PS4 NPL: Twelve-goals in top of the table clash

PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues: Capital Football
Round 3 – Review  

Sunday 26th April
Tigers FC 5 (Alex Oloriegbe 13’, 27’, 37’, Jeremias Ibarra 34’, Lucas Montana 45+2’) Canberra FC 7 (Misko Naumoski 28’ (og), Thomas Milicevic 31’, Marko Vrkic 55’, Thomas James 57’, 74’, Domenic Giampaolo 60’, 71’)

Canberra FC staged a remarkable second half comeback to storm to the top of the PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues: Capital Football ladder with a stunning 7-5 victory over Tigers FC at Nijong Oval. The red machine overturned a nightmare opening forty-five minutes that saw them enter the changing rooms 5-2 adrift and staring down the barrel of a humiliating defeat. Whatever was said in those sheds, and the tactical reshuffle that saw the introduction, and a debut, for striker Thomas James, changed the complexion of the fixture entirely. In a nineteen minute spell of utter destruction, Canberra FC scored five times to turn the match on its head and leave the watching crowd shaking their head in disbelief at the chaos unfolding in front of their eyes. There was little sign of the drama to come after a prosaic first ten minutes but the match burst into life just before the quarter hour mark. Alex Oloriegbe, the former Canberra FC hit-man, should have given the Tigers the lead when he rounded Jakob Cole in the FC goal but inexplicably blazed high and wide from close range. The goal-hungry striker more than made amends moments later however as he broke a flimsy FC offside trap to chip Cole for a delightful opener. There was further joy for the home support in the 27th minute when Oloriegbe tucked home a rebound to make it 2-0. FC’s response was top notch as firstly Niko Kresic forced covering defender Misko Naumoski to volley into his own net after a wonderful cross and, the young midfielder was at it again just three minutes later, providing the assist for Thomas Milicevic to tap into an unguarded net from three metres out. Far from being deterred that their two-goal lead had gone, Tigers FC ramped up the pressure and almost immediately went back in front showing the poise and panache expected of League Champions. Jeremias Ibarra was on hand to scoop the ball home after Cole had clashed with Oloriegbe, the FC custodian forced to leave the fray with a knee injury and replaced by Shaun Burke. Burke was involved straight away as he was beaten twice more before the interval. Firstly, Oloriegbe completed a 24-minute hat-trick with another predatory strike, before Lucas Montana broke away to batter a shot inside the near post and have Tigers 5-2 clear at the break. 

The withdrawal of the injured Aiden Brunskill for ex-Panthers striker James forced a tactical reshuffle and allowed Domenic Giampaolo to drop into a deeper-lying role from where he was able to dictate the temp in a man of the match performance in the second half. It was imperative that FC scored first to get back into the contest and they managed it in the 55th minute as Marko Vrkic took advantage of Tigers inability to clear their lines to ram home from close range. Incredibly, two minutes later, FC had another. Again Tigers couldn’t deal with a fairly routine delivery into the area and James pounced to drill home his first goal in red. The afternoon grew more surreal on the hour as FC drew level at 5-5. Giampaolo was the beneficiary of some shambolic defending on this occasion, spanking home a thunderbolt to the delight of the travelling support. And it was delirium on the visiting bench in the 71st minute as they took the lead for the first time in the match. James made it, selling an outrageous dummy and spinning clear of his marker before squaring to Giampaolo to tuck away his fourth of the season off the base of the post. Three minutes later and the surreal became the bizarre as FC netted a seventh. James was allowed the freedom of the area to control and finish for his second of the game. In a match that had everything it was unfortunate that one of these fine sides should come off second best, but if anyone was doubting FC’s title credentials before the weekend, their amazing second half display and the Tigers capitulation in the face of wave upon wave of red shirted attacks, should provide a perfect riposte.
Tigers FC: 1. Luke RODEN, 2. Liam HIGHMORE, 3. Thai TRAN, 4. Osman FOFANAH, 5. Jose DEFILIPPE, 7. Goran JOSIFOVSKI, 8. Jeremias IBARRA, 9. Lucas MONTANA, 10. Alex OLORIEGBE, 11, Misko NAUMOSKI, 13. Daniel ROBERTS
Substitutes used: 12. Alan GASTON, 14. Julian BORGNA, 15. Tom OLSON
Canberra FC: 22. Jakob COLE, 4. Thomas MILICEVIC, 6. Marcin ZYGMUNT, 7. Robbie DEELEY, 8. Ian GRAHAM, 10. Domenic GIAMPAOLO, 11. Marko VRKIC, 14. Josip JADRIC, 17. Aiden BRUNSKILL, 20. James FIELD, 21. Niko KRESIC
Substitutes used: 1. Shaun BURKE, 9. Muad ZWED, 19. Thomas JAMES
Discipline: YELLOW CARDS: 2. Liam HIGHMORE, 7. Goran JOSIFOVSKI, 8. Jeremias IBARRA, 9. Lucas MONTANA (Tigers FC), 4. Thomas MILICEVIC, 7. Robbie DEELEY, 8. Ian GRAHAM, 11. Marko VRKIC, 19. Thomas JAMES (Canberra FC) 
Match Officials: Luke Withell (referee), Thomas Klein, Alex Rainbird

Friday 24th April
Woden-Weston FC 4 (Pepe Varga 28’, 84’, Tim Anderson 69’, 77’) Tuggeranong United 0

Woden-Weston FC made sure that their inaugural match at the newly refurbished Woden Park ended in smiles as they downed Southside rivals Tuggeranong United 4-0 under the floodlights on a cool Friday night. Whilst the result may look like the match was a foregone conclusion for the hosts, Woden-Weston, by their own admission, were somewhat flattered by the final margin of victory. That is not to say they were not worthy winners however, showing a ruthless efficiency in font of goal and punishing Tuggeranong errors with a voracity that, at times, left United bereft of ideas. After a fairly middling opening to the match Woden-Weston went in front on 28 minutes. Aaron Cashman pounced on a loose ball in midfield and fed Andrew Slavich on the wing. The speedster burst down the flank and squared an intelligent ball to the onrushing Pepe Varga who swept a sublime finish low past the outstretched arms of Rowan Forbes-Shepherd in the visitors’ goal. Tuggeranong fought back and Rory Larkin had to be alert to palm away a pile-driver from Ethan Munster in what was United’s best chance of the encounter. The second goal was always going to be crucial and substitute Tim Anderson, a former Tuggeranong player, provided it after the break. Again Tuggeranong was guilty of turning over cheap possession allowing Zach Harrigan to pick out the run of Anderson who, unmarked on the penalty spot, powered a finish into the net. It got even better for the home side eight minutes later as Anderson scored again, profiting from the pieces on the edge of the area after United half-cleared a cross to plant a shot through a raft of bodies and into the bottom corner. Just when it seemed it couldn’t get worse for Tuggeranong they conceded a fourth of the match, and thirteenth in three games this season. A defensive mix-up allowed Varga to rob Forbes-Shepherd and slide his third goal of the campaign into the invitingly open net and secure the Mount Taylor Cup, the Southside derby bragging rights, for Woden-Weston FC for whom 2015 is shaping up very nicely at this early stage. 
Woden-Weston FC: 1. Rory LARKIN, 2. Andrew SLAVICH, 3. Zach HARRIGAN, 4. Andrew KILEY, 5. John GIBSON, 6. David JENKINS, 7. Pepe VARGA, 8. Adrian CANIZARES, 11. Mitch STEENBERGEN, 12. Aaron CASHMAN, 16. Adam DOBELL
Substitutes used: 9. Tim ANDERSON, 10. Ohio ASIKHIA, 13. Sam MCDONALD
Tuggeranong United: 1. Rowan FORBES-SHEPHERD, 2. Cameron DOHERTY, 3. Jonathan REIS, 4. Sam SHADBOLT, 5. Tomas RUIZ, 6. Sean KIDDEY, 7. Zac MUNSTER, 8. Matt RICE, 10. Ethan MUNSTER, 12. Jonathan TUREK, 14. Jamie DUNCAN
Substitutes used: 9. Sean MURPHY, 13. Dominic SZRAKITY, 15. Harry PETTIT
Discipline: YELLOW CARDS: 5. John GIBSON, 12. Aaron CASHMAN (Woden-Weston FC), 7. Zac MUNSTER (Tuggeranong United) 
Match Officials: Matt Cropper (referee), Delfina Dimoski, Alex McConachie

Saturday 25th April
Belconnen United 3 (Danai Gapare 39’, 45+3’, Goran Mukevski 73’) Canberra Olympic 2 (Philippe Bernabo-Madrid 58’, Josh Calabria 79’)

Belconnen United underlined their credentials as serious title contenders with a 3-2 win over Canberra Olympic in a thoroughly entertaining encounter at McKellar Park. The Blue Devils looked sharp and energetic and showed a steely side to their character holding off a surging Olympic who twice threatened to haul back a two-goal Belconnen lead. A tetchy opening forty-five minutes saw interstate match official Chris Young issue seven yellow cards with five brandished inside the opening eight minutes, as the tackles flew in with both teams aiming to assert their authority on the contest. Danai Gapare should perhaps have given the hosts the lead in the first quarter when he snuck in goal-side of the Canberra Olympic defence but lifted his shot over Angelo Konstantinou in the visitors’ goal, only for the ball to drift wide of the gaping net. Olympic had a gilt-edged chance to take the lead just past the half-hour mark when striker Philippe Bernabo-Madrid outpaced the Belconnen defence but his finish lacked conviction and was aimed too close to Blue Devils shot-stopper Adam Perakovic. And Olympic paid for that miss when Belconnen took the lead six minutes before half-time. Aisosa Ihegie has started the new season in exceptional form and the youngster, making his first PS4 NPL start for the Blue Devils, created the opener. A blistering burst of acceleration down the right flank left the Olympic defence floundering and his square ball picked out the run of Gapare who buried a clinical first time effort past Konstantinou goal. Crucially Belconnen was to double its lead in first-half stoppage time. Again Ihegie was the creative force, drifting past a couple of half-hearted attempts at tackles and finding Gapare in the area. With his back to goal there was still plenty for the striker to do but he did it in some style, controlling and swivelling in one movement to crack a shot into the roof of the net and leave the Blues Devils two goals clear at the break. The next goal was critical and it was Olympic who got it to force their way back into the match. A slide-rule pass split open the Belconnen defence and freed Bernabo-Madrid on goal. The in-form striker picked his spot and, from fully 25 metres out, unleashed a cheeky chip that floated over Perakovic and into the net for his fifth goal of the season. The Blue Devils response was outstanding. Jason Ugrinic provided the assist, whipping in a magnificent free-kick that was met by the forehead of Goran Mukevski who rose above the pack to bury a header into the net. But Olympic refused to lie down and they made it a nervous finale for the home team when Josh Calabria flicked in a header from a free-kick with eleven minutes to play. Belconnen survived a late scare when Olympic had a goal bound header cleared off the line but there was little doubt that the home team deserved the points and appear to be on course to challenge for the title once again. 
Belconnen United: 1. Adam PERAKOVIC, 2. Cameron REINHART, 3. Benjamin VAN MEURS, 8. Conor NOLAN, 9. Goran MUKEVSKI, 10. Jason UGRINIC, 11. Aisosa IHEGIE, 14. Callum BEATON, 16. Matt GRBESA, 17. Jack BLACKLEY, 18. Danai GAPARE
Substitutes used: 5. Matt VALERI, 12. Jordan TSEKENIS, 13. Ross COSTANZO
Canberra Olympic: 1. Angelo KONSTANTINOU, 2. Tim BOBOLAS, 4. Daniel COLBERTALDO, 7. Pat ROSS-MAGEE 8. Bernard RENE, 9. Philippe BERNABO-MADRID, 12. Adam ROGIC, 13. Josh CALABRIA, 14. Callum SMITH, 15. Tom MCLACHLAN, 17. Nick BOBOLAS
Substitutes used: 5. Jonathan TOOLE, 6. Adrian MACOR, 18. Phil YARNOLD
Discipline: YELLOW CARDS: 3. Benjamin VAN MEURS, 8. Conor NOLAN, 9. Goran MUKEVSKI, 12. Jordan TSEKENIS, 16. Matt GRBESA, 17. Jack BLACKLEY (Belconnen United), 2. Tim BOBOLAS, 9. Philippe BERNABO-MADRID, 12. Adam ROGIC, 13. Josh CALABRIA, 17. Nick BOBOLAS, 18. Phil YARNOLD (Canberra Olympic) 
Match Officials: Chris Young (referee), Adam Powers, Owen Goldrick

FFA COE 3 (Nicholas Panetta 30’, 63’, Charlie Devereux 59’) Gungahlin United 1 (Daniel Barac 57’)
The FFA Centre of Excellence made it two wins from two to start the PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues: Capital League season as they saw off the challenge of Gungahlin United, winning 3-1 at the Australian Institute of Sport. With the heavy rain that lashed the capital prior to kick-off leaving a slick playing surface underfoot, the conditions were suited to both teams who enjoyed fizzing the ball across the beautifully manicured field allowing the match to be played at a breakneck pace. This lead to a number of half-chances early on with Gungahlin forward Dustin Wells heading down at goal but failing to test FFA COE goalkeeper Duro Dragicevic whilst at the other end Joe Caletti forced Jason Denham into a full length save to preserve parity. It took the FFA COE half an hour to force the breakthrough and, when they did, it was a goal of quality. Nicholas Panetta had opened his account for the season at Tuggeranong last week and the confidence gained from that goal was plain to see as he collected a pass, swerved past an attempted tackle and curled a wonderful strike into the bottom right hand corner of the net. That effort had the FFA COE ahead at the interval with only a Stephen Domenici thunderbolt, that left the frame of the goal rattling, indicating a way back for Gungahlin. They regrouped at the break and drew level in the 57th minute as Daniel Barac found space inside the area to rifle a low shot inside the near post. Equality lasted barely ninety seconds however as the FFA COE retook the lead with a thumping shot from range from Charlie Devereux that left Denham grasping at thin air. Gungahlin searched for the equaliser again but were caught on the counter as Panetta slipped around two tackles and fired a shot that caught Denham flat-footed to make it 3-1. Further misery was heaped on Gungahlin in stoppage time when full-back Milan Popovich was sent off after receiving a second caution. 
FFA COE: 1. Duro DRAGICEVIC, 3. Henry DAVIES, 6. Joe CALETTI, 14. Solomon MONAHAN-VAIIKA, 17. Nicholas PANETTA, 19. Charlie DEVEREUX, 20. Perry FOTAKOPOULOS, 22. Cameron JOICE, 23. Kosta PETRATOS, 24. Jackson BANDIERA, 25. Marc TOKICH
Substitutes used: 5. Zac SPETH, 21. Jamal REINERS
Gungahlin United: 1. Jason DENHAM, 2. Milan POPOVICH, 3. Dustin WELLS, 4. Jack GREEN, 5. Nathan TIDMARSH, 6. Stephen DOMENICI, 7. Regan WALSH, 8. Shane MURRAY, 9. Daniel BARAC, 10. Josh GASPARI, 11. Jeremy HABTEMARIAM
Substitutes used: 12. Alex MOSCARITOLO, 16. Josh PARISI
Discipline: YELLOW CARDS: 14. Solomon MONAHAN-VAIIKA (FFA COE), 5. Nathan TIDMARSH, 8. Shane MURRAY (Gungahlin United)
RED CARD: 2. Milan POPOVICH (Gungahlin United) 
Match Officials: Alex McConachie (referee), Duncan McLaren, Alex Twomey

TABLE

 

Team

P

W

D

L

F

A

GD

Pts

1

Canberra FC

3

3

0

0

15

8

+7

9

2

Tigers FC

3

2

0

1

13

9

+4

6

3

FFA COE

2

2

0

0

6

1

+5

6

4

Belconnen United

3

2

0

1

9

7

+2

6

5

Canberra Olympic

3

1

1

1

9

5

+4

4

6

Woden-Weston FC

2

1

0

1

5

2

+3

3

7

Gungahlin United

3

0

1

2

4

8

-4

1

8

Tuggeranong United

3

0

0

3

1

13

-12

0

9

Monaro Panthers

2

0

0

2

2

11

-9

0

LEADING SCORERS 
6
 Alex OLORIEGBE (Tigers FC)
5 Philippe BERNABO-MADRID (Canberra Olympic)
4 Domenic GIAMPAOLO (Canberra FC), Lucas MONTANA (Tigers FC)
3 Robbie CATTANACH (Canberra Olympic), Nicholas PANETTA (FFA COE), Pepe VARGA (Woden-Weston FC)
2 Danai GAPARE, Aisosa IHEGIE (Belconnen United), Thomas JAMES, Niko KRESIC, Thomas MILICEVIC (Canberra FC), Tim ANDERSON (Woden-Weston FC)
Jack BLACKLEY, Goran MUKEVSKI, Sam SMITH, Jordan TSEKENIS, Jason UGRINIC (Belconnen United), Robbie DEELEY, James FIELD, Ian GRAHAM, Marko VRKIC (Canberra FC), Josh CALABRIA (Canberra Olympic), Henry DAVIES, Charlie DEVEREUX Kosta PETRATOS (FFA COE), Daniel BARAC, Stephen DOMENICI, Dustin WELLS (Gungahlin United), Daniel LINSTEAD, Mark SHIELDS (Monaro Panthers), Nic HARIDEMOS, Jeremias IBARRA, Goran JOSIFOVSKI (Tigers FC), Ethan MUNSTER (Tuggeranong United), Own GOALS




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