National Premier League Round 9 – Review.
Sunday 8th June
Tuggeranong United 2 v FFA COE 1
A fifth win of the season from eight matches has Tuggeranong United sitting well placed in fifth on the National Premier Leagues Capital Football ladder after they downed the FFA COE 2-1 at Kambah 2 in a fiercely fought encounter. Both of these teams have eyes on the top four and therefore it was no surprise that the match was a keenly contested battle on a decent surface. After an even half it was the visitors who were celebrating five minutes before the break as Jamal Reiners broke the deadlock with his first goal at this level. If the FFA COE thought that would be enough to send them into the changing rooms ahead, they were rudely awakened just before the break as a strike from Daniel Colbertaldo took a hefty deflection on its way past Brandon Osipov in the FFA COE goal to bring United level. The second half followed the pattern of the first with both teams enjoying spells of possession but it was Tuggeranong who made the crucial breakthrough with thirteen minutes left. Michael John has added spark and excitement to the United team since his arrival from overseas and, on his second start, netted his second goal in two matches to put Tuggeranong ahead and allow the home support to continue to dream of finals football.
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Cooma Tigers 2 v Canberra City 1
Cooma Tigers roll continued as they racked up a fifth win of the season to move within a point of the league leaders at the head of the National Premier Leagues: Capital Football league ladder. But the home team was indebted to their go-to man and leading scorer Robbie Cattanach to get them out of jail late on, earning a 2-1 win over bottom of the table Canberra City with the winning goal coming in stoppage time. It was the lethal Cattanach’s tenth goal of the season, putting him in joint ownership of the lead in the Golden Boot race, but was rough justice on a City outfit that looked certain to claim only their second point of the season but saw it snatched away from them at the death. Earlier it had appeared to be a routine afternoon for the Tigers who took the lead in the 30th minute as Jordan Lando, deputising for the unavailable Stephen Domenici, netted his first goal of the season for the first grade team. With the lead and a chance to add further goals thwarted by the stoic James Ward and his back four, Cooma became more frustrated as they game went on and City sensed a way back into the match. They got it with twelve minutes left on the clock as Gimale Essacu, a standout this season, brought his side level. A point each looked likely until Cattanach intervened.
Canberra Olympic 1 v Canberra FC 0
REPORT BY BRENDAN HAWES: A wonder goal from Robbie Deeley proved the difference as Canberra Olympic recorded a fourth win in a row as they defeated Canberra FC 1-0 at O’Connor Enclosed. It was even and tight contest throughout the first half as both teams played without restraint. Attacking flair and dogged defence evened the flow as each side shared close chances and near misses. Olympic almost took the lead in the 15th minute as a wayward pass at the back was intercepted by Mark Shields but FC goalkeeper Jacob Cole stood firm to save well. FC was next on the attack, bursting through the middle and with quick play and slicing passes, opening a few chances for Philippe Bernabo-Madrid, though each were saved by Olympic’s shot stopper Angelo Konstantinou. Both teams shared even opportunities as the half finished 0-0. The second half started with an FC onslaught. Blitzing the play in the opening minutes, dominating possession and conjuring many scoring chances. However, Olympic brought themselves back into the fray with some close threats of their own only narrowly missing. The deadlock was finally broken in the 65th minute when Deeley scored a true screamer from outside the box, rocketing into the top corner. Canberra FC in response upped the ante on their attack though to no avail as poor touches, passes and questionable decisions kept the men in red at bay.
Monaro Panthers 1 v Belconnen United 10
A five-star display from Jason Ugrinic was the highlight as Belconnen United thumped a luckless Monaro Panthers 10-1 at the Riverside Stadium. Ugrinic was in fine form in front of goal, taking his season tally to nine, and showing no mercy to the beleaguered and under-fire Panthers’ back-line. The game was done as a contest by half-time as the visitors had racked up half a dozen goals with no reply to leave the hosts reeling and looking at a hiding. Goran Mukevski started the scoring in the seventh minute before Ugrinic struck twice within the space of sixty seconds. A goal from Aisosa Ihegie made it 4-0 in the 15th minute before Tom McLachlan, with his third in two matches, bagged goal number five three minutes later. When Mukevski rounded out the half dozen before half an hour had been played, there were worrying signs for Monaro. Ugrinic netted his third four minutes after the restart and Dustin Wells got in on the act in the 53rd minute as the Blue Devils hit eight. Goal number nine was Ugrinic’s fourth of the match with a consolation from Josh Calabria momentarily halting the inexorable Blue tide. There was still time for more and Ugrinic grabbed his fifth two minutes later to wrap up a scintillating performance.