NPL Capital Football Round 7 Wrap

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NPL Capital Football Wrap sourced from Capital Football by Russ Gibbs and Zac Lawrence

The match of the round was played between league leaders Canberra FC and second-placed Canberra Olympic, the latter claiming a critical 2-1 win to move to the top of the ladder.

Other winners from the round included Belconnen United and Tigers FC, who move within points of the league lead. FFA COE rounded out the weeks winners, adding further misery to the Monaro Panthers.

Canberra FC 1 (Robbie Deeley 59’)
Canberra Olympic 2 (Philippe Bernabo-Madrid 25’, Callum Smith 76’)

Canberra Olympic own the bragging rights after coming away 2-1 victors’ over rivals Canberra FC in front of a packed Deakin Stadium on Sunday. The win gives Olympic a one point lead on top of the table, passing Canberra FC and Belconnen United, who have a game in hand.  Canberra FC started the match well, having the majority of the ball in the opening ten minutes. Their first real chance of the game fell to Thomas James, receiving a cross-field ball from winger Muad Zwed, the attacker beat his marker before being dragged down on the edge of the box. The resulting free kick was however taken straight into the wall and the attack died out. Olympic then began to look lively with veteran midfielder Robbie Cattanach starting to move the ball around nicely and pacey winger Callum Smith looking threatening on the counter.

The breakthrough came for Olympic in the 25th minute when Cattanach played a through ball for Philippe Bernabo-Madrid to run on to, before slotting coolly past the onrushing goalkeeper into the bottom corner of the net. Just one minute later Bernabo-Madrid found himself in a very similar position in behind the defence but could only fire wide of the goal on this occasion. Olympic continued their dominance, heaping the pressure on the Canberra FC defence. Olympic came agonisingly close again in the 28th minute when Smith found space down the left flank, beating his man before smashing into the side netting.

Daniel Bennett produced a great run before playing a pass for Zwed to run onto, the pacey attacker firing at the legs of veteran keeper Angelo Konstantinou. The deflection fell straight to Bennett who fired over, missing the open goal. The second half began as a midfield battle with neither side being able to maintain possession. The equaliser finally came for FC in the 14th minute when James latched onto a well-played pass to the right flank before cutting the ball back from the by-line to former Olympic player Robbie Deeley, who finished across his body. Canberra FC continued to mount the pressure on the Olympic defence after scoring, with striker Thomas getting on the ball and looking dangerous. Their momentum was halted by a red card for Deeley, who received a second yellow for persistent fouling.

The sending off changed the balance of the match and Olympic began to take control of the ball. Substitute Jon Toole would have been through, but for a goal saving tackle from Marko Vrkic in the 65th minute. Olympic’s second came in the 78th minute after consistent pressure when Daniel Colbertaldo found the ball in the box, beating a player before laying the ball off for Smith who finished into the bottom right of the goal. The pace of the match died after Olympic’s second. However, Canberra FC managed one more chance when substitute Jordan Lamb latched onto a cross from Thomas at the back post, producing a stunning reflex save from Konstantinou in the Olympic goal.  Canberra FC will look to return to winning ways next weekend when they play the FFA Centre Of Excellence at the AIS on Saturday, while Olympic will look to keep the ball rolling at home to Tigers FC on Sunday.

FFA COE 4 (Nicholas Panetta 3’, Jackson Bandiera 13’ (pen), 53’, Charlie Devereux 36’)
Monaro Panthers 0

The FFA COE cruised to a comfortable 4-0 win over Monaro Panthers at the Australian Institute of Sport on Saturday afternoon to keep up the pressure on the league leaders at the top of the PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues: Capital Football competition. The Centre of Excellence had the points in the bag by the half-time whistle as they led 3-0 and were in complete control of the match. It took the home team just three minutes to break the deadlock as Nicholas Panetta scored his fourth goal of the season. And they were two to the good just ten minute later when the FFA COE were awarded a penalty which Jackson Bandiera confidently slotted past Jack Pettit in the Panthers’ goal. Charlie Devereux added the third for Tony Vidmar’s team in the 36th minute as Monaro struggled to contain the rapid-fire passing and movement of an in-form and hungry FFA COE squad. The second half was a more event contact but the damage had already been done. Bandiera added his second of the game to make it 4-0 eight minutes after the restart but following that concession, Monaro defended with more vigour and halted the FFA COE goal-flow. At the other end they created a couple of chances to claim a goal back but the hosts saw out the match to take the points.

Belconnen United 2 (Andrew Slavich 24’ (og), Jason Ugrinic 57’)
Woden-Weston FC 0

Belconnen United closed the gap on the league leaders at the top of the table to a single point as they saw off Woden-Weston FC in an exciting match on Saturday evening in front of another decent sized crowd at McKellar Park. The Blue Devils obviously enjoy playing under the floodlights of McKellar and they started the match on the front foot, taking the game to a Woden-Weston FC team that has been performing well of late and would have entered the match in confident mood. That confidence was punctuated in the 24th minute when they fell behind in unfortunate circumstances. Belconnen was awarded a penalty for an infringement in the area but Woden-Weston goalkeeper Rory Larkin guessed correctly to save from Jason Ugrinic’s spot-kick. The ball ballooned into the area and Ugrinic attempted to volley in the rebound only to scuff his effort. Luckily for the home team the ball ricocheted off covering defender Andrew Slavich and past Larkin to open the scoring. Belconnen had the better of possession after that and were to go 2-0 ahead early in the second half. Ugrinic has had a great start to the season and he was on hand in the 57th minute to score his fifth goal of the season and confirm the maximum points for Belconnen who look set fair for a title charge in 2015.

Tigers FC 4 (Alex Oloriegbe 12’, 63’, 74’, Julian Borgna 47’)
Gungahlin United 1 (Nathan Tidmarsh 2’)

A hat-trick from Tigers FC striker Alex Oloriegbe gave the reigning league champions a come from behind 4-1 victory over Gungahlin United at Nijong Oval on Sunday afternoon. The Tigers claimed the points after going one down early on to force their way back into the race for the title after seven rounds. Gungahlin had got off to a brilliant start as they took the lead after 65 seconds. No one tracked the run of over-lapping Nathan Tidmarsh and the former Canberra Olympic man volleyed home gleefully past Francois Bangweni in the Tigers goal. It was a lead they held for ten minutes as Tigers drew level through ace forward Oloriegbe. The Tigers striker has rediscovered his zest for the game this season and fought hard to add to his tally. At half-time it was all to play for a 1-1 but it was Tigers who took control when Julian Borgna fired them in front just two minutes into the second half. The next goal was the crucial one and it was Tigers who got it as Oloriegbe grabbed his second in the 63rd minute. By now Gungahlin couldn’t hold Oloriegbe and he completed a hat-trick and moved on to ten goals for the season by wrapping up the match sixteen minutes from time.

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