PS4 NPL: CU Academy Score Maiden Win


Saturday 7th May
FFA COE 2 (John Roberts 10’, Louis D’Arrigo 58’) CU Academy 3 (Sam Whithear 16’, 31’, Tomas Krklec 74’)

A double from Sam Whithear and a late winner from Tomas Krklec gave the CU Academy a first win of the season as they defeated the FFA COE 3-2 at the Australian Institute of Sport on a perfect afternoon for football. The pace of the match was frenetic from the get-go with both teams flying into tackles and pinging the ball around with intricate one-touch passing moves meaning the action ebbed and flowed from end to end. 

The FFA COE went closest early on when Louis D’Arrigo found room inside the area but skewed his shot across goal and wide of the far post in only the ninth minute. They didn’t have to wait long to take the lead though as barely a minute later they struck. The hosts won the ball in midfield allowing Jacob Italiano to slide through a perfectly weighted pass into the stride of striker John Roberts. The centre-forward needed no second invitation as he clipped his first-time shot past the advancing Finn Jurak and into the net off the post for his sixth goal of the season. 

The CU Academy response was exquisite. Firstly Whithear laid off a terrific ball over the back of the retreating FFA COE defence which Joshua Gulevski nodded into his path. Once he got clear of his marker, Kaleb Cox, Gulevski would have been disappointed to fire an effort straight at Matthew Sutton in the FFA COE goal. It was all-square two minutes later however as the Academy deservedly equalised. Krklec, who along with fellow wide player Gulevski, had caused numerous problems, created it with a low cross into the area where Whithear got in front of his marker to stroke home off the post.

Soon after Daniel Fabrizio forced a plunging save from Sutton whilst, at the other end, D’Arrigo wriggled into space but his low effort was pushed wide of the post by the feet of Jurak. The Academy led just past the half hour with another opportunistic finish from Whithear. The visitors high, physical press, forced a turnover in midfield and Whithear found himself free one-on-one to clinically finish past the exposed Sutton. And the FFA COE challenge was made all the harder as they were reduced to ten men close to the half-time whistle as Jaidon Seldon saw red, receiving a second yellow card for a silly tackle from behind on Ross Costanzo. 

Being depleted didn’t appear to deter the FFA COE who equalised in the second half with a training ground free-kick routine. A ball lofted to the back post was headed back into the danger area by Roberts where D’Arrigo arrived, unmarked, to glance a header into the corner of the net for a well-taken goal. With the scores level both teams created half-chances to win the game but it was the Academy who took home the points snatching the clincher sixteen minutes from time.

The visiting team were patient in possession and, finally, a sweetly struck cross into the danger area found Krklec inside the six-yard box and the diminutive winger did the rest, stooping to plant a wonderful header past Sutton and spark wild celebrations amongst his team mates. 

FFA COE: 1. Matthew SUTTON, 2. James FLETCHER, 3. Patrick SCIBILO, 4. Kaleb COX, 5. Joel KING, 7. Jacob ITALIANO, 8. Eduardo CASTENEDA, 9. John ROBERTS, 10. Lachlan BROOK, 17. Louis D’ARRIGO, 22. Jaidon SELDON
Substitutes used: 6. Kai TREWIN, 14. Rahmat AKBARI, 19. Mark MORIC
CU Academy: 22. Finn JURAK, 2. Ross COSTANZO, 3. Ridwan HANNAN, 4. Antoni TIMOTHEOU, 5. Niko KRESIC, 7. Joshua GULEVSKI, 9. Sam WHITHEAR, 10. Daniel FABRIZIO, 11. Tomas KRKLEC, 13. Daniel SUBASIC
Substitutes used: 6. Thomas MILICEVIC, 18. Jonathan TUREK, 20. David CARDER
YELLOW CARDS: 6. Kai TREWIN (FFA COE), 3. Ridwan HANNAN, 18. Jonathan TUREK (CU Academy)

Woden-Weston FC 0 Belconnen United 5 (Jason Ugrinic 25’, 36’, 45’, 55’, Goran Mukevski 28’)
(Woden Park)

By William Bremner

Belconnen United claimed a vital three points at Woden Park on Saturday evening as they brushed aside Woden-Weston with birthday boy Jason Ugrinic scoring four times as the Blue Devils won 5-0. The visitors welcomed back defensive lynchpin Zac Maybury to the starting line-up for the first time this season and he partnered the experienced Matt Valeri in the centre of defence in what was again a re-jigged back four. For their part Woden-Weston sought to build on an encouraging performance against Canberra FC the week before. 

It did not take long for the Blue Devils to hit their stride. As early as the 2nd minute skipper Taylor Beaton found himself in a good shooting position but his strike was well saved by Josh Wade in the Woden-Weston FC goal. Jason Ugrinic, who was to instigate his own personal assault on the Wanderers defence, nearly opened the scoring when he cut in from the right and clipped a curling left foot shot on target that was brilliantly saved by Wade as he got a strong right hand on it and tipped it round the post. 

Woden-Weston FC had some half chances of their own particularly when the lively Bensah Afiabo broke clear but under pressure from a recovering Blue Devils defence he spooned his effort wide when Richy Hurtado Lora looked better placed. On 25 minutes the early Blue Devils pressure was rewarded when Jason Ugrinic, celebrating his 22nd birthday, scored the first of a four goal haul. Again cutting in from the right he rounded a stranded Wade and slotted neatly into an unguarded net. Three minutes later it was 2-0 when Goran Mukevski touched home from close range following Ugrinic’s brilliant free kick. 

Woden-Weston was offered the perfect opportunity to get back in the game ten minutes before the break when they were awarded a spot-kick following a foul by Matt Valeri. Afiabo stepped up but for the third time in succession Adam Perakovic saved and the visible signs of disappointment and perhaps resignation seeped into the shoulders of the hosts.  

From the very next Belconnen attack, to rub salt into the wounds, the Devils made it three, Ugrinic adding his second. He might have had a third soon after when he inexplicably chose to chest and volley from close in when a header seemed the most obvious option. He did not have to wait long before completing his hat-trick however when on the stroke of half time he made it four. Ugrinic’s torment of the Woden defence was complete ten minutes into the second half when he smashed a finish high into the net and completed his and the games scoring.

The game drifted to a close following the fireworks provided by Ugrinic but not before some half chances came and went for both sides. Dustin Wells fired over when well placed for the visitors, David Kemp, in his 200th game and skipper for the night, had a stinging volley tipped over and the reliable Conor Nolan fired wide from long range.  Woden-Weston too provided some hope for the despairing fans, which turned out in good number, when they created several openings where they might have done better. Ultimately their efforts proved fruitless and the Blue Devils ran out comfortable winners. 

Woden-Weston FC: 1. Josh WADE, 2. Bradley OLIVERA, 3. Adam DE FRANCESCHI, 4. Mitch KORDA, 5. Jean-Baptiste BLAISE, 6. Ben GRIEG, 7. Matthew WATERS, 8. Richy HURTADO LORA, 9. Daniel DI-SALVATORE, 11. Bensah AFIABO, 12. Tim DEHELEAN
Substitutes used: 13. Jarryd CLIFTON, 14. Arok THON
Belconnen United: 20. Adam PERAKOVIC, 2. Zac MAYBURY, 3. Dustin WELLS, 5. Cameron REINHART, 6. David KEMP, 7. Taylor BEATON, 8. Conor NOLAN, 10. Jason UGRINIC, 11. Goran MUKEVSKI, 16. Matt VALERI, 18. Nicholas DAHL
Substitutes used: 4. Matt GRBESA, 12. Aisosa IHEGIE, 14. Callum BEATON
YELLOW CARDS: 2. Bradley OLIVERA, 5. Jean-Baptiste BLAISE, 11. Bensah AFIABO 13. Jarryd CLIFTON (Woden-Weston FC), 2. Zac MAYBURY, 8. Conor NOLAN, 14. Callum BEATON (Belconnen United)

Sunday 8th May
Tuggeranong United 0 Canberra Olympic 2 (Daniel Colbertaldo 14’, Philippe Bernabo-Madrid 42’ (pen))
(Kambah 2)

Two goals in the first half ultimately did for Tuggeranong United at Kambah 2 on Sunday afternoon as Canberra Olympic claimed a fifth win in six starts with a 2-0 success. Daniel Colbertaldo, from close range, and Philippe Bernabo-Madrid, from the penalty spot, were the scorers on an afternoon in which the rain fell incessantly and the conditions were heavy underfoot making footing treacherous and any sort of coherent football vastly more difficult than usual.

Tuggeranong, who had been playing very well in recent weeks, had a horror start in this one, on the back foot for the opening quarter and losing the services of skipper Sean Kiddey and midfield playmaker Emilio Kista to injury inside the first fifteen minutes. By the time of his departure Kiddey had already made one magnificent goal-line clearance from underneath his crossbar and under severe pressure from Olympic forward Robbie Cattanach. 

The visitors took the lead in the fourteenth minute with a well-worked set-piece. A free-kick was lofted to the far post where Tim Bobolas climbed higher than United goalkeeper Costa Fallas to nod the ball back into the danger area. In the ensuing melee, Colbertaldo prodded the loose ball into the net from around three metres to open the scoring. 

Tuggeranong grew into the match following the enforced departure of Kista and could have equalised in the 39th minute. Nikolaos Kalfas was a constant menace with his hard running in the front third and it was his pace, power and persistence that created the opening for winger Tim Anderson. Angelo Konstantinou, the veteran Olympic custodian, had read the situation and smothered the shot from Anderson who would have been disappointed not to score. 

After that both sides had half-chances but it was Olympic who went into the interval two goals to the good after being awarded a penalty for a trip three minutes before the break. Striker Bernabo-Madrid confidently slotted the ensuing spot-kick into the corner to give Frank Cachia’s title-chasing outfit a two-goal cushion at the pause. 

Substitute Domenic Colucciello fired the first shot in anger of the second stanza, but his effort flashed wide of the post. Meanwhile Olympic replacement Bernard Rene should have done better rather than blaze over the bar from eight metres when he got on the end of a terrific cross from Tim Bobolas, a perfectly weighted ball across the danger area following a penetrative run down the flank. But it mattered little. Tuggeranong’s opportunities were sporadic at best, despite the efforts of Kalfas, and Olympic were worthy of the three points. 

Tuggeranong United: 1. Costa FALLAS, 2. Cameron DOHERTY, 4. Sam SHADBOLT, 6. Sean KIDDEY, 7. Nikoloas KALFAS, 8. Daniel ROBERTS, 9. Aaron CASHMAN, 10. Emilio KISTA, 13. Tim ANDERSON, 14. Andrew SLAVICH, 15. Liam HIGHMORE
Substitutes used: 3. Dominic COLUCCIELLO, 5. Nick FAUST, 11. Marco GAYER
Canberra Olympic: 13. Angelo KONSTANTINOU, 2. Tim BOBOLAS, 4. Daniel COLBERTALDO, 5. Phil YARNOLD, 6. Jeremy HABTEMARIAM, 9. Philippe BERNABO-MADRID, 10. Robbie CATTANACH, 12. Adam ROGIC, 15. Tom MCLACHLAN, 17. Nick BOBOLAS, 23. Nathen MEGIC
Substitutes used: 8. Bernard RENE, 11. Michael REEVE, 18. Jordan TSEKENIS
YELLOW CARDS: 4. Sam SHADBOLT, 14. Andrew SLAVICH (Tuggeranong United), 4. Daniel COLBERTALDO, 6. Jeremy HABTEMARIAM, 23. Nathen MEGIC (Canberra Olympic)

Gungahlin United 0 Canberra FC 1 (Josip Jadric 41’)
(Gungahlin Enclosed)

By David Jordan

A first-half tap-in from Josip Jadric kept Canberra FC in touch with Tigers FC and
Canberra Olympic on Sunday, as FC held out Gungahlin 1-0 in a rain–affected clash at Gungahlin Enclosed. Constant rain and a muddy pitch kept the skills of both sides in check, with players struggling to keep their feet and the weighting of passes proving to be an issue.

The visitors held sway early as they earned a number of set pieces but failed to capitalise, with Thomas James doing his best to be a constant menace to the Gungahlin defence. Thomas James tried his luck cutting in on more than one occasion, only to find the palms of Gungahlin custodian Jason Denham in the way, but the forward turned provider in the 41st minute as the visitors made their pressure count.

A Gungahlin set piece came to nothing and was cleared long by Canberra’s defence, and James raced to latch onto it as his defender slipped attacking the ball drop. James sped down the right hand side, beating one challenge, before whipping a perfect ball into the back post for Jadric to tuck home on the end of a great run.

With the score line unchanged at the break, Gungahlin needed to chase the game after the break while the visitors were looking to consolidate their position. Canberra continued to provide the main threat with Michael Mensah helping to anchor the midfield and shut out the home side, and they nearly struck again as James had a header well saved after a fantastic cross from Jadric on the hour mark.

Gungahlin struggled to break down a compact Canberra defence for most of the second half as Mitch Stevens implored his side to break through. The home side rarely got to the drop of the ball in their attacking third to pressure the defence, allowing the visitors to play out as they wished. James continued to probe the home defence as the second half wore on, along with man of the match Ian Graham, and were it not for the conditions, could easily have taken home a bag. The win sees Canberra FC remain three points behind Tigers and two behind Canberra Olympic after both sides also took home three points, while Gungahlin remain in the bottom half of the table with just one win from their opening six matches.

Gungahlin United: 1. Jason DENHAM, 2. Alex MOSCARITOLO, 3. David DEXTER, 5. Jason O’DWYER, 7. Regan WALSH, 8. Christian JUNNA, 11. Jake WILSENER, 12. Mitch STEENBERGEN, 14. Liam WALSH, 15. David JENKINS, 17. Frano BLAZEVIC
Substitutes used: 4. Jack GREEN, 6. Justin RANKINE, 9. Nathan DUCK
Canberra FC: 1. Rory LARKIN, 5. Izach CLEMENTS, 6. Ryan KEIR, 8. Ian GRAHAM, 9. Thomas JAMES, 11. Ivan PAVLAK, 14. Josip JADRIC, 15. Jordan LAMB, 17. Aidan BRUNSKILL, 18. Misko NAUMOSKI, 19. Michael MENSAH
Substitutes used: 13. Kye EDWARDS, 20. Ned POVEL, 21. Nikola BARISIC
YELLOW CARDS: 14. Liam WALSH (Gungahlin United), 9. Thomas JAMES (Canberra FC)

Tigers FC 4 (Daniel Barac 4’, 77’, Alex Oloriegbe 7’, Stephen Domenici 61’) Monaro Panthers 1 (Ed McCarthy 20’)
(Nijong Oval)

League leading Tigers FC saw off the challenge of Monaro Panthers at Nijong Oval on Matchday 6 to ensure they remained a point clear at the top of the table. The 4-1 success also took the team to 23 goals in six matches meaning they are in ominous form heading into their midweek Westfield FFA Cup match against State League 1 side Goulburn Stags at Hawker Football Centre.

A re-jigged Tigers front-line certainly had no problems in finding a way through the Panthers defensive line having taken what appeared to be a match-winning 2-0 lead inside the opening seven minutes of the match. Daniel Barac, a summer recruit from Gungahlin United, opened the scoring in only the 4th minute and he was swiftly followed on the score sheet by the prolific Alex Oloriegbe who looks to be getting back to his best after a sluggish start to the campaign

Monaro were staring down the barrel of a big defeat at this stage and it’s to their great credit that they dug in and fortified themselves. In doing so they began to create openings at the other end and from one of these Ed McCarthy were able to net his second of the season and reduce the arrears to 2-1. This gave the Panthers the boost they needed and they pushed for an equaliser, whilst defending well to restrict the Tigers any further score.

After the break though Tigers FC began to reassert their authority and they went 3-1 ahead in the 61st minute as Stephen Domenici, Golden Boot leading scorer in the PS4 NPL competition at this stage of the season, added his seventh of the campaign. Any hopes of a Panthers revival were cut short thirteen minutes from time when Barac, who had opened the scoring, closed it by snagging his second of the match. 

Tigers FC: 1. Jakob COLE, 2. Dejan SANTRAC, 3. Hussein FUREJE, 4. Osman FOFANAH, 5. Julian BORGNA, 7. Milan POPOVICH, 8. Ala MOBEDI, 9. Daniel BARAC, 10. Alex OLORIEGBE, 12. Alan GASTON, 17. Stephen DOMENICI,
Substitutes used: 6. Brad MOREE, 14. Nicolas ABOT, 15. Jeremias IBARRA
Monaro Panthers: 21. Nathan ALFERINK, 3. Daniel HEARLE, 4. Luka MARKULIN, 5. Chris RUIZ, 6. Alan MURPHY, 7. Daniel FELLIZZI, 8. Sam ROESTBAKKEN, 11. Darian MCGARRY-WATSON, 12. Tony SPASESKI, 13. Ed MCCARTHY, 14. Martin DENG 
Substitutes used: 9. Gilfran RODRIGUES, 16. Caleb CULLEN-RUA, 17. Michael PICCOLO
YELLOW CARDS: 5. Julian BORGNA, 17. Stephen DOMENICI (Tigers FC)


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Jason UGRINIC (Belconnen United), Stephen DOMENICI (Tigers FC)
Sam SMITH (Belconnen United), John ROBERTS (FFA COE)
Jordan TSEKENIS (Canberra Olympic), Jaidon SELDON (FFA COE), Nicolas ABOT, Daniel BARAC (Tigers FC)
Josip JADRIC, Thomas JAMES (Canberra FC), Tomas KRKLEC (CU Academy), Mitch STEENBERGEN (Gungahlin United), Mark SHIELDS (Monaro Panthers), Alex OLORIEGBE (Tigers FC)
2 Philippe BERNABO-MADRID, Daniel COLBERTALDO, Jeremy HABETMARIAM (Canberra Olympic), Sam WHITHEAR (CU Academy), Bryce BAFFORD (FFA COE), Ed MCCARTHY (Monaro Panthers), Domenic COLUCCIELLO, Marco GAYER, Andrew SLAVICH (Tuggeranong United)
1 Matt GRBESA, David KEMP, Goran MUKEVSKI, Cameron REINHART, Toby RICHTER, Dustin WELLS (Belconnen United), Nikola BARISIC, Robbie DEELEY, Domenic GIAMPAOLO, Ryan KEIR (Canberra FC), Tim BOBOLAS, Robbie CATTANACH, Angelo KONSTANTINOU (Canberra Olympic), Daniel FABRIZIO, Joshua GULEVSKI (CU Academy), Rahmat AKBARI, Lachlan BROOK, Louis D’ARRIGO, Mirza MURATOVIC, Marc TOKICH (FFA COE), Nathan DUCK, Jack GREEN, Alex MOSCARITOLO, Marcial  MUNOZ, Liam WALSH (Gungahlin United), Darian MCGARRY-WATSON (Monaro Panthers), Julian BORGNA, Osman FOFANAH, Alan GASTON, Nahuel GUERRERO, Milan POPOVICH (Tigers FC), Nikolaos KALFAS, Emilio KISTA, Jonathan REIS, Sam SHADBOLT Tuggeranong United), Bensah AFIABO, Daniel DI-SALVATORE, Ben GRIEG, Tom HIRST, Matthew WATERS (Woden-Weston FC)

Photo: Canberra Times


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