National Premier League Round 8 – Review.
Sunday 1st June
FFA COE 5 v Monaro Panthers 1
The FFA COE survived the dismissal of Christian Verbi to record an overwhelming 5-1 victory over Monaro Panthers on the maiden first grade match played on the new FIFA accredited synthetic pitch at the Australian Institute of Sport. Verbi was sent off early in the game for bringing down a Panthers attacker as the last man and denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity. However, the man handicap didn’t deter the FFA COE from playing some superb football and they led 2-0 at the break. Daniel Arzani was the goal hero, scoring twice in the space of seven minutes to put the home team in control of the match. And the destination of the points was confirmed shortly after the interval as Peter Kekeris made it 3-0 in the 53rd minute. The Panthers did regroup and gain a goal for themselves as the hard working Darian McGarry-Watson reduced the arrears in the 68th minute but, even with the extra player, they failed to convert the opportunities that presented themselves and the FFA COE made them pay late on. Kekeris registered his second goal of the match with eight minutes remaining and, in the final minute of the match, Charlie Devereux brought up the fifth with a well-taken goal to round out a thoroughly professional display.
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Canberra City 1 v Canberra Olympic 6
Canberra Olympic are well and truly back in contention at the top end of the National Premier Leagues: Capital Football competition after they saw off a dogged Canberra City with a 6-1 triumph at Gungahlin Enclosed on Sunday afternoon. Olympic was too strong in nearly every area of the field for City who, try as they might, can’t seem to catch a break this season. Having downed Belconnen United last weekend it was pivotal for Olympic’s title chances that they continued to play in the same vein of form and, once Robbie Deeley had given them a 32nd minute lead, they always looked the likely victors. Mark Shields settled any lingering nerves with a second goal four minutes later, a piece of individual brilliance from the forward, as Olympic led 2-0 at half-time. Daniel Fulton thundered in the third Olympic goal in the 61st minute before City got a reward for their perseverance through skipper Adam Dobell. That goal only seemed to galvanise Olympic even further and they glossed the score board with three goals in the last ten minutes. Substitute Oliver Wiederkehr under-lined his impact status with a strike from the bench before Shields and Deeley, in rapid fire succession, brought up their second of the match to confirm Olympic’s superiority.
Woden Valley 1 v Tuggeranong United 2
Tuggeranong United did just enough to ease past Woden Valley and claim the three points with a 2-1 victory at Kaleen Enclosed in Round 8 of the National Premier Leagues: Capital Football. United did all the damage in the first half, taking a 2-0 lead into the interval, and doing enough in the second stanza to merit the victory despite a spirited Woden recovery. Tuggeranong took the match by the scruff of the neck early on and was in front in the 17th minute. Sean Kiddey played a delightfully weighted through ball to Michael John and the forward, on his starting debut, kept his cool to round Jason Denham and slot home. The lead was increased just three minutes later as United carved open the Woden defence once more. A slick bout of first time passing found Muad Zwed in the area and he advanced to drill low past Denham and into the bottom corner. If Tuggeranong was in the ascendancy in the first half then Woden was more dangerous in the second forty-five. After forcing a top draw save from Rowan Shepherd in the United goal, Conor Nolan got the reward his performance deserved as he crashed home a loose ball at the second attempt after the visitors had failed to clear their lines. Woden pushed for an equaliser but some stout defence held them out and United took the maximum return.
Belconnen United 2 v Cooma Tigers 4
Belconnen United fell to a second defeat in succession as Cooma Tigers stormed McKellar Park to claim a 4-2 victory on a wet afternoon in the national capital. The Tigers, after an indifferent start to the season, now appears to have found their groove and they wasted no time in taking the match to their hosts in an open and exciting encounter. Stephen Domenici scored three times in two matches from the spot last week but it was from open play that he broke the deadlock in this match, striking after 33 minutes. It was the goal that separated the teams at the break but the Tigers didn’t have long to wait to add to that tally as Goran Josifovski made the score 2-0 just six minutes after the re-start. Needing some inspiration, the Blue Devils coaching staff introduced Tom McLachlan into the fray and he pulled one back through a tap-in in the 67th minute to give the home team some hope of a recovery. However, Cooma had other ideas and Robbie Cattanach, who has been in great form this season, restored the two-goal lead with a quarter of an hour to play. McLachlan netted his second three minutes later to set up an intense finale, but it was Cooma who could rest easy as Cattanach scored his ninth of the season to confirm a superb win.