Tigers roar to claim maiden League title

History was made at Nijong Oval on Sunday afternoon as Cooma Tigers claimed the National Premier Leagues: Capital Football League Championship title for the first time.

Cooma Tigers 3 (Goran Josifovski 13’/50’, Robbie Cattanach 91’)
Belconnen United 0

If there was any doubt as to the validity of their claims to be top dogs in Canberra, and the ACT representative in the end of season NPL Finals series, they were swept aside as closest challengers Belconnen United were put to the sword in explosive fashion with a brace from Goran Josifovski and a goal from Robbie Cattanach ensuring 3-0 Tigers win to spark ecstatic celebrations at the final whistle.

Cooma was thoroughly deserving of their victory outplaying their title rivals on a wet and miserable day with constant drizzle falling throughout. The Tigers got off to a great start as Josifovski slammed home from close range after exquisite approach work from Aidan Johnson with just thirteen minutes on the clock.

It was precarious advantage that they took into the half-time interval but any thoughts of letting that lead slip were dispelled five minutes after the resumption as Stephen Domenici picked out Josifovski who controlled before steering his finish past Ashley Collins in the Blue Devils goal for his twelfth of the season.

Cooma went close to a third when Domenici was denied by Collins before Iain Elliott glanced a header just past the post but the party was kick-started in earnest in stoppage time as substitute Jordan Lando stood up a cross that was gleefully headed in from close range by Cattanach to round off the result and start the celebrations.

Tuggeranong United 1 (Matt Menser 18’ (pen))
Woden Valley 3 (Rowan Blake 37’/73’, Marco Gayer 87’)

Tuggeranong United was brought crashing back down to earth after their FFA Cup heroics as Woden Valley emerged from the Southside derby with a warranted 3-1 success.

United was lethargic and Woden took full advantage to claim a priceless victory that pushed them up to seventh in the National Premier Leagues: Capital Football competition at the close of play on Saturday evening.

United started brightly and took the lead when Matt Menser netted from the penalty spot after Muad Zwed was brought down, but any thoughts of comfortable three points was soon abandoned.

Woden levelled when Tuggeranong failed to clear a corner sufficiently and when the ball was returned into the danger area young central defender Rowan Blake was on hand to loop a back-header over Rowan Forbes Shepherd and into the net.

At 1-1 at the break it was anyone’s match but it was Woden who came out of the traps the sharpest and deservedly hit the lead when Blake was on hand again, scoring off the base of the post after pouncing on a loose ball inside the United area.

And Woden made sure of the derby day spoils with a terrific third goal three minutes from time. Counter-attacking at pace Marco Gayer found space inside the box to hammer a shot past Forbes Shepherd and seal the victory.

Monaro Panthers 2 (Martin Deng, Pepe Varga)
FFA COE 4 (Daniel Maskin (2), Cameron Joice, Kosta Petratos)

The FFA COE moved into fifth place on the National Premier Leagues: Capital Football ladder with a 4-2 victory over Monaro Panthers at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The young Panthers outfit tried their hardest to end their home campaign with a win but were found wanting by a slick FFA COE team who have ended the season in strong form heading into the commencement of their National Youth League journey. The visitors took the lead in the fixture when Daniel Maskin put them ahead in the first half and it was that narrow advantage that they took into the changing rooms at the break.

After the interval Cameron Joice struck to give FFA COE a 2-0 lead before the Panthers sprang into action and Martin Deng reduced the arrears with a well-taken strike. A couple of goals in quick succession, firstly from the FFA COE when substitute Kosta Petratos netted his third goal of the season, and then from the home team as Pepe Varga responded, had FFA COE 3-2 up with time running out.

A late fourth, a second for the afternoon for the lively Maskin, completed a satisfactory outing for the AIS-based team who deserved their win against a Panthers team that never gave in and fought to the end. 

Canberra Olympic 3 (Daniel Barac 34’, Robbie Deeley 42’, Mark Shields 51’)
Canberra City 3 (Deng Aleer Deng 27’, Adam Dobell 45’, Misko Naumoski 79’)

Canberra Olympic and Canberra City shared the Robin Waring Shield after a six-goal thriller at O’Connor Enclosed.

The match ebbed and flowed on an atrocious day in Canberra with wet weather prevalent for the majority of the ninety minutes. City took the lead in the 27th minute through Deng Aleer Deng but Olympic responded sharply with a spectacular diving header from striker Daniel Barac.

Olympic was then able to take the lead with a beautifully crafted goal three minutes before the break. Shields and Oliver Wiederkehr combined for the latter to cross low, a ball which was dummied by Barac and buried into the bottom corner by Robbie Deeley.

City weren’t to be denied though and was level by the interval. Adam Dobell caught Olympic overplaying in defence and pounced to make it 2-2 at the break. The end to end battle continued in the second stanza as Olympic re-took the lead through a twelfth goal of the season from their leading scorer Mark Shields.

But this is a more resolute City than earlier in the season and they earned their point when Misko Naumoski made it 3-3 with eleven minutes remaining to round out what was an exhilarating match played in the memory of Robin Waring who played for both clubs before his tragic passing. 

Click here for a full review including all of the match details.

Image courtesy of Capital Football