PS4 NPL Women's Semi-Finals
Canberra FC v Woden-Weston – Woden Park – Saturday 4pm
Canberra FC and Woden-Weston will meet in a sudden-death Elimination Final on Saturday as both sides look to make it into the second round of finals. This marks the first appearance for the Wanderers in the finals, and they will be eager to make a mark. A big win last weekend provides them with momentum heading into this match, and they will aim to build on their recent 4-3 win over Canberra FC where they overcame a half-time deficit. That was the only match between the two this year where the sides could be split, with their other matches resulting in two draws. The Wanderers come up against one of the most finals-experienced sides in this series, and stopping Canberra FC’s veteran players will be a key to getting past last year’s grand finalists.
For Mark Risteski’s side, this season has been something of an up and down affair. The matches against Woden-Weston were some of their biggest tussles, and that doesn’t look set to change this weekend. Canberra FC came out of the blocks strong last weekend against Gungahlin, but should not expect this week’s opponents to be quite as accommodating as they were. A sluggish second half though cost them two points and a second chance after this weekend, and they will be left to rue that slip up if they fall this weekend. They conceded three second half goals in the 4-3 loss to Woden Weston in Round 19, and need to be wary of the dangerous attack that Woden do possess. Canberra FC have firepower of their own though, and expect players with finals experience such as Grace Gill and Chantel Jones to stand up and be counted this weekend.
Belconnen United v Gungahlin United – McKellar Park – Sunday 4pm
It’s first meets second on Sunday afternoon as Belconnen United host Gungahlin at McKellar Park. The Blue Devils have had yet another sensational season and will look to take that momentum into this Sunday’s clash. A 7-0 win last weekend over the Academy helped them build momentum, and Gungahlin must be wary of a side that lost only once this season and conceded merely five goals. Maddy Whittall and Chloe Callaghan will be the main dangers this weekend, having combined for over 50 goals across the season, but the Belconnen threat is not just limited to them. Antoni Jagarinec hinted during the week that former Westfield Matilda Caitlin Munoz may make a return to the match day squad, in what would be a big boost for an already strong squad. Playing Belconnen at home will make the task even tougher for visiting Gungahlin, and the Blue Devils will be confident of landing another Grand Final appearance.
Gungahlin needed a late fightback last weekend to retain second place from Canberra FC, and must be careful they do not come out of the gates in a similar fashion as they did at Kaleen. Granted, it will hopefully not be snowing this weekend, but Diego Iglesias’ side looked sluggish at the back and were slow on the ball as they were closed down easily. Fitness does not appear to be an issue for this side, outside of a few players who are away, and they have the talent to stick with the reigning Champions. Doing it for 90 minutes though is their biggest issue. Gungahlin are the most recent side to have taken points from Belconnen, in their 1-1 draw back in Round 15, and with a total margin of three goals between the two sides from their three meetings in the league this year, this one is sure to be close.