PS4 NPL: Panthers head to Tigers Lair
PLAYSTATION 4 NATIONAL PREMIER LEAGUES: CANBERRA
It’s Matchday 6 in the PlayStation® 4 National Premier Leagues with three points separating the top three heading into the weekend. Leaders Tigers FC will be favourites to claim three points when they welcome Monaro Panthers to Nijong Oval having blitzed their way to the top of the table with nineteen goals in five games. The Tigers strengths have always been in the attacking third but, defensively, Osman Fofanah has been in inspirational form as the team has tightened up at the back.
The Panthers meanwhile will be no doubt in a confident mood following their amazing stoppage time escape against Gungahlin United with Darian McGarry-Watson rescuing a point for Monaro, their fifth of the season, and keeping them in touch with a top four place at this early stage of the campaign.
Canberra Olympic, who were made to fight hard for their three points against the FFA COE, travel to Tuggeranong United on Sunday afternoon knowing that they will need to be better than they showed in the second forty-five against the Centre of Excellence. Leading 3-0 at the break Olympic was coasting to victory but a poor showing in the second stanza led to many scratching of heads as to how their dominance evaporated so rapidly.
Tuggeranong are rapidly improving and were disappointed not to gain a point from their visit to McKellar Park last Saturday evening. Whilst their approach work was good, and their defensive discipline passable, Tuggeranong lacked creativity in the final third. Finding the key to unlock opposition defences is critical at this level and we can be sure that Tuggeranong have been working hard at training to find that elusive final pass.
Canberra FC, decimated by injuries, make the trip to Gungahlin Enclosed for their Matchday 6 encounter with Gungahlin United and will be without Robbie Deeley (knee), Nathan Evans (knee) and James Field (back). The return of Michael Mensah from suspension will help in this department but there is an underlying feeling that FC are struggling for consistency at the moment. It will surely be only a matter of time before they click though and, having not played that well but still picking up valuable points, they are serious contenders.
The Gunners could have been entering this fixture on the back of a win at the Riverside Stadium but that last-gasp Panthers equaliser negated Jack Green’s towering header for Gungahlin. That would have put them above the FFA COE into fifth place but, as it is, they are sixth but moving in the right direction.
Saturday evening action sees Belconnen United make the trip to Woden Park to take on Woden-Weston FC with the Blue Devils out to close the gap on the top three. The return of the severely under-rated David Kemp, who will play his 200th Premier League match for the club if selected, is a massive bonus to a squad that has had its fair share of injuries. Kemp’s versatility could be key. Woden-Weston meanwhile showed patched in defeat to Canberra FC that they have some real quality with Richy Hurtado Lora finding his feet in the competition.
Matchday 6 will begin on Saturday afternoon when the FFA COE plays the CU Academy at the AIS. The FFA COE were second best in the opening half against Canberra Olympic and were in danger of being blown away. However, a spirited half-time re-examination process saw them emerge from the sheds a different team and they probably should have at least got a draw.
The Academy are still searching for a point but they held leaders Tigers FC for the vast majority of the match at Hawker Football Centre on Matchday 5 and they will no doubt keep improving on an upward trajectory as the season progresses. In pre-season these teams shared a bagful of goals. We expect more of the same.
Saturday 7th May
FFA COE v CU Academy
Woden-Weston FC v Belconnen United
(Woden Park, 17:30)
Sunday 8th May
Tuggeranong United v Canberra Olympic
(Kambah 2, 15:00)
Gungahlin United v Canberra FC
(Gungahlin Enclosed, 15:00)
Tigers FC v Monaro Panthers
(Nijong Oval, 15:00)
6 Sam SMITH (Belconnen United), Stephen DOMENICI (Tigers FC)
5 John ROBERTS (FFA COE)
4 Jordan TSEKENIS (Canberra Olympic), Jaidon SELDON (FFA COE), Nicolas ABOT (Tigers FC)
3 Jason UGRINIC (Belconnen United), Thomas JAMES (Canberra FC), Mitch STEENBERGEN (Gungahlin United), Mark SHIELDS (Monaro Panthers)
2 Josip JADRIC (Canberra FC), Jeremy HABETMARIAM (Canberra Olympic), Tomas KRKLEC (CU Academy), Bryce BAFFORD (FFA COE), Daniel BARAC, Alex OLORIEGBE (Tigers FC), Domenic COLUCCIELLO, Marco GAYER, Andrew SLAVICH (Tuggeranong United)
1 Matt GRBESA, David KEMP, Cameron REINHART, Toby RICHTER, Dustin WELLS (Belconnen United), Nikola BARISIC, Robbie DEELEY, Domenic GIAMPAOLO, Ryan KEIR (Canberra FC), Philippe BERNABO-MADIRD, Tim BOBOLAS, Robbie CATTANACH, Daniel COLBERTALDO, Angelo KONSTANTINOU (Canberra Olympic), Daniel FABRIZIO, Joshua GULEVSKI (CU Academy), Rahmat AKBARI, Lachlan BROOK, Mirza MURATOVIC, Marc TOKICH (FFA COE), Nathan DUCK, Jack GREEN, Alex MOSCARITOLO, Marcial MUNOZ, Liam WALSH (Gungahlin United), Ed MCCARTHY, Darian MCGARRY-WATSON (Monaro Panthers), Julian BORGNA, Osman FOFANAH, Alan GASTON, Nahuel GUERRERO, Milan POPOVICH (Tigers FC), Nikolaos KALFAS, Emilio KISTA, Jonathan REIS, Sam SHADBOLT Tuggeranong United), Bensah AFIABO, Daniel DI-SALVATORE, Ben GRIEG, Tom HIRST, Matthew WATERS (Woden-Weston FC)