Wollongong are into the 2019 NPL Finals Series final four after their comprehensive 5-1 victory over Canberra Olympic in Saturday afternoon’s Elimination Final.
After a tightly contested opening half hour of play at Albert Butler Memorial Park Wollongong broke the deadlock in some style.
Wolves striker Lachlan Scott put the Canberra defence in knots with a touch on the turn which opened up space in the box for him to bury the opening goal into the back of the net.
After holding firm for most of the first half it all began to unravel for Canberra as a late challenge from Michael Reeve on Scott in the box resulted in a penalty to the Wolves which Thomas James stepped up to convert.
Wollongong put the result beyond doubt in the second half, scoring twice in the opening ten minutes of the second period to push their lead out to four.
First it was James Stojcevski in the 49th minute who tucked home a volleyed pass across goal from James, and only minutes later Nick Littler stepped forward from defence to score a goal created by Scott who wriggled through the defence to lay a ball on a silver platter for Littler to poke home.
Trailing 4-0 Canberra had it all to do and in the 57th minute they found a spark through Nik Popovic, who made a marauding run through midfield linking up with Stephen Dominici on the way for a one-two which found the striker free in the box to score a stunning goal which cut Wollongong’s lead to three.
And that’s where the score stayed until late in the game when substitute Stefan Dimoski compiled Canberra’s misery after a shot from long range deflected off his body and down to his feet for the easiest of tap-ins.
At 5-1 to Wollongong the final whistle blew, sending Canberra out of the NPL Finals Series in devastating fashion at the expense of the Wolves who progress to the Semi Finals.