Tuggeranong United kept their top four and finals chances alive in the PlayStation 4 NPL Capital Football with a 2-1 win over the Riverina Rhinos in Griffith.
Riverina Rhinos 1 (Darren Bailey 26’) def. by Tuggeranong United 2 (Marco Gayer 30’, Fernando Jorquera 60’)
The hosts started the stronger of the two sides and took the lead just before the half hour mark through a well-worked set piece. Daniel Febo’s set piece was headed on by Ally McLeod across goal and Darren Bailey was on hand to knock the ball home and hand his side the advantage.
However, it was all square just a few minutes later as Marco Gayer fired home after the Rhinos failed to clear from a United free-kick into the area. The first half petered out and the sides headed into the break tied with a goal apiece as they both chased the win.
It took only fifteen minutes of the second half for the visitors to take the lead though as the Rhinos struggled in defence, giving away a spot-kick.
Fernando Jorquera duly stepped up to convert the penalty and give Tuggeranong the lead for the first time, and the visitors didn’t look like giving it back up as they controlled the final half hour of the match.
The loss was the Rhinos ninth of the season and sees them remain on six points, ahead of a bottom of the table clash with Monaro next weekend. Tuggeranong take on Canberra FC in a crunch clash at Greenway on Saturday, and will be hoping for a repeat of their upset win at Deakin earlier in the season
Woden-Weston FC 2 (Eli Darwich 34’, Martin Deng 42’) def. by Canberra FC 4 (Kofi Danning 19’, 52’, 92’, Ian Graham 76’)
A second half comeback from Canberra FC kept them in touch with leaders Canberra Olympic, as a hat-trick from Kofi Danning lead them past Woden-Weston on Saturday.
The former A-League forward gave the visitors the lead after just nineteen minutes as he hammered home his first goal and put Canberra FC on the front foot. However, they only held onto their lead for 15 minutes as Elie Darwich made the most of a penalty decision to pull the Wanderers level. And just eight minutes later the hosts found the front through Martin Deng, who beat Sam Brown in goals to take a 2-1 lead heading into halftime.
Canberra FC came out of the break firing though, and Danning grabbed his second with a well taken finish just seven minutes after half-time to pull the visitors level and give them momentum.
Wanderers pushed back against the tide and looked to create chances of their own to pull back the lead, but were caught out at the back as Ian Graham scored to give Canberra FC a timely lead with just 14 minutes remaining. The hosts were forced to chase the game from there, and Danning punished them in stoppage time as he completed his hat-trick with a towering header from a corner.
The result leaves Woden-Weston nine points outside the top four with only five matches remaining, ahead of meeting fourth-placed Belconnen next Saturday. For Canberra FC they remain 10 points behind Canberra Olympic at the top, but made their finals spot a little bit safer as they moved away from the chasing pack.
Belconnen United 1 (Daniel Fabrizio 54’) def. by Canberra Olympic 2 (Stephen Domenici 79’, 86’)
Ladder leaders Canberra Olympic came from behind on Saturday Night to record a 2-1 win over Belconnen United, thanks to Stephen Domenici’s brace at McKellar Park.
Full report here.
Gungahlin United 2 (Antoni Timotheou 60’, 75’) def. Monaro Panthers 0
Gunghalin United put their top four campaign back on track on Sunday, as a second half brace from Antoni Timotheou gave them a 2-0 win over the Monaro Panthers.
Panthers came in still looking for their first points of the season, and performed well throughout the first half as both sides pushed to break the other down. Panthers' Jon Toole fired over with a good chance before Misko Naumoski did the same for the hosts as the half-time approached.
With few other chances for either side, the teams entered the break at Gungahlin Enclosed locked at nil-all.
With the visitors having scored only five times all season the match was never going to be a shootout, but the gritty nature of the game continued into the early second half as the hosts also struggled to make their own chances.
But 15 minutes in United broke the deadlock as they surged forward in attack. Regan Walsh's free kick hit the post and came back, but Timotheou was on hand to smack home the rebound and put his side ahead with 30 minutes to play.
And it would only be another 15 minutes before the advantage doubled, as Timotheou was played through on a wonderful one-two with Jason O'Dwyer to finish tidily past Nathan Alferink in goals.
The loss means that the visitors remain without a point this season and with just five games remaining time is running out to change that. For United, the win puts them equal fourth on points with Belconnen United ahead of a testing clash in Cooma next weekend with Tigers.