We preview what promises to be another exciting round of football in the Capital Football NPL.
Round 5 - Preview
Sunday 11th May
Canberra FC v FFA COE (Deakin Stadium)
League leaders Canberra FC will be out to maintain their 100% start to the season when they welcome the FFA Centre of Excellence to Deakin Stadium for their third home match in succession. The current League Champions are in ominous form so far having netted an impressive eighteen goals in their first three games at an average of six goals per match. And with Daniel Bennett in scintillating early season form its little wonder that they are being touted as title favourites. The winger already has half-a-dozen league goals to his name to add to his four in the Pre-Season Cup and will be a major threat to the FFA COE defence. Elsewhere within the squad, the return to fitness of Philippe Bernabo-Madrid is a bonus for Ray Junna who has an enviable roster to select from. The Centre of Excellence boy-s racked up an impressive 3-0 win against Canberra City last weekend, traditionally a tough nut to crack, and will be in buoyant mood heading into this fixture. The slick surface at Deakin Stadium should suit their neat, precise build-up play but the pace of the FC wide-men will certainly keep the youngsters on their toes. Daniel Maskin is certainly making a name for himself at this fledgling stage of his development with two goals already to his name and a couple of excellent individual showings in what looks a well balanced team.
Canberra City v Belconnen United (Gungahlin Enclosed)
Canberra City returns to Gungahlin Enclosed on the weekend as Belconnen United provide the opposition in Round 5 of the National Premier Leagues: Capital Football competition. City drew their opening match at this venue against Woden Valley, rescuing a point with a stoppage time leveller from Gimale Essacu and will be hunting for a maiden victory at the stadium. The Blue Devils will be a tough nut to crack however with Dean Ugrinic-s team finding their feet early in terms of results, racking up a trio of victories to start the 2014 campaign. There is still work to be done at the Blue Devils but the signs are encouraging that they will be a major title threat this time around. Belconnen recorded a trio of wins over City last season but none of the matches was a clear cut thing with Nick Palagyi-s team resilient opponents. This season has seen Canberra City defeated in two of their three outings but on each occasion they have been close to getting a positive result. Their structure is sound and they have a solid defensive base and it surely won-t be long before results start to go their way. A first ever win at Gungahlin Enclosed would go some way to restoring that balance and would sound a warning to the rest of the competition.
Cooma Tigers v Tuggeranong United (Nijong Oval)
Cooma Tigers hosts Tuggeranong United at Nijong Oval this weekend aiming to get their season back on track following the less than satisfactory start that has seen them beaten twice in their two matches played to date. The latest loss, a 3-1 reverse at the hands of Monaro Panthers, will have left Gaby Wilk and his team stinging and they will be all out to reverse that result when United come to Cooma. Tuggeranong showed great character last week to recover from a shellacking at the hands of Canberra FC to produce a spirited display and record a 3-2 win over Canberra Olympic netting a last minute winner after Olympic had overturned a two-goal deficit. Playing the Tigers at Nijong is a notoriously difficult prospect with no visiting team quite sure what to expect from the hosts. A biting wind and unfavourable conditions may be the order of the day and Cooma has the stocks to take advantage. Any team that can boast the talents that the Tigers have in their ranks are not to be taken lightly and you can be sure that Wilk will have been working on the deficiencies shown at the Riverside Stadium in order to put his team in the best possible place to claim the three points. United went down 3-1 at Nijong last season but can expect to be more competitive on this occasion.
Canberra Olympic v Woden Valley (O-Connor Enclosed)
Two teams coming off the back of defeats in Round 4 clash at O-Connor Enclosed as Canberra Olympic rolls out the welcome mat to Woden Valley in the latest round of the National Premier Leagues: Capital Football. Whilst Woden was downed 0-4 by Canberra FC last weekend, Olympic stumbled to a surprise 2-3 loss to Tuggeranong United meaning that a win here will be of paramount importance to both clubs. Woden was very competitive for large parts of the match against the league leaders and it wasn-t until the final three minutes when they conceded two late goals that the game was finally taken away from them. They looked solid for the majority of the ninety minutes and Canberra FC had to pull out all the stops to break down a fierce rear-guard. Olympic meanwhile looked lethargic and started in lacklustre fashion at Kambah 2, paying the price for an off the pace opening and trailing 0-2 early on. They fought back well to level the match, before falling prey to a stoppage time winner from the hosts, but will need to make sure they are fully concentrated from the start in order to take the maximum points from a traditionally tricky fixture. Woden was unbeaten in three matches against Olympic in 2013, winning once and drawing the other two, and they-ll be hopeful of continuing that trend.
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