A number of teams have stated their intent in the opening round of the PlayStation 4 NPL Capital Football 2017 Season.
FFA Centre of Excellence 3 (Bafford 26', 79', Muratovic 65') def. Woden-Weston Football Club 1 (Deng 4')
Woden-Weston started fast in their opening match of the season as they took the lead after only four minutes through Martin Deng’s opener. Woden-Weston continued to hold the advantage however they were pegged back after 26 minutes as Bryce Bafford struck for the Centre of Excellence side to level proceedings.
The score remained the same at the break as the sides hit the sheds and an even opening to the second half kept the score in check, until Mirza Mirautovic broke the deadlock after 65 minutes. The Centre of Excellence continued to look for chances to extend their advantage and Bafford’s second with just over 10 minutes of regulation remaining sealed the win for the young side.
Canberra FC 7 (Waters 25', James 60', 75', 77', 80', Giampaolo 68', 90') def. Riverina Rhinos 0
The Riverina Rhinos received a tough introduction to Canberra football on Saturday as they were hammered mercilessly by Canberra FC in a second-half blitz at Deakin Stadium. Matthew Waters opened the scoring for Canberra after 25 minutes with a low drive from distance after George Pavese had a 1-on-1 chance saved earlier for Riverina. The score remained 1-0 at the break, but the second half was a different story.
Thomas James struck truly from the penalty spot on the hour mark to double the advantage before setting Domenic Giampaolo up for the third, and grabbed his second in the 75th minute from the spot after Rhinos keeper Jone Ralulu was sent off for bringing the striker down.
Two minutes later James had a hat-trick as Giampaolo’s shot was parried and he finished truly on the rebound, before he rounded the keeper to score his fourth and FC’s sixth. Giampaolo rounded out the scoring in the 90th minute as James again set him up after beating the Rhinos offside trap to cap off an incredible performance from the home side.
Belconnen United Blue Devils 4 (Wells 10', Juach 11', Dahl 27', Whithear 33') def. Gungahlin United Football Club 0
Belconnen United began their 2017 season with a four-goal first half blitz of Gungahlin United to get off the mark.
Dustin Wells opened the scoring for Belconnen in the 10th minute as he finished from close range after good build-up from the Blue Devils. Bul Juach added the second just a minute later, firing home as he fell over after a delightful through ball.
Gungahlin struggled to settle themselves against the weight of the home side’s attack, and Belconnen added another not long after as Jason Ugrinic’s blazing run down the left wing culminated in an inch-perfect cross for Nick Dahl to finish at the back post.
Six minutes later they had their fourth, with Sam Whithear heading home from point blank range after the ball ricocheted off the crossbar from a corner. Down 4-0 at half-time Gungahlin struggled to get going in the second half as well, however the game petered out with neither side proving a real threat in the final 45 minutes.
Monaro Panthers 1 (Moussinga 45’) def. by Canberra Olympic 3 (Gulevski 22’, Domenici 80’, 90+’)
Monaro Panthers had their 50th anniversary celebrations dampened on Sunday as reigning Playstation 4 National Premier Leagues Premiers Canberra Olympic left Riverside Stadium with a commanding 3-1 win.
Goals to Josh Gulevski and Stephen Domenici were enough to overcome Joe Moussinga’s effort on the stroke of half-time as Olympic started the season brightly.
Olympic took the lead early on in the 21st minute through a Josh Gulevski tap-in as he followed up on a shot that went over Monaro goalkeeper keeper Nathan Alferink.
Despite Olympic having the better of their opposition, Monaro’s Joe Moussinga struck a bullet into the back of the net to equalise on the brink of half time and send the teams in on an even keel..
Monaro were unable to capitalise on their form from late in the first half, as Olympic began to dominate play when the match resumed.
Alferink helped to keep Monaro in the game as he put in an outstanding performance, holding Olympic at bay with two saves from free kicks in quick succession.
The number one was unlucky to stop Olympic’s second goal in the 79th minute. The reigning champions strung together a terrific sequence of one-twos around the Monaro defence before Stephen Domenici slotted it into the bottom corner.
Domenici completed his brace in the last minute of stoppage time as his shot at goal was lost by Alferink under his legs to seal the contest at 3-1 to the visitors.
Monaro will hope to bounce back in Round Two against Cooma Tigers in Googong, while Olympic will look to continue their successful start to the season against Canberra FC at home.
Tigers FC 1 (Abot 37’) def. Tuggeranong United 0
Tigers FC got their season off to the right start in Cooma on Sunday as they defeated Tuggeranong United thanks to Nikolas Abot’s solitary first-half goal. Both sides started well and looked dangerous however neither team was able to finish off their moves, until Abot broke the deadlock in the 37th minute for Tigers.
Tigers began the second half with ten men after Mark Shields was dismissed from inside the sheds for dissent, however the home side held out a determined Tuggeranong side for the duration of the second half to begin Season 2017 with three points and a clean sheet.