NPL Round 4 Wrap
Canberra Olympic 3 (Michael John 19’, Oli Wiederkehr 46’, Domenic Giampaolo 53’) def. Belconnen United 2 (Jason Ugrinic 45+1’, Daniel Barac 84’)
Belconnen United slumped to a third straight league defeat on Friday night as they were beaten 3-2 by a depleted Canberra Olympic outfit at Woden Park.
Olympic came in off the back of a tight one-goal win over Tigers FC in the FFA Cup just two days earlier, but showed few signs of fatigue as they took the lead just inside 20 minutes when Michael John finished a good chance.
It looked as though Olympic would carry their lead through until the break until a moment of brilliance from Jason Ugrinic. The forward picked up the ball a long way out and let fly, beating the keeper from all of 30 metres to level scores in first half stoppage time.
But a flurry after the break from the hosts broke the game wide open as United failed to switch on from the restart.
Oli Wiederkehr flew in behind the defence virtually from kick-off to put Olympic into a 2-1 lead in the first minute of the second half, and when Dom Giampaolo scored just seven minutes later the game appeared to be getting away from the visitors.
They fought back though, and Daniel Barac set up a grandstand finish as he struck six minutes from the end of regulation, but the game instead ended at 3-2, with Ugrinic dismissed by referee Owen Goldrick for violent conduct after a free-kick was given.
United face UC Pumas in the cup on Tuesday night before they have the bye in the league this week, and Olympic will take on Tuggeranong United looking to make ground on the ladder leaders.
Monaro Panthers 0 def. by Riverina Rhinos 3 (Artur Rattel 53', 56', George Pavese 81')
The Rhinos continued their strong start to 2018 with a clean sheet and 3-0 win as they visited Riverside Stadium in their first road trip of the new season.
Full report here.
Tuggeranong United 2 (Own Goal 41', Mate Barisic 66') def. Woden-Weston 0
Tuggeranong United made it four straight wins to begin the NPL season on Sunday as a goal in either half helped them to a 2-0 win over Woden-Weston at Greenway Enclosed.
After Woden-Weston took the chocolates in their midweek FFA Cup encounter at the same venue, United came out strong and looked to take the game to their opponents. Chances were not overly forthcoming for either side though, and it after a timid first half it looked like the teams would enter the break level.
But an Adam De Franceschi own goal four minutes from time gave the hosts a one-goal lead and an important upper hand as the teams went into the sheds.
And as Tuggeranong began to take a hold in the second half it was debutant Mate Barisic who scored to push the advantage to the final 2-0 scoreline.
Tuggeranong’s win leaves them top of the table by six points ahead of a crunch clash with Canberra Olympic next Sunday, while Woden-Weston’s second loss in a row has them just outside the top four and facing winless Gungahlin United next weekend.
Canberra FC 3 (Thomas James 19', 34', Jordan Lamb 84') def. Gungahlin United 1 (Ben Obst 7')
Canberra FC picked up their third win inside a week and condemned Gungahlin United to a third straight league defeat to begin the season with a 3-1 win at Deakin on Sunday afternoon.
United looked to have reversed recent fortunes early, and Nick Rathjen played in Ben Obst to give the visitors a one-goal lead after just seven minutes. But Paul Macor’s side pushed back, and Thomas James volleyed a good strike past Jason Denham 12 minutes later to restore parity on the afternoon.
The game continued to be back and forth, up until the hosts were awarded a penalty in the 34th minute and James made no mistake from the spot to complete his brace inside the first half.
Canberra FC hit the break up by a goal and with the momentum and didn’t look like giving up the lead in the second half either. United made another of changes as they chased the game but Jordan Lamb sealed the game in the 84th minute as he pounced on a defensive error to extend the lead to two goals.
Canberra FC will welcome the Rhinos to Deakin Stadium looking to extend their streak while Gungahlin will take on Woden-Weston.