Tigers FC roared to the top of the PlayStation 4® NPL Capital Football ladder with a 2-0 win in the top of the table clash against Belconnen United at McKellar Park.
Friday 3rd July
Woden-Weston FC 2 (Nikolas Popovich 10’, 69’ (pen)) Gungahlin United 5 (Stephen Domenici 29’, Jack Green 50’, Shane Murray 54’ (pen), 71’ (pen), Jeremy Habtemariam 63’)
Gungahlin United crept into the top four for the first time this season with a 5-2 success over Woden-Weston FC on a freezing cold Friday night at Woden Park in the PlayStation 4® National Premier Leagues.
The ACT representative in the Westfield FFA Cup had to come from behind to seal the points but, realistically, from the moment Stephen Domenici streaked away from the home defence to slot past the advancing Rory Larkin and bring his team all-square in the 29th minute, there looked likely to be only one winner. It would have been frustrating for the home support as Woden-Weston started the better and dominated the opening ten minutes taking the lead when Nikolas Popovich held off a half-hearted challenge, and cut inside to blaze a finish low into the net off the base of the post.
Gungahlin’s response was good and they were level by the break as Domenici struck for the sixth time this season. The second half was a tale of three penalties, as the visitors netted twice from the spot to the hosts’ single penalty award.
Shane Murray was at the epicentre of the Gungahlin goal-fest creating the strike for Jack Green in the 50th minute that put the visitors ahead. Murray’s free-kick found Green, stealing in unmarked on the back post, to volley into the net from close range. Shortly after, Jeremy Habtemariam was upended in the area and Murray blasted home from the spot. Woden-Weston FC were offered a lifeline when they were given a penalty of their own which Popovich converted only for Dustin Wells to send in another pin-point free-kick delivery to allow Habtemariam to tap in from six yards.
The points were sealed when Green was bundled over in the area and Murray cracked in his second spot-kick of the game to complete a decent night’s work for Claudio Canosa’s cup chasing squad.
Saturday 4th July
FFA COE 1 (Aaron Reardon 54’) Canberra Olympic 0
A goal from Aaron Reardon nine minutes into the second half gave the FFA COE a 1-0 victory over Canberra Olympic at the Australian Institute of Sport in the PlayStation 4® National Premier Leagues on Saturday afternoon.
On a chilly day Canberra Olympic did everything but score in a performance that probably deserved three points. Olympic dominated most of the match and went close on a number of occasions as they wasted numerous chances the best of which fell to Robbie Cattanach.
Awarded a penalty fifteen minutes into the contest Cattanach saw his firmly struck effort well saved by FFA COE shot-stopper James Delianov who guessed correctly to deny the Olympic striker. It was to prove to be a costly miss as the FFA COE stole the points in the second half.
The home team was given a free-kick outside the box and Reardon’s effort took a deflection that wrong-footed Angelo Konstantinou and dropped agonisingly into the net. The visitors kept pushing looking for an equaliser and a way back into the match but the FFA COE saw out the remainder of the match in relative comfort and came away with three points that seemed very remote at the half-time break. Olympic drop to sixth after the loss with plenty to do to make it into the top four in what is shaping up to be an exciting end to the regular season.
Belconnen United 0 Tigers FC 2 (Alex Oloriegbe 19’, Goran Josifovski 29’)
First half goals from Alex Oloriegbe and Goran Josifovski put the Tigers in the box seat with five rounds remaining giving them a one point advantage over their vanquished opponents but only the Blue Devils will know how they didn't come away with a point.
Tigers had already sounded a warning before they took the lead in the nineteenth minute. Just four minutes earlier Oloriegbe had broken a flimsy looking Belconnen offside trap and sprinted clear. His connection was firm enough but Blue Devils goalkeeper Adam Perakovic plunged low to his right to push the ball onto the foot of the post and away to safety.
The hosts didn’t heed the signs and were made to pay as Oloriegbe ghosted past some static defending and, as Belconnen dithered in their attempts to clear, punished them with a thumping drive. The Blue Devils slowly came back into the contest and should really have equalised in the 28th minute.
Jason Ugrinic broke away down the right channel but, with Goran Mukevski unmarked in the middle, elected to shoot and Francois Bangweni parried for a corner. Amazingly, from that dead ball the Tigers struck again. A quick-fire break saw Oloriegbe receive a cross field pass, flick inside with his heel and find Josifovski who swept into the bottom corner.
Julian Borgna then flashed a strike just past the post as the Tigers ended the half in command. The league leaders needed some inspiration and it almost came just before the hour when skipper Taylor Beaton set his sights from 25 metres but saw his shot cannon off the junction of crossbar and post.
It set the pattern for a number of chances that Belconnen profligately wasted. Perhaps the best fell to midfield schemer David kemp who broke away from the Tigers rear guard but stabbed his shot wide with just Bangweni to beat. That summed it up for the Blue Devils as the Tigers claimed the points and rose to the top of the pile.
Sunday 5th July
Monaro Panthers 2 (Michael Mensah 30’ (pen), 31’) Tuggeranong United 1 (Sam Shadbolt 27’)
A brace of goals within the space of a minute from Michael Mensah led Monaro Panthers to inflict further misery on hapless Tuggeranong United as the hosts won 2-1 at the Riverside Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Mensah, who got married just 24 hours beforehand, celebrated in style with a double that turned the match on its head in favour of Monaro after Tuggeranong had taken the lead. The result was soured somewhat by the dismissal of midfielder Matt Menser late on in proceedings after a disagreement with Tuggeranong Head Coach Steve Forshaw which saw the latter ejected from the Technical Area.
Earlier United had been reduced to ten men themselves when defender Dominic Szrakity was sent off for handball on the goal-line, an incident that led to the penalty from which Mensah despatched his first of the afternoon with minimum fuss.
Tuggeranong had gone in front in the 27th minute when a well-worked move found Sam Shadbolt free just inside the area and he angled his finish low beyond Ashley Collins and into the far corner. The lead was short-lived however as the Panthers levelled just three minutes later from the spot and went ahead immediately from the kick-off.
Tuggeranong turned over some cheap possession and Mark Shields raced into the channel, and drew Rowan Forbes-Shepherd in the United goal, before squaring for Mensah to slot home from inside the six-yard box.
The second half brought a stack of chances for the home team but some poor finishing and poor decision making meant that they were left hanging on as Tuggeranong pushed for a way back into the encounter. Young substitute Bradley Olivera and Eddie Coggan conducted themselves well in the push for a leveller but Monaro held out fairly comfortably for three points and to condemn Tuggeranong to another week without reward.
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