NPL2 Preliminary Final Preview
Canberra White Eagles v ANU FC | Preliminary Final | 2pm @ McKellar Park
The Canberra White Eagles will be looking to bounce back and book a spot in the decider when they take on ANU FC in the NPL2 preliminary final on Sunday.
Graeme Plath’s team were beaten in heartbreaking fashion by the O’Connor Knights in last week’s qualifying final, falling 5-4 on penalties after the sides couldn’t be separated through 120 minutes.
But the White Eagles were the dominant team for much of that encounter, and would have scored three or four second-half goals if not for the heroics of Knights goalkeeper Jason Denham.
However, they’ll need to be more clinical in front of goal if they want to get past ANU, who narrowly beat Queanbeyan City 2-1 in the elimination final earlier.
Similar to the White Eagles, ANU were the dominant team for much of the match, but Jim Dawson’s men had to withstand a late surge by Queanbeyan, who had numerous chances to tie the match in the last 20 minutes.
Tim Lopez scored both of ANU’s goals against Queanbeyan, but he’s not the only man the White Eagles will need to be wary of this weekend.
With the likes of Rowan Peterkin, Andrew Manley and Lopez, ANU boast a multitude of attacking options up front.
With those three on one side, and Milan Santrac and Zinelabiddine Eljammoudi on the other, this game has the makings of a high-scoring affair, so it may well come down to which defence can hold firm on the day.
This one could go either way, and neither side will be holding back with a Grand Final spot, and the inaugural NPL2 Championship, on the line.