Round 2 of PlayStation 4 NPL Capital Football gets underway this week with three Saturday matches and two Sunday kick offs again.
Monaro Panthers will welcome Tigers FC to Duncan Sporting Fields to begin the slate as they look to rebound from last week’s loss to Canberra Olympic. Monaro’s 50th anniversary celebrations had a dampener put on them as Olympic ran away with the match in the second half but there were still positives to take out of a very even first half.
Tigers got off to a kind start in Cooma as they recorded a 1-0 win thanks to Nikolas Abot’s first half-goal, but will be without fellow striker Mark Shields for this clash after his dismissal at half-time of the Round 1 match for dissent. Gaby Wilk will need to look for a different option up front but Tigers’ creative options should be more than enough to see them through this match.
Belconnnen United will become Canberra’s first visitors to Griffith this season when they make the trek to face Riverina, who will be desperate to bounce back from last weekend’s thumping. The Rhinos were soundly beaten 7-0 at Deakin by Canberra FC in a rough introduction to the league, and Belconnen will be another stern test.
The Blue Devils turned on the first-half blowtorch against Gungahlin at McKellar Park in a four-goal first stanza, before stepping off the pedal in the second half. Four individual scorers showed that Belconnen’s threat is diversified this year, but it remains to be seen whether the travel will pose a big test for Dean Urginic’s men.
Woden-Weston and Gungahlin United will both be looking to get off the mark for the season when they face off at Woden Park on Saturday afternoon, after both suffering defeats first time out.
Woden-Weston went down 3-1 to the FFA Centre of Excellence, but scored first after only four minutes and will be looking for a similar start this time out. Gungahlin were hit hard and fast early by Belconnen United in their 4-0 defeat last weekend so a similar approach from the home side this week may be in order.
The Match of the Round kicks off at 3pm on Sunday afternoon, as Canberra Olympic host Canberra FC in a Grand-Final rematch at O’Connnor Enclosed.
Olympic recorded a 3-1 win over Monaro Panthers last weekend in a spiteful contest, but will be without livewire forward Jeremy Habtemariam after he was dismissed for two yellow-card offences. Stephen Domenici got off the mark for the season with two goals in that game and Canberra FC will need to be on their toes against him.
CFC have a dominant forward of their own however, with Thomas James instrumental in the 7-0 thumping of Riverina at Deakin on Saturday. James scored four and set up a couple of others as he reiterated is status as one of the league’s best strikers. That result sent an ominous warning to the rest of the competition and Mark Vrkic’s men are not a side to be underestimated.
Both sides will be fired up for this clash as they look to set the tone early in the season, and it is sure to be a cracking clash at O’Connor on Sunday.
The final match of the round will see Tuggeranong United host the Centre of Excellence at Kambah, with the hosts seeking their first win and the Centre of Excellence looking to capitalise on a strong first-up win. Tuggies played well in Cooma against a strong Tigers outfit but could not make their efforts in the final third count and will need to fix that this weekend. Their young side will match-up well with their opponents in a very youthful matchup.
The Centre of Excellence conceded early against Woden-Weston FC but showed poise to get back into the match and assert control of it. Bryce Bafford scored twice, first to level scores and then to seal the match late on and the home side will need to be wary of his threat this time out.
PLAYSTATION 4 NPL CAPITAL FOOTBALL ROUND 2
Saturday 8th April
3pm: Monaro Panthers v Tigers FC @ Duncan Sporting Fields No. 1
3pm: Riverina Rhinos v Belconnen United @ Hanwood Oval
3:30pm: Woden-Weston FC v Gungahlin United @ Woden Park Enclosed
Sunday 9th April
3pm: Match of the Round: Canberra Olympic v Canberra FC @ O’Connor Enclosed
3pm: Tuggeranong United v FFA Centre of Excellence @ Kambah 2.1