But the hosts did find the lead soon, as Daniel Colbertaldo sent Gulevski in behind the defence and he finished easily to give his side the lead.
Shortly after, Cattanach’s drive was only parried by Tom Barton in goals, and Liam Highmore’s attempted clearance ended up in the back of the net.
Stephen Domenici struck next with his 25th goal of the season, as Jeremy Habtemariam took a quick free kick, finding the striker in space to make it 3-0. And on the stroke of half-time Tuggies were in trouble again, as a good save from Barton ricocheted off a helpless Matt King and into the goals, to send them into the break 4-0 down.
That was basically game, with no change to the score line in the second half as Olympic were content to sit back and defend their lead while Tuggeranong pushed to get back into the match to no avail.
The result leaves Tuggeranong needing a win next week against Monaro, and also Canberra FC to beat Gungahlin United on the final day of the season.