By Michael Djordjieski
Two goals in the final 10 minutes of play from scorer Thomas James secured Canberra FC a 2-0 victory against Canberra Olympic at Deakin Stadium and their place in the final four of the FFA Cup Preliminary rounds.
The win sees Paul Macor’s team remain unbeaten in all competitions in 2018, while the defeat for Olympic means an end to its recent good form of five straight wins.
Frank Cachia’s men began the match on the front foot and it only took them a minute to produce the matches first opportunity as Jeremy Habtemariam snuck in behind the defence, only to have his shot blocked out for a corner.
Olympic continued their strong start and Domenic Giampaolo’s effort after 24 minutes was well saved and handled by goalkeeper Jordan Thurtell.
The hosts blew a fantastic chance to take the lead 14 minutes later when Kofi Danning did brilliantly to pick out Jordan Lamb in the box, but the forward smashed the ball over the crossbar.
The sides entered the half-time break locked goalless after a tight opening 45, and Canberra FC came out strong from the interval.
Danning again looked to be the creator eight minutes in but his cutback was sprayed way over the goal by home captain Ian Graham.
There was not much between the two from then on with an even contest, but with ten minutes to go Graham went to ground under a challenge at a corner kick and the referee pointed to the spot.
James stepped up to make no mistake from the spot and thumped his effort into the top corner, leaving Olympic chasing the game late.
But they sealed the victory soon after as a ball found James in space in the area, and his effort squirmed under Angelo Konstantinou and in to lock up the result in stoppage time.
Canberra FC are the first team into the next round in Canberra, and will await the results of the three other quarter-finals.
More information on the other matchups is available here.