Canberra FC lived to fight another day with a four-goal thumping of Belconnen United, while Canberra Olympic recorded a come from-behind penalty shootout victory over Tigers FC.
Finals Round 1
Sunday 28th August
Belconnen United 0 Canberra FC 4 (Thomas James 7’, 48’, 59’, Jordan Lamb 50’)
By William Bremner
The 2016 elimination final played at Deakin stadium on Sunday pitted two teams who in the recent past have on more than one occasion provided the grand finalists. This time round one would continue its quest for 2016 honours while for the other this season would come to a premature close.
A large crowd gathered to witness the clash of perhaps two fading giants in warm spring like weather at a pristine Deakin stadium. CFC, like their opponents, have struggled with injury this season but we are still able to deploy the wonderful attacking talents of Thomas James and it was he that would have a significant say in the outcome of this match.
From the outset Belconnen were on the back foot. CFC dominated in the very early stages and their North side visitors were finding it difficult to maintain any meaningful possession.
The tactic of sitting deep to nullify the attacking prowess of James and co was brought undone as early as the seventh minute when a long ball behind the Bells defence saw a moment of hesitation and confusion involving Jon Ries and Adam Perakovic and James eagerly took advantage.
First to the ball he was felled in the area by Perakovic and then blasted the resulting spot kick high into the roof of the net.
Sunday 28th August
Canberra Olympic 2 (Robbie Cattanach 14’, Philippe Bernabo-Madrid 86’) Tigers FC 2 (Julian Borgna 30’, Angelo Konstantinou (OG) 39’) Canberra Olympic win 5-3 on Penalties
By Ahmed Jbeili
Canberra Olympic Football Club is through to the Playstation 4 National Premier League Canberra Grand Final after defeating Cooma Tigers FC in a penalty shootout on Sunday afternoon at McKellar Park. It took 120 minutes and a penalty shootout for the premiers to get the win over Tigers FC in a hotly contested matchup.
Goals from Olympic attackers Robbie Cattanach and Felipe Bernabo-Madrid and Tigers winger Julian Borgna and an own goal by Olympic keeper Ange Konstantinou, ended the match 2-2 and sent the preliminary final to penalties.
Despite Olympic playing their third game in eight days, the Westfield FFA Cup Quarter-Finalists began the match with a high level of intensity. Chances early on from attackers Michael Reeve and Robbie Cattanach were kept out brilliantly by Tigers FC keeper Jamie Cole. Showing no signs of fatigue so far, Olympic were taking charge of the game, with Cattanach, Daniel Colbertaldo and Adam Rogic dominating the midfield.
Their dominance paid off in the 14th minute with Cattanach opening the scoring after capitalising on the hesitance of the Cooma defence who were appealing for an offside call. Cattanach fired home from close range and put the premiers up 1-0.
A goal down, Cooma had to dig dip to fight back with only two substitutes on the bench and some notable names missing. Star striker Stephen Domenici out due to suspension and Daniel Barac out with a foot injury. Despite missing key players, Tigers FC showed true spirit and fought back to level the match in the 30th minute. Julian Borgna scored at the back post for the Tigers after some excellent play on the right from winger Jared Tonini.
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