PS4 NPL: Advantage Olympic in Title Race

PLAYSTATION 4 NATIONAL PREMIER LEAGUES: CANBERRA
MATCHDAY 18

Saturday 13th August
FFA COE 4 (Mark Moric 15’, Jacob Italiano 28’, Mirza Muratovic 69’, Lachlan Brook 83’) Belconnen United 0 
(AIS)

By William Bremner

FFA COE ran out comfortable winners over local power house Belconnen United 4-0 at the AIS. Belconnen, for the second time in two games, shipped four goals and their defensive frailties will be the cause for some concern to coach Dean Ugrinic. 

The game started with the COE pressing forward and Belconnen seemingly willing to sit a little deeper and absorb the home team’s pressure. For the first fifteen minutes it was a tactic that appeared to be having success although Belconnen would be a little disappointed with their inability to retain possession when they were able to cause turn overs. An over emphasis on looking for the killer pass or perhaps some poor decisions meant that they were inviting more pressure than they might otherwise have been subjected to. 

After quarter of an hour the game changed in favour of the home team as Mark Moric was on hand at the far post to steer home amid claims for offside. On balance there was little argument that the home team had shown enough initiative to be in front. On 22 minutes Belconnen's task was made harder when Jacob Italiano doubled the lead capitalising on some loose defending before steering home. The COE's crisp ball movement and vertical penetration complemented perfectly their intelligent and incisive movement off the ball so a second goal was not a complete surprise and meant the visitors had a significant mountain to climb. 

At two down then it was imperative that they were next on the score sheet and they were presented with the perfect opportunity 39 minutes in when awarded a penalty. Young Sam Smith burst into the penalty area and his attempted cross was deemed to have been handled. The normally reliable Dustin Wells stepped up but his shot grazed the outside of the left hand post and bounced away to safety and Belconnen's avenue back into the match was gone. 

The half time break provided Belconnen with the chance to regroup and they came out intent on forcing the issue by pressing a little higher up the park. Their cause was further assisted on 54 minutes when Kai Trewin was shown a red card for dissent. Bells coach Ugrinic introduced Nick Rolls to the fray and his first involvement saw him clear of his marker but his decision to cross rather take a presentable shooting opportunity saw the ball whistle across the face of goal and out for a goal kick. 

Blue Devils second half performance was full of energy and a welcome contrast to their passive efforts in the first stanza. All their good work however was undone when on 69 minutes Toby Richter was caught over playing on the Belconnen left and Mirza Muratovic finished off to exact maximum punishment. Belconnen were not to learn from the error and on 83 minutes Aisosa Ihegie, on the Belconnen right, was dispossessed in a similar fashion and Lachlan Brook again made them pay in full. 

4-0 was indeed a comprehensive victory and just reward for a skillful and attractive footballing performance by the COE. Belconnen for their part will be looking to get back to the sort of form that made them title contenders, prior to embarking on a finals campaign. 

FFA COE: 12. Jordan GRIFFITHS, 2. James FLETCHER, 4. Kaleb COX, 5. Joel KING, 6. Kai TREWIN, 7. Jacob ITALIANO, 15. Luke CALLEN, 17. Louis D’ARRIGO, 19. Mark MORIC, 20. Bryce BAFFORD, 22. Jaidon SELDON
Substitutes used: 10. Lachlan BROOK, 11. Mirza MURATOVIC, 21. Melad AHMED
Belconnen United: 1. Adam PERAKOVIC, 3. Dustin WELLS, 4. Matt GRBESA, 6. David KEMP, 9. Sam SMITH, 10. Jason UGRINIC, 11. Goran MUKEVSKI, 12. Aisosa IHEGIE, 13. Jonathan REIS, 16. Matt VALERI, 19. Nikolas POPOVICH
Substitutes used: 8. Nick ROLLS, 14. Zach MUNSTER, 17. Toby RICHTER
YELLOW CARDS: 2. James FLETCHER, 21. Melad AHMED (FFA COE), 4. Matt GRBESA, 6. David KEMP (Belconnen United)
RED CARDS: 6. Kai TREWIN (FFA COE)

Woden-Weston FC 0 Gungahlin United 1 (Marcial Munoz 39’ (pen))
(Woden Park) 

Two teams with only pride to play for met at Woden Park on Saturday afternoon as Gungahlin United squeezed past Woden-Weston FC in an entertaining match in front of a sparse crowd. 

A goal from the penalty spot six minutes before the break from Marcial Munoz was the difference as the Gunners claimed the three points and left Woden-Weston FC doomed to the wooden spoon.

Gungahlin’s win means they can finish no lower than seventh on the league table and may even finish fifth should they win their final match of the campaign against Canberra FC at Deakin Stadium next weekend, and Tuggeranong United drop points in their game in hand against the FFA COE.

Woden-Weston FC wrap up their season with a visit to McKellar Park to take to take on Belconnen United and will look forward to 2017 when new Coach Tony Olivera takes over and will try to resurrect a club that shows much sign of promise. 

Woden-Weston FC: 1. Kris TRAJANOSKI, 2. Bradley OLIVERA, 3. Adam DE FRANCESCHI, 6. Ben GRIEG, 7. Matthew WATERS, 8. Christopher MCEWAN, 9. Daniel DI-SALVATORE, 10. Goran MILUTINOVIC, 11. Bensah AFIABO, 12. Tim DEHELEAN, 15. Roy ROMEO
Substitutes used: 13. Anton HOSHOVSKY, 14. Jarryd CLIFTON, 16. Brady NIXON
Gungahlin United: 1. Jason DENHAM, 2. Alex MOSCARITOLO, 3. David DEXTER, 6. Justin RANKINE, 7. Regan WALSH, 10. Marcial MUNOZ, 12. Mitch STEENBERGEN, 13. Matt TARNAWSKYJ, 14. Liam WALSH, 15. David JENKINS, 16. Jack GREEN
Substitutes used: 9. Nathan DUCK
YELLOW CARDS: 8. Christopher MCEWAN, 10. Goran MILUTINOVIC (Woden-Weston FC), 16. Jack GREEN (Gungahlin United)
RED CARDS: Nil

Sunday 14th August
Tigers FC 0 Tuggeranong United 1 (Andrew Slavich 78’)
(Nijong Oval)

Advantage Canberra Olympic. A goal twelve minutes from time, slotted in confidently by Tuggeranong United forward Andrew Slavich, dashed Tigers FC hopes of keeping the destiny of the League Championship title in their hands on a dramatic day in the PS4 NPL competition.

Slavich’s seventh league goal of the season for Tuggeranong could yet turn out to be the most important, but perhaps not the way in which the summer recruit from Woden-Weston FC expected. It settled a contest on a day in which Tigers FC held the aces heading into Matchday 18 knowing a win would heap pressure on Olympic to score a big victory over Monaro Panthers and then back-up by defeating FFA COE next week.

As it was the Tigers, shorn of a host of big names through unavailability, gave first starts of the season to youngsters Zac Schoon and Michael Kita whilst Ala Mobedi and Hussein Fureje were drafted into the line-up in a makeshift back four that looked vulnerable throughout. Tigers however, could still boast the league’s leading scorers in Stephen Domenici and Nicolas Abot, despite the absence of Daniel Barac, but some outstanding defensive displays denied them a crucial goal.

Josh Lagudah in the Tuggeranong goal made a number of vital stops and was ably assisted by Aiodan Beatman, a rock in the heart of the Tuggeranong defence. With a game-plan that worked a treat Tuggeranong claimed their biggest win of the season. But it was one that has been brewing for a number of weeks. Unlucky not to defeat Canberra FC on their own patch earlier in the season, Tuggeranong have been promising a big performance for a while now.

Unfortunately for title-chasing Tigers FC they chose Sunday for that to come to fruition. There’s still a hope for Gaby Wilk and his team. They lead on goal difference and, if the FFA COE who were mightily impressive in downing Belconnen United 4-0 on the weekend, can claim a win at the AIS, Tigers FC will be crowned Champions. For now though, they must sit and wait. 

Tigers FC: 1. Jakob COLE, 2. Ala MOBEDI, 3. Hussein FUREJE, 4. Jared TONINI, 5. Dejan SANTRAC, 7. Julian BORGNA, 8. Jeremias IBARRA, 9. Zac SCHOON, 10. Nicolas ABOT, 11. Michael KITA, 17. Stephen DOMENICI
Substitutes used: 15. Joshua ROLFE
Tuggeranong United: 1. Josh LAGUDAH, 2. Cameron DOHERTY, 3. Dom SZRAKITY, 5. Jacob AYUEL, 6. Aiodan BEATMAN, 7. Nikolaos KALFAS, 8. Daniel ROBERTS, 10. Emilio KISTA, 13. Tim ANDERSON, 14. Andrew SLAVICH, 15. Liam HIGHMORE
Substitutes used: 11. Marco GAYER
YELLOW CARDS: 1. Jakob COLE, 5. Dejan SANTRAC, 8. Jeremias IBARRA, 9. Zac SCHOON (Tigers FC)
RED CARDS: Nil

Canberra Olympic 4 (Robbie Cattanach 40’, 65’, Angelo Konstantinou 63’ (pen), Tom McLachlan 84’) Monaro Panthers 0
(O’Connor Enclosed)

By David Jordan

Canberra Olympic took a huge step towards the PlayStation® 4 National Premier Leagues: Canberra Championship on Sunday as they recorded a crushing 4-0 victory over Monaro at O’Connor.  On an afternoon where ladder leaders Tigers FC suffered a shock defeat to Tuggeranong, Olympic burst into life in the second half to put themselves in prime position with a three-goal stanza.
 
While the home side came out firing in the first half, it didn’t look to be their day as Monaro goalkeeper Nathan Alferink played an absolute blinder in goals. Just after the half hour Olympic forward Jordan Tsekenis looked to poke home from close range only to be saved well by Alferink, before the Monaro custodian somehow found his way to keep out Robbie Cattanach’s follow up as well.
 
Two minutes later Alferink again pulled off a brilliant double save, denying first Cattanach and then Jeremy Habtemariam on the follow-up from close range. But with five minutes until half time, Alferink’s spell was finally broken, as Cattanach headed home the second chance after Alferink denied Tsekenis once more. 
 
Monaro were on the back foot leading into half time and the second half started with much of the same as the visitors were forced onto the back foot early as Olympic struggled to break through. But in the 62nd minute the game turned, as Panthers defender Jarrad Bain was sent off for hauling Tsekenis down in the box. Olympic Goalkeeper Angelo Konstantinou smashed the spot-kick into the roof of the net and the home side began to probe the new hole in Monaro’s defense.
 
With 25 minutes to go Olympic made it 3-0 as Robbie Cattanach prodded home from close range and just two minutes later the home side had the ball in the net again, only to see the effort chalked off for offside. Monaro’s defence continued to fight valiantly as Alferink made a number of great saves again, and Tsekenis had a strike blocked on the line, but Olympic found their way through again with six minutes left. 
 
Another sweeping Olympic attack saw Tom McLachlan finish from point-blank range as the home side closed out the game. Thanks to Tuggeranong’s win, Olympic now sit level on points with Tigers with a game in hand, and can close out the Championship next weekend with just a point against the FFA Centre of Excellence.

Canberra Olympic: 1. Angelo KONSTANTINOU, 2. Tim BOBOLAS, 4. Daniel COLBERTALDO, 5. Phil YARNOLD, 6. Jeremy HABTEMARIAM, 7. Pat ROSS-MAGEE, 8. Bernard RENE, 10. Robbie CATTANACH, 11. Michael REEVE, 15. Tom MCLACHLAN, 18. Jordan TSEKENIS
Substitutes used: 17. Nick BOBOLAS, 22. Oliver WIEDERKEHR
Monaro Panthers: 21. Nathan ALFERINK, 3. Jarrad BAIN, 4. Thomas HEWITT, 5. Chris RUIZ, 8. Sam ROESTBAKKEN, 9. Ohio ASIKHIA, 10. Mark SHIELDS, 12. Tony SPASESKI, 13. Ed MCCARTHY, 14. Martin DENG, 20. Caleb CULLEN-RUA
Substitutes used: 6. Jason BAXTER, 16. Lachlan HUNTER, 17. Conor MCLACHLAN
YELLOW CARDS: 4. Thomas HEWITT, 9. Ohio ASIKHIA, 13. Ed MCCARTHY (Monaro Panthers)
RED CARDS: 3. Jarrad BAIN (Monaro Panthers)

CU Academy 4 (David Carder 27’, Sam Whithear 47’, Joshua Gulevski 68’, Bul Juach 80’) Canberra FC 2 (Ivan Pavlak 23’, Thomas James 48’)
(Hawker Football Centre)

By William Bremner

CU Academy have waited all season to claim the scalp of one of Canberra's top teams, previously surrendering leads against competition big guns Cooma Tigers and Canberra Olympic. On Sunday afternoon they emphatically put that record straight running out comfortable 4-2 winners over traditional power house Canberra FC.

An attractive game started with the Acsademy content to keep possession and Canberra FC content to sit back and rely on the counter. In Thomas James and Dom Giampaolo the visitors had two players of high quality who going forward pose a significant threat. James in particular was sharp in the early stages catching the opposing defence a little square and using his pace to get in behind he was causing Academy problems down their left flank. One such foray resulted in the award of a corner and Giampaolo tried a cheeky near post flick that was well gathered by Sam Brown in the home goal.

The Academy team were also effective going forward and a better touch by Bull Juach would have seen him one on one with Rory Larkin in the away goal. Chances came and went for both teams. Juach had another golden opportunity but rolled his shot wide. Giampaolo thundered a left foot shot toward goal that Brown did well to save and James, on three occasions before the half time break, tried his luck from distance to no avail.

The breakthrough came from the expected source as on 23 minutes James out muscled his defender and raced into the box before squaring to Ivan Pavlak who had the simplest of tasks to slot home from close range. The lead however was short lived as the Academy broke forward down their left before crossing to David Carder whose emphatic finish gave Larkin no chance and after 27 minutes we were all square.

That's the way it stayed until the break but the start of the second half saw a flurry of scoring activity. Sam Whithear on as a substitute in the first half, scored almost from the restart but James responded just as quickly to leave the crowd just a little breathless. Again after 48 minutes parity had been restored.

After that electric start the game settled into a familiar pattern with both teams probing although the young academy team were keeping possession better than their more illustrious opponents. Canberra FC had opportunities to create chances but lacked penetration as their forward movement was somewhat pedestrian and was easily dealt with by a home defence that did well to keep their opponents playing in front of their own back four.

Sensing an upset the home team pressed on and after 68 minutes Joshua Gulevski, a player with immense potential, rounded off a swift break with a fine goal that capped an accomplished all round performance. From that moment on there was only going to be one winner and the home team made sure of the points when Bul Juach beat a static defence on 80 minutes and stroked home. Canberra FC hit the bar and substitute Alex Oloriegbe entered the fray with a view to adding fire power but the remaining FC efforts where in vain and Academy were deserved winners.

CU Academy: 1. Sam BROWN, 4. Antoni TIMOTHEOU, 5. Niko KRESIC, 7. Joshua GULEVSKI, 8. Adrian MACOR, 11. Tomas KRKLEC, 13. Daniel SUBASIC, 15. Lachlan GRIFFITHS, 16. Bul JUACH, 17. Tony MADAFFARI, 20. David CARDER
Substitutes used: 9. Sam WHITHEAR, 14. Niko UDJUR
Canberra FC: 1. Rory LARKIN, 5. Izach CLEMENTS, 6. Ryan KEIR, 8. Ian GRAHAM, 9. Thomas JAMES, 10. Dominic GIAMPAOLO, 11. Ivan PAVLAK, 15. Jordan LAMB, 16. Ross COSTANZO, 19. Michael MENSAH, 21. Nikola BARISIC
Substitutes used: 3. Thomas MILICEVIC, 13. Kye EDWARDS, 20. Alex OLORIEGBE
YELLOW CARDS: 8. Adrian MACOR, 15. Lachlan GRIFFITHS (CU Academy), 13. Kye EDWARDS (Canberra FC)
RED CARDS: Nil

TABLE

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LEADING SCORERS 
23
 Stephen DOMENICI (Tigers FC)
15 Philippe BERNABO-MADRID (Canberra Olympic)
14 Thomas JAMES (Canberra FC)
13 Nicolas ABOT (Tigers FC)
12 Jason UGRINIC (Belconnen United)
11 Joshua GULEVSKI (CU Academy)
Domenic GIAMPAOLO (Canberra FC), John ROBERTS (FFA COE)
Aisosa IHEGIE, Sam SMITH (Belconnen United), Andrew SLAVICH (Tuggeranong United)
Dustin WELLS (Belconnen United), Jordan TSEKENIS (Canberra Olympic), Bul JUACH (CU Academy), Mark MORIC, Mirza MURATOVIC (FFA COE), Daniel BARAC (Tigers FC)
Robbie CATTANACH (Canberra Olympic), Sam WHITHEAR (CU Academy), Rahmat AKBARI (FFA COE), Nikolaos KALFAS (Tuggeranong United), Matthew WATERS (Woden-Weston FC), Own GOALS
4 Josip JADRIC, Ivan PAVLAK (Canberra FC), Jeremy HABTEMARIAM (Canberra Olympic), David CARDER, Tomas KRKLEC (CU Academy), Bryce BAFFORD, Jacob ITALIANO, Jaidon SELDON (FFA COE), Ed MCCARTHY, Mark SHIELDS (Monaro Panthers)
Nikolas POPOVICH (Belconnen United), Ryan KEIR (Canberra FC), Angelo KONSTANTINOU, Tom MCLACHLAN (Canberra Olympic), Daniel FABRIZIO (CU Academy), Louis D’ARRIGO (FFA COE), Marcial  MUNOZ, Mitch STEENBERGEN (Gungahlin United), Darian MCGARRY-WATSON (Monaro Panthers), Julian BORGNA, Nahuel GUERRERO, Alex OLORIEGBE, Dejan SANTRAC (Tigers FC), Marco GAYER (Tuggeranong United), Daniel DI-SALVATORE, Goran MILUTNOVIC (Woden-Weston FC)
Jonathan REIS*, Toby RICHTER (Belconnen United), Nikola BARISIC (Canberra FC), Daniel COLBERTALDO, Nathen MEGIC (Canberra Olympic), Lachlan GRIFFITHS, Niko UJDUR (CU Academy), Lachlan BROOK, Ben OBST, Marc TOKICH (FFA COE), Nathan DUCK, Alex MOSCARITOLO, Liam WALSH (Gungahlin United), Martin DENG, Daniel FELIZZI, Sam ROESTBAKKEN (Monaro Panthers), Jeremias IBARRA (Tigers FC), Domenic COLUCCIELLO, Emilio KISTA (Tuggeranong United), Bensah AFIABO (Woden-Weston FC)
1 Taylor BEATON, Matt GRBESA, David KEMP, Goran MUKEVSKI, Cameron REINHART (Belconnen United), Aidan BRUNSKILL, Izach CLEMENTS, Robbie DEELEY, Kye EDWARDS, Ian GRAHAM, Misko NAUMOSKI (Canberra FC), Tim BOBOLAS, Adam NEOU, Michael REEVE, Adam ROGIC, Pat ROSS-MAGEE, Oliver WIEDERKEHR, Victor YANES (Canberra Olympic), Mate BARISIC, Nicolas FELIZZI, Ridwan HANNAN, Tony MADAFFARI, Patrick O’ROURKE (CU Academy), Frano BLAZEVIC, Jack GREEN, Christian JUNNA, Jason O’DWYER, Regan WALSH (Gungahlin United), Ohio ASIKHIA, Thomas HEWITT, Michael PICCOLO, Tony SPASESKI (Monaro Panthers), Tim ANDERSON, Aiodan BEATMAN (Tuggeranong United), Osman FOFANAH, Hussein FUREJE, Alan GASTON, Goran JOSIFOVSKI, Milan POPOVICH (Tigers FC), Sam SHADBOLT Tuggeranong United), Tim DEHELEAN, Ben GRIEG, Tom HIRST (Woden-Weston FC)

*1 goal for Tuggeranong United




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