Canberra Olympic FC 2 (Crawford 25’, 31’) v Gungahlin United FC 3 (Giampaolo 40’, Bernabo-Madrid 42’, 57’)
Gungahlin United needed a win to have a firm grasp in the top four, in front of them stood a young Canberra Olympic side who had nothing to lose at O’Connor Enclosed.
Olympic had a promising start to the season but currently sit at second last. However, their young squad has shown much promise coming from their forward line with 19 goals this season between strikers Aisosa Ihegie and James Crawford.
This round, it was Crawford who claimed the glory for Canberra Olympic putting his side 1-0 up in the 25th minute tapping a nifty ball into the box from Tupaia Ringi.
In the 31st, Crawford bagged a brace. After a long throw fell to his feet, he hit it over the head of the Gungahlin United goalkeeper putting his side up 2-0 just past the half-hour mark.
However, this was an in-form Gunners side and in the 38th minute, Domenic Giampaolo eased his teammate’s nerves by scoring after a swift counter attack to make it 2-1.
Soon after in the 41st, this season's top scorer Philippe Bernabo-Madrid levelled the score when he found himself one-on-one with Olympic goalkeeper Angelo Konstantinou burying it in the bottom left corner going into half-time.
In the 57th minute, Bernabo-Madrid also got a brace to his name, scoring in a way which mirrored his first goal making it 3-2 to the away side which eventually sealed the victory for Gungahlin United.
It will be a quick turnaround for Olympic, who will have a chance to redeem themselves on Tuesday as they play Tuggeranong for a Round 14 catch up game at Greenway Enclosed.
Gungahlin also play Tuggeranong, but will have to wait until the weekend, with kick off taking place at Kambah.
Monaro Panthers FC 1 (McLachlan 51’) v Belconnen United FC 0
After a rocky start to the season, Monaro Panthers have clawed their way up the ladder to now sit at 4th spot. This is quite an achievement considering they sat on zero points up until Round 5.
Facing them was Belconnen, with both teams victorious in their last three appearances it was always going to be a tough contest at Riverside Stadium.
It did not take long for the action to get underway, with Monaro’s Seb Woods taking a shot in the second minute. As the ball rolled straight to his feet he hit the crossbar from the six-yard line but it wasn’t to be.
In the second-half, Monaro bounced back in style with a volley from Tom McLachlan hitting it top right, delivered in from Timothy Bobolas in the 51st minute.
Monaro had another near miss in the 81st when Jeremy Habtemariam’s shot was thumbled by Belconnen goalkeeper Rhys Flissinger. Luckily for the Blue Devils, it hit the crossbar, another close call for the away side.
However, the sole goal from McLachlan was enough for the Panthers to claim a 1-0 victory.
With four wins in a row Monaro will be challenged by top of the table Tigers FC on Wednesday for a Round 14 catchup game.
Belconnen also face the Tigers next round, hosting their Round 18 clash at McKellar Park on Saturday.
Canberra Croatia 5 (Daniel Barac 19’ 90 +1’ Nikola Taneski 55’ Daniel Colbertado 83’ Jason Ugrinic 86’) v West Canberra Wanderers 0
A carbon copy result of their last encounter, Canberra Croatia kept the Wanderers to a clean sheet in Round 17, recording a 5-0 win at Deakin Stadium on Sunday.
Croatia dominated the opening stages of the game, and their efforts were rewarded when Daniel Barac headed the ball into the back of the net from Aimilio Kista’s cross to give them the lead in the 19th minute.
The Wanderers created a good chance to equalise soon after, as Ben Obst found himself with room to turn in the box, but Sam Brown skillfully denied his shot, with Canberra Croatia going into half time 1-0 ahead.
Ten minutes after half time Nikola Taneski doubled Croatia’s lead as his shot inside the box took a fortunate deflection which saw the ball lob over the Wanderers keeper and into the net.
The closing stages of the game saw the Wanderers defence implode as they conceded three goals within ten minutes.
Daniel Barac bagged his second while Daniel Colbertado and Jason Ugrinic also managed to find the back of the net to help Canberra Croatia to a 5-0 victory.
Canberra Croatia is back at Deakin Stadium for Round 18, set to take on the Monaro Panthers while the West Canberra Wanderers will look to get back to winning ways when they play Canberra Olympic at Melrose.
NPL CF Goals Wrap | Round 17
Image: Andrew Caffery Photography