VPL: Goals galore in final round

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With the Minor Premiership already wrapped up by Dandenong Thunder weeks ago and the top-five confirmed last week, the final day of 2012 was never going to eclipse the craziness that Round 22 brought in 2011. But with 2nd-5th place and a second-chance in the finals up for grabs, there was certainly some exciting encounters.

This is how the final round panned out..

Oakleigh Cannons 3 (Doyle 16′, Festerson 74′, Diaco 88′)
Bentleigh Greens 1 (Hatzikostas 4′)
Jack Edwards Reserve

With Oakleigh Cannons and Bentleigh Greens in second and third placed respectively going into their final game, a win for either side would secure second place while a loss or draw for Bentleigh could see them finish in fourth. And that’s exactly what happened. Oakleigh came from 1-0 down to topple the Greens 3-1, and with Green Gully’s victory Bentleigh were knocked from third place and lost their second-chance in the finals.

Northcote City 0
Green Gully Cavaliers 3
(R. Vargas 32′, 66′, Sanders 68′)
John Cain Memorial Park

Two goals by former Melbourne Victory defender Rodrigo Vargas helped Green Gully to a 3-0 win over Northcote City. Oakleigh’s win over Bentleigh meant Green Gully were able to leap into third and a secure a second-chance in the finals. Northcote were surprisingly uninspiring considering it could have been they who finished in third place and received the second-chance.

Dandenong Thunder 1 (Theodore 43′)
Richmond Eagles 1 (Cahill 20′)
George Andrews Reserve

Minor Premiers Dandenong Thunder were forced to come from behind to secure a point against Richmond. The Eagles were the more determined of the two sides, looking to finish a rather disappointing season on a high. Tom Cahill continued his brilliant form to put Richmond ahead early and move into double figures for the season. Matthew Theodore netted an equaliser just before half-time but Richmond should have taken all three points towards the end with Kyle Joryeff unable to covert two one-on-one opportunities. Dandenong now have the week off and will face either Oakleigh Cannons or Green Gully in the preliminary final.

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Melbourne Knights 1 (Cvitkovic 81′)
Southern Stars 0
Knights Stadium

With finals football out of their reach and safety assured only pride was on the line as Melbourne Knights capped off their season win a 1-0 home victory against the Southern Stars. The Knights left it late though with the winner from Marijan Cvitkovic coming in the 81st minute. Both teams have had very up and down seasons and will have to drastically improve on their consistency if they are to battle for finals football next year.

Hume City 1 (Petrevski 21′)
Moreland Zebras 2 (Taseski 27, Recchia 67′)
SS Anderson Reserve

Moreland Zebras are already State League One bound, but they were able to finish the season on a high after defeating a lackluster Hume City. Zoran Petrevski gave Hume the lead after 21 minutes but former Melbourne Heart midfielder Kliment Taseski made it 1-1 just minutes later. And it was another former Hyundai A-League player, Carl Recchia, who put Moreland in-front and secured the three points.

Heidelberg United 2 (Bonne 32′, Papadopolous 45′)
South Melbourne 5 (Budimir 22′, Kelly 39′, 41′, Yousif 66′, Matthews 71′)
Olympic Village

Heidelberg United capped off their disastrous season with a 5-2 demolition at the hands of South Melbourne. The Bergers finished last with just two wins for the season and will be joining Moreland Zebras in State League One next season. South Melbourne meanwhile have had a horrendous season of their own, missing out on finals after being classed as favourites earlier in the year.

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The ‘new era’ has not got off to a great start..

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POSTEAMPWDLFAGDPTS
1Dandenong Thunder22146247143348
2Oakleigh Cannons22124636261040
3Green Gully Cavaliers2211473125637
4Bentleigh Greens22105737271035
5Northcote City229672831-333
6South Melbourne229583431332
7Richmond227963229330
8Melbourne Knights2292112530-529
9Hume City2284102727028
10Southern Stars227692638-1227
11Moreland Zebras2253143042-1218
12Heidelberg United2224162356-3310

Goals
17 – Luke Sherbon, Dandenong Thunder
11 – Nicholas Hegarty, Hume City
11 – Nate Foster, Dandenong Thunder
10 – Tom Cahill, Richmond
9 – James Kalifatidis, Northcote City
9 – Mathew Sanders, Green Gully Cavaliers
8 – Mark Leech, Hume City
8 – Scott Bulloch, Bentleigh Greens
8 – Ricky Diaco, Oakleigh Cannons
7 – Osagie Ederaro, Green Gully Cavaliers
7 – David Stirton, Southern Stars
7 – Carl Recchia, Moreland Zebras
7 – Own Goal, Various

Yellow Cards
7 – Saso Alexovski, Heidelberg United
7 – Alan Mulcahy, Southern Stars
7 – Isiyan Erdogan, Hume City
7 – Liam Cannell, Richmond
6 – Steven Topalovic, Richmond
6 – Jonathan Voulgaris, Northcote City
6 – Kristian Konstantinidis, Northcote City
6 – Nicholas Marinos, Heidelberg United
6 – Craig Sweeney, Melbourne Knights
6 – Luke Pilkington, Bentleigh Greens

Red Cards
4 – Melbourne Knights (Ben Surey, Tomislav Uskok, Shaun Romein, Marijan Cvitkovic)
4 – South Melbourne (Thomas Matthews, Trent Rixon, Shaun Kelly, Dimitri Tsiaras)
3 – Richmond (Liam Cannell, Michael Ferrante, Mate Eterovic)
3 – Southern Stars (Lean Williams, Ridvan Saglam, Halil Gur)
3 – Green Gully Cavaliers (Andy Vargas, Mile Medjedovic)
2 – Bentleigh Greens (Jack Webster, Luke Pilkington)
1 – Heidelberg United (George Papadopoulos)
1 – Hume City (Isiyan Erdogan)

Finals Week One fixtures:
Bentleigh Greens vs Northcote City, 7.30pm Friday 21 September, Kingston Heath Soccer Complex
Oakleigh Cannons vs Green Gully, 5pm Sunday 23 September, Kingston Heath Soccer Complex

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