It’s a huge Saturday of football coming up this weekend as the Capital League finals get underway with two blockbuster clashes.
Semi-Final 1 (3 v 4) Weston-Molonglo v Canberra Olympic
Weston Molonglo and will face off against Canberra Olympic in the sudden death semi-final on Saturday afternoon. Weston started the season strong and went toe to toe with ANU at the top of the ladder early, including a big 5-0 win over them in round five, but faltered as the season went on. The two meetings between these sides have been tough to separate, with a one-all draw in round six followed in round 13 by a one-nil win to Weston.
Olympic made reaching the finals hard work across the back end of the season, picking up just nine points across the final eight rounds, with their hopes coming down to the final round next weekend where a 4-2 win over Queanbeyan City was enough to get them across the line. That match will hopefully bring them a degree of momentum heading into finals, but with the only side with a negative goal difference in the final four, whether they can match it in finals remains to be seen.
Semi-Final 2 (3 v 4) ANU FC v O’Connor Knights
ANU & O’Connor will meet for the second week in a row, following their huge Premiership decider at ANU Willows last Saturday. Danny Krajacic put the Knights ahead shortly before half-time in that match but a wild second half saw a penalty missed by the visitors and ANU put in three goals to seal the win and claim the Premiership by five points. That match squared the ledger between the two sides, with O’Connor having beaten the students in Round 11 4-2, and their round four match ending in a 2-2 stalemate. This week will help determine how much of a factor the surface is, with that strong win from O’Connor coming on the grass at Kaleen, while the draw and last week’s big match took place on synthetic at Willows.
The Knights came out of nowhere to be in Premiership contention, sitting six points behind ANU after 10 rounds and two points outside the top four as well. But a strong back half of the season, helped by many of Krajacic’s 16 goals brought them right back over the top of third and fourth and into Premiership contention. However ANU’s attacking output has dwarfed everyone this year, with an incredible 71 goals, and only 28 against, powering them to the top of the table. Andrew Manley picked up the Golden Boot with 19 in 18 games, and will no doubt be a key figure this weekend.