PS4 NPL: Belconnen Continue Fine Form

PLAYSTATION 4 NATIONAL PREMIER LEAGUES: CANBERRA
MATCHDAY 7

Saturday 14th May
Belconnen United 4 (Jason Ugrinic 41’, 58’, Jonathan Reis 53’, Aisosa Ihegie 90’) Gungahlin United 0
(McKellar Park)

Belconnen United continued where they left on in midweek against ANU FC in the Westfield FFA Cup by comfortably turning over Gungahlin United 4-0 at McKellar Park. In-form forward Jason Ugrinic led the way with a brace to take his season tally to nine as the Blue Devils overcame a lethargic first half performance to claim the points. 

Ugrinic, fresh off six goals in the last two matches for his club, went closest for the home team in the opening stages as he burst down the right wing and cut inside but his shot was tame and rolled harmlessly through to Josh Lagudah in the Gungahlin goal. At the other end Jason O’Dwyer whistled a half volley just past the post and Marcial Munoz had an effort that flew over but, in truth, neither shot particularly troubled Adam Perakovic.

The structure, and defensive set-up of Gungahlin, was proving to be difficult for the Blue Devils to break down with the width that they usually put on their game negated by the hard work of the Gunners midfield that closed down the angles well and hustled and harried their opponents when in possession. Gunners employed a fluid formation that appeared to be without a centre-forward of note as O’Dwyer, Nathan Duck and Alex Moscaritolo flittered between roles. 

Belconnen finally made a breakthrough four minutes before the break through Ugrinic. The lightning-fast forward, who went into the game as joint leader in the Golden Boot stakes, burst onto a loose ball, accelerated past a challenge and rammed a low finish underneath Lagudah. It was that strike that separated the teams at the interval.

Ugrinic was to be heavily involved in the game’s second goal eight minutes after the resumption. Zac Maybury was fouled wide out near the right touchline and, from the free-kick, Ugrinic swung in a devilish delivery that was met perfectly by a downward header from Jonathan Reis for a goal on his PS4 NPL debut for the club following his transfer from Tuggeranong United a week ago.  

And Ugrinic was at it again five minutes later. Collecting the ball thirty metres from goal he unleashed a dipping drive that flew over the head of a startled Lagudah for his eighth goal in his last three club matches. With the match, and the points, safely in the bag Belconnen made a number of changes and it was one of those, Aisosa Ihegie, who rattled in the fourth in stoppage time. 

Belconnen United: 20. Adam PERAKOVIC, 2. Zac MAYBURY, 3. Dustin WELLS, 4. Matt GRBESA, 6. David KEMP, 7. Taylor BEATON, 8. Conor NOLAN, 10. Jason UGRINIC, 11. Goran MUKEVSKI, 13. Jonathan REIS, 16. Matt VALERI
Substitutes used: 9. Sam SMITH, 12. Aisosa IHEGIE, 18. Nicholas DAHL
Gungahlin United: 19. Josh LAGUDAH, 2. Alex MOSCARITOLO, 3. David DEXTER, 5. Jason O’DWYER, 7. Regan WALSH, 8. Christian JUNNA, 9. Nathan DUCK, 10. Marcial MUNOZ, 11. Jake WILSENER, 14. Liam WALSH, 15. David JENKINS
Substitutes used: 6. Justin RANKINE, 12. Mitch STEENBERGEN, 17. Frano BLAZEVIC
YELLOW CARDS: 6. David KEMP, 13. Jonathan REIS (Belconnen United), 12. Mitch STEENBERGEN, 14. Liam WALSH (Gungahlin United)
RED CARDS: Nil

Sunday 15th May
Canberra FC 2 (Thomas James 68’ (pen), Domenic Giampaolo 78’) Tigers FC 3 (Stephen Domenici 45’ (pen), Dejan Santrac 52’, Nicolas Abot 76’)
(Deakin Stadium)

Tigers FC remained clear at the top of the table after passing yet another litmus test of their championship credentials as they stormed Deakin Stadium emerging on the right side of a five-goal score-line with Nicolas Abot’s strike ensuring a 3-2 win for Gaby Wilk’s title-chasers.

Two teams with genuine chances of claiming silverware this season turned out a forgettable half of football during the opening forty-five minutes with the swirling wind, constantly changing direction, making it difficult for both sides to string together their creative ability in the final third. The Tigers fired the first effort in anger but Daniel Barac scuffed a half-volley wide when well-placed.

That precipitated the best two chances of the afternoon for Canberra FC with the home side cracking the Tigers offside trap twice in quick succession. Initially, Josip Jadric got goal-side of his marker but his first effort was blazed over the bar and, shortly afterwards, Thomas James was unlucky to see his goalbound effort blocked by defender Milan Popovich after excellent approach work from Jadric.

James went close again when he was sent free down the right flank but his effort was straight at Tigers FC goalkeeper Jakob Cole who parried his shot away to safety. At the other end Barac capitalised on a lightning fast raid and hit a fierce strike at goal that was brilliantly turned away for a corner by FC stopper Rory Larkin, But, crucially, Tigers were to take the lead right on half-time. Michael Mensah pulled down Stephen Domenici in the area and the Tigers Fc top scorer calmly slotted home the penalty.

Tellingly it was Tigers FC who came out the quicker in the second half and they went 2-0 up seven minutes after the restart. Holding midfielder Dejan Santrac ventured forward and was given way too much space at the top of the area to pick his spot and slide an inch-perfect shot inside Larkin’s right-hand post. Barac then had a shot spooned away by Larkin but, when they needed a lifeline, FC got it.

James, who was the hosts’ best chance of a goal, was bundled over in the area and the striker dusted himself off to net easily from the resultant spot-kick. Any hopes of a rapid comeback were stilled when Tigers scored again with fourteen minutes to play. Argentinean substitute Nicolas Abot collected the ball and embarked infield before curling an unstoppable effort beyond the reach of Larkin and into the top corner for a sensational finish. Still FC weren’t done and, following a useful run from Ivan Pavlak, James retrieved the ball for Domenic Giampaolo, fresh off the bench, to bend in a goal that gave Zoran Glavinic and his team hopes of an unlikely draw. Arguably, they could have nicked one as well as Pavlak smashed a chance over when inside the area late on. However, over the course of the match the Tigers had been the better side and thoroughly deserved what could prove to be a pivotal result in both team’s campaigns. 

Canberra FC: 1. Rory LARKIN, 4. Marko VRKIC, 5. Izach CLEMENTS, 6 Ryan KEIR, 8. Ian GRAHAM, 9. Thomas JAMES, 11. Ivan PAVLAK, 14. Josip JADRIC, 15. Jordan LAMB, 17. Aidan BRUNSKILL, 19. Michael MENSAH
Substitutes used: 10. Domenic GIAMPAOLO, 13. Kye EDWARDS, 18. Misko NAUMOSKI
Tigers FC: 22. Jakob COLE, 2. Nahuel GUERREO, 4. Milan POPOVICH, 5. Dejan SANTRAC, 7. Goran JOSIFOVSKI, 8. Julian BORGNA, 9. Daniel BARAC, 10. Alex OLORIEGBE, 12. Alan GASTON, 13. Hussein FUREJE, 17. Stephen DOMENICI
Substitutes used: 11. Jeremias IBARRA, 14. Nicolas ABOT, 16. Ala MOBEDI
YELLOW CARDS: 22. Jakob COLE, 8. Julian BORGNA, 12. Alan GASTON (Tigers FC), 8. Ian GRAHAM, 14. Josip JADRIC, 19. Michael MENSAH (Canberra FC)
RED CARDS: 5. Dejan SANTRAC (Tigers FC)

Tuggeranong United 3 (Marco Gayer 41’, Andrew Slavich 56’, Caleb Brown 78’ (og)) Woden-Weston FC 1 (Goran Milutinovic 66’)
(Kambah 2)

By David Jordan

Tuggeranong United picked up their second win of the PlayStation® 4 National Premier Leagues: Canberra as they shrugged off Woden-Weston 3-1 at Kambah on Sunday. Richy Hurtado-Lora was sent off just after the half-hour mark for unsportsmanlike conduct for Woden-Weston, and the visitors struggled to maintain a presence in the game from then on. With few good chances for either side for most of the first half, it was Tuggeranong that struck first through Marco Gayer.

Gayer picked up the ball just outside the box, before cutting onto his left foot and rifling a flat drive into the bottom corner, with Kris Trajanoski well beaten in the visiting goal. With only one goal separating the sides at the break, Woden-Weston were still in the contest, but struggled after the break as the home side came out firing. Six minutes in Aaron Cashman hit the left upright with a wicked curling strike, and it was a sign of things to come as Tuggies extended their lead five minutes later.

Gayer thudded a header against the crossbar after a fantastic cross from the right, but Andrew Slavich was on hand to control the ball and smash the second-effort into the roof of the net. The home side looked to be cruising with a man-advantage and a two-goal cushion, however the visitors refused to give up the fight and pulled themselves right back into the contest in the 66th minute. 

Daniel De-Salvatore beat his man to the baseline and popped a perfect cross for Goran Milutinovic to follow home tidily from about 10 yards out. Seven minutes later however, Woden-Weston were punished for switching off at a set-piece as a corner kick made its way almost all the way through, before deflecting off defender Caleb Brown for an own goal. That proved to be the sealer for Tuggeranong as they looked to control the game towards the end.

Woden-Weston threatened to break free on the counter more than once in the closing minutes, but a combination of poor decision-making and misplaced passes cost them as Tuggeranong made their man advantage count. The loss leaves Woden-Weston at the bottom of the table with Canberra United Academy with a solitary win for the season, while Tuggeranong overtake the FFA Centre of Excellence to grab fifth spot.

Tuggeranong United: 1. Costa FALLAS, 2. Cameron DOHERTY, 4. Sam SHADBOLT, 5. Nick FAUST, 7. Nikoloas KALFAS, 8. Daniel ROBERTS, 9. Aaron CASHMAN, 11. Marco GAYER, 13. Tim ANDERSON, 14. Andrew SLAVICH, 15. Liam HIGHMORE
Substitutes used: 3. Domenic COLUCCIELLO, 10. Ohio ASIKHIA, 16. Eddie COGGAN
Woden-Weston FC: 1. Kris TRAJANOSKI, 2. Bradley OLIVERA, 3. Adam DE FRANCESCHI,
6. Ben GRIEG, 7. Matthew WATERS, 8. Richy HURTADO LORA, 9. Daniel DI-SALVATORE, 11. Bensah AFIABO, 12. Tim DEHELEAN, 14. Arok THON, 15. Jarryd CLIFTON
Substitutes used: 5. Jean-Baptiste BLAISE, 10. Caleb BROWN, 16. Goran MILUTINOVIC
YELLOW CARDS: 1. Costa FALLAS, 3. Domenic COLUCCIELLO (Tuggeranong United), 6. Ben GRIEG, 11. Bensah AFIABO, 14. Arok THON (Woden-Weston FC)
RED CARDS: 8. Richy HURTADO LORA (Woden-Weston FC)

Canberra Olympic 5 (Jordan Tsekenis 17’ (pen), Philippe Bernabo-Madrid 30’, 90+2’ (pen), Nathen Megic 35’, Michael Reeve 48) CU Academy 0
(O’Connor Enclosed)

By William Bremner

Canberra Olympic continued on its winning way with a comprehensive 5-0 win over CU Academy at O’Connor Enclosed on Sunday afternoon. In blustery conditions the hosts came to terms with the conditions best and their overall quality proved too much for the visitors. 

That is not to say that the Academy didn't have their chances. Sam Whithear upfront had two great chances early but was unable to capitalise. The first followed a lovely turn on the edge of the box that left the Olympic defence stranded but his tame finish did not match the earlier movement. Then he picked the pocket of Olympic keeper Angelo Konstantinou before under hitting his finish and allowing the defence time to get back and clear off the line. Daniel Fabrizio also threatened with a spectacular overhead kick that sailed just wide of the Olympic post. 

The breakthrough for Olympic came seventeen minutes in courtesy of a spot kick conceded when Michael Reeve was upended following a great run down the left that saw three Academy defenders in his wake. Jordan Tsekenis stepped up and had no trouble placing his firm shot passed Sam Brown in the Academy goal. 

On the half hour it was two as Philippe Bernabo-Madrid tapped home after the united defence had failed to deal with a corner and the loose ball fell invitingly to the Olympic front man. And five minutes later it was three. Again the Academy failed to deal with a set piece, this time a free kick on the Olympic left, and Nathan Megic was left with the simple task of stroking home from close range. 

Three minutes after half time Reeve, playing superbly on either side of the Olympic front three, added a fourth when placing a right foot curling effort passed the despairing effort of Brown. Bernarbo-Madrid added a late penalty for his second but not before Fabrizio had missed a glorious chance for a consolation heading over from a good position with the Olympic goal at his mercy. 

Canberra Olympic: 20. Angelo KONSTANTINOU, 2. Tim BOBOLAS, 8. Bernard RENE, 9. Philippe BERNABO-MADRID, 10. Robbie CATTANACH, 11. Michael REEVE, 12. Adam ROGIC, 17. Nick BOBOLAS, 18. Jordan TSEKENIS, 23. Nathen MEGIC, 99. Victor YANES
Substitutes used: 5. Phil YARNOLD, 6. Jeremy HABTEMARIAM, 15. Tom MCLACHLAN
CU Academy: 1. Sam BROWN, 2. Ross COSTANZO, 3. Ridwan HANNAN, 4. Antoni TIMOTHEOU, 5. Niko KRESIC, 7. Joshua GULEVSKI, 8. Adrian MACOR, 9. Sam WHITHEAR, 10. Daniel FABRIZIO, 11. Tomas KRKLEC, 13. Daniel SUBASIC
Substitutes used: 6. Thomas MILICEVIC, 15. Lachlan GRIFFITHS, 18. Jonathan TUREK
YELLOW CARDS: 2. Tim BOBOLAS, 6. Jeremy HABTEMARIAM, 99. Victor YANES (Canberra Olympic), 6. Thomas MILICEVIC, 8. Adrian MACOR, 10. Daniel FABRIZIO (CU Academy)
RED CARDS: Nil

Monaro Panthers 3 (Ed McCarthy 14’, Joel King 45’ (og), Darian McGarry-Watson 73’) FFA COE 1 (Mark Moric 90’)
(Riverside Stadium)

Monaro Panthers showed their claws as they sunk the FFA COE 3-1 at the Riverside stadium on Sunday afternoon to move into sixth place on the ladder, joining level with Tuggeranong United and trailing their rivals only on goal difference. The Panthers were in top form and made life difficult for their visitors on a blustery and wind-swept afternoon in Queanbeyan. Taking the game to the FFA COE the home side were in front before the quarter hour. Ed McCarthy has enjoyed a decent season to date and he was on hand to notch his third goal of the season to open the scoring, cutting inside to sweep a shot into the far corner.

It was just reward for the Panthers for an enterprising start in which they created the better opportunities. It didn’t take long for the visiting team to get back into the contest and they proceeded to dominate possession but without cracking the fiercely resistant Panthers defence. Reduced to shots from range the FFA COE failed to test Nathan Alferink in the Panthers goal sufficiently. 

Monaro then struck with a sucker-punch in the shadows of the half-time interval with the classic counter-attack. McCarthy was integral again to the build-up, breaking down the flank and delivering a teasing ball inside the area. Martin Deng put enough pressure on FFA COE defender Joel King who was forced to turn the ball into his own net from close range for a second Panthers strike. 

The second half continued with the FFA COE monopolising almost two-thirds of the possession but the Monaro back four, in which young Daniel Hearle was in incredible form, stood strong and the visiting team continued to flounder as they attempted to force a way through the defensive line. Jacob Italiano was becoming more prominent but even his trickery couldn’t find an end product. And the Panthers caught the FFA COE napping again in the 73rd minute. Darian McGarry-Watson was first to a ball over the back of the FFA COE defence and he showed ample composure to round Matthew Sutton and roll the ball into the empty net. 

The FFA COE did grab a consolation in stoppage time when Alferink was caught in two minds about whether to come and collect a cross. His hesitancy was pounced upon by substitute Mark Moric who nipped in to net. But it mattered little to the Panthers who, by that stage, had done more than enough to claim the win. 

Monaro Panthers: 21. Nathan ALFERINK, 3. Daniel HEARLE, 4. Luka MARKULIN, 5. Chris RUIZ, 6. Alan MURPHY, 7. Daniel FELLIZZI, 8. Sam ROESTBAKKEN, 11. Darian MCGARRY-WATSON, 12. Tony SPASESKI, 13. Ed MCCARTHY, 14. Martin DENG
Substitutes used: 9. Jason BAXTER, 16. Lachlan HUNTER, 17. Mitchell JERVIS-HAMILTON
FFA COE: 1. Matthew SUTTON, 2. James FLETCHER, 3. Patrick SCIBILO, 4. Kaleb COX, 5. Joel KING, 7. Jacob ITALIANO, 8. Eduardo CASTENEDA, 9. John ROBERTS, 16. Ben OBST, 17. Louis D’ARRIGO, 23. Marc TOKICH
Substitutes used: 14. Rahmat AKBARI, 19. Mark MORIC, 20. Bryce BAFFORD
YELLOW CARDS: 6. Alan MURPHY (Monaro Panthers), 3. Patrick SCIBILO (FFA COE)
RED CARDS: Nil

TABLE

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LEADING SCORERS 
9
 Jason UGRINIC (Belconnen United)
Stephen DOMENICI (Tigers FC)
Sam SMITH (Belconnen United), John ROBERTS (FFA COE)
Jordan TSEKENIS (Canberra Olympic), Nicolas ABOT (Tigers FC)
Thomas JAMES (Canberra FC), Philippe BERNABO-MADRID (Canberra Olympic), Jaidon SELDON (FFA COE), Daniel BARAC (Tigers FC)
3 Josip JADRIC (Canberra FC), Tomas KRKLEC (CU Academy), Mitch STEENBERGEN (Gungahlin United), Ed MCCARTHY, Mark SHIELDS (Monaro Panthers), Alex OLORIEGBE (Tigers FC), Marco GAYER, Andrew SLAVICH (Tuggeranong United)
Jonathan REIS (Belconnen United)*, Domenic GIAMPAOLO (Canberra FC), Daniel COLBERTALDO, Jeremy HABETMARIAM (Canberra Olympic), Sam WHITHEAR (CU Academy), Bryce BAFFORD (FFA COE), Darian MCGARRY-WATSON (Monaro Panthers), Domenic COLUCCIELLO (Tuggeranong United), Own GOALS
1 Matt GRBESA, Aisosa IHEGIE, David KEMP, Goran MUKEVSKI, Cameron REINHART, Toby RICHTER, Dustin WELLS (Belconnen United), Nikola BARISIC, Robbie DEELEY, Ryan KEIR (Canberra FC), Tim BOBOLAS, Robbie CATTANACH, Angelo KONSTANTINOU, Nathen MEGIC, Michael REEVE (Canberra Olympic), Daniel FABRIZIO, Joshua GULEVSKI (CU Academy), Rahmat AKBARI, Lachlan BROOK, Louis D’ARRIGO, Mark MORIC, Mirza MURATOVIC, Marc TOKICH (FFA COE), Nathan DUCK, Jack GREEN, Alex MOSCARITOLO, Marcial  MUNOZ, Liam WALSH (Gungahlin United), Julian BORGNA, Osman FOFANAH, Alan GASTON, Nahuel GUERRERO, Milan POPOVICH, Dejan SANTRAC (Tigers FC), Nikolaos KALFAS, Emilio KISTA, Sam SHADBOLT Tuggeranong United), Bensah AFIABO, Daniel DI-SALVATORE, Ben GRIEG, Tom HIRST, Goran MILUTNOVIC, Matthew WATERS (Woden-Weston FC)

*1 goal for Tuggeranong United




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