Yoogali SC moved seven points clear in their quest for promotion as they emerged triumphant from the Riverina derby, claiming an entertaining 5-3 victory over the Wagga City Wanderers at Solar Mad Stadium in Capital Premier League Round 12.
The hosts were ahead inside ten minutes as Darren Bailey moved onto double figures for the season, only for Jake Ploenges to fire Wanderers level seven minutes later with his eighth goal of a productive campaign.
Yoogali took control of proceedings thereafter, a brace of goals from Joshua De Rossi, one either side of the interval, pushed them into a comfortable lead, extended when Bailey smashed home his eleventh CPL goal of the season to push the advantage out to 4-1 in the 53rd minute.
Robert Rimmer’s first of the campaign made it five with twenty minutes to go, only for Wagga to strike twice in three minutes, Morris Kadzola who leads the Golden Boot chase scoring from the spot, before Thomas Yongai reduced the deficit to two, but Yoogali had already done enough.
Queanbeyan City were able to keep up the pace at the top, remaining a threat for the automatic promotion spot, as they edged a narrow 1-0 victory over Belconnen United at their High Street venue in New South Wales.
City pulled themselves seven points clear of the Blue Devils in fifth place with the team that were relegated from the National Premier League last season appearing all but certain to be remaining in the lower division for 2024.
Queanbeyan won the encounter with the only goal of the match ten minutes into the second-half of the contest as Abderrahim Dellahi struck for the fourth time in the league this season, a goal that was to prove enough to bring the maximum three points to the hosts to the delight of the home supporters.
A maiden goal in his new colours for Jordan Cachia proved to be the difference at Woden Park as White Eagles scored an important 1-0 win over ANU FC to bring the chase for top four spots even closer, the final place in those standings currently occupied by the University team.
Cachia struck late, netting the winner seven minutes from the end of a tight encounter, the goal meaning that Eagles moved to within four points of Belconnen in fifth and to within seven of the top-four.
It was a damaging defeat for ANU FC who had hoped to close the gap to the clubs pulling away in the race for promotion, but the competitive nature of the division may mean that there will be more twists and turns for both of these clubs before the final shake-up is revealed.
Canberra Juventus threw the race for the four wide open once more as they recorded a 3-0 win over Brindabella Blues at Ainslie, recording a third win of the season and meaning they have only lost once in the last five matches, and have taken eight points from a possible fifteen in that period.
It has been a dramatic turnaround in fortunes for the CPL newcomers who have finally found their feet at this level and who are proving to be a match for most in the division as they took apart the Blues with a competent display.
Adam Brooks’ second goal of the season got them up and running in the eighth minute of the match, but it wasn’t until Luca Novosel made it two, eight minutes into the second-half that Juventus were able to breathe a little easier.
As the Blues came searching for a way back into the match, they were hit with a killer third, in-form Nathan Duck scoring in the 66th minute, his seventh goal of the season and fourth in the last half-a-dozen fixtures.
Saturday 1 July
White Eagles 1 (Cachia 83’) ANU FC 0
Canberra Juventus 3 (Brooks 8’, Novosel 53’, Duck 66’) Brindabella Blues 0
Queanbeyan City 1 (Dellahi 55’) Belconnen United 0
Sunday 2 July
Yoogali SC 5 (Bailey 10’, 53’ (p), De Rossi 44’, 48’, Rimmer 70’) Wagga City Wanderers 3 (Ploenges 17’, Kadzola 72’ (p), Yongai 75’)
|3||Wagga City Wanderers||12||6||1||5||34||24||+10||19|
12 Morris KADZOLA (Wagga City Wanderers)
11 Darren BAILEY (Yoogali SC)
8 Joshua DE ROSSI (Yoogali SC), Zac LAWRENCE (White Eagles), Jake PLOENGES (Wagga City Wanderers)
7 Niko ABOT (Queanbeyan City), Nathan DUCK (Canberra Juventus), Rory SPIERS (ANU FC), Own GOALS
6 Joe PREECE (Yoogali SC)
5 Nicholas HOPE (ANU FC), Curtis SCHAEFFER (Brindabella Blues)
4 Abderrahim DELLAHI (Queanbeyan City), Mason DONADEL (Yoogali SC), Henry WILKS (Brindabella Blues)
3 Reuben DONADEL (Yoogali SC), Abraham KEMP (Belconnen United), Steven KRESKAS (White Eagles), Andrew MANLEY (ANU FC), Nashwan SULAIMAN (Wagga City Wanderers), Thomas YONGAI (Wagga City Wanderers)
2 Toni ANGELKOSKI (White Eagles), Gabriel AYUEL (Queanbeyan City), Nikolas BLASKOVIC (Brindabella Blues), Adam BROOKS (Canberra Juventus), Chaise DONETTO (Wagga City Wanderers), Jack GIBSON (ANU FC), Hussein FUREJE (Queanbeyan City), Ryan GULEVSKI (Queanbeyan City), Andre JUGOVAC (Canberra Juventus), Tim LOPEZ (ANU FC), Nathan MATTHEWS (Canberra Juventus), David MCCARRON (Belconnen United), Goran MILUTINOVIC (White Eagles), Maxwell PREST (Wagga City Wanderers), Federico PROIA (Canberra Juventus), Liam RAE (Belconnen United), Nikola TRAJKOVSKI (Queanbeyan City), Hayden TUNNEY (Belconnen United), Luke VALLONE (Belconnen United)
1 Tyler ALLEN (Wagga City Wanderers), Hassan ALNUWAYSIR (ANU FC), Aleksander BELJANSKI (White Eagles), Harry BILLINGTON (Belconnen United), Jordan CACHIA (White Eagles), David CARDER (Belconnen United), Robbie CATTANACH (Belconnen United), Charlie D’ADDARIO (Belconnen United), William DWIGHT (Canberra Juventus), Monteagh GRACE (ANU FC), Oliver GRIST (ANU FC), Nahuel GUERRERO (Queanbeyan City), David GURNEY (Brindabella Blues), Leo HADLEY (ANU FC), Christian JUNNA (Queanbeyan City), Roshan LAMICHHANE (White Eagles), Jacob LEONARD (Brindabella Blues), Zac MAYBURY (Belconnen United), Max MOTTL (ANU FC), Daniel MUNOZ (Brindabella Blues), Van NGUYEN (Canberra Juventus), Luca NOVOSEL (Canberra Juventus), Rowan PETERKIN (ANU FC), Michael PICCOLO (Queanbeyan City), Romain PINTO (Yoogali SC), Samuel RACITI (Yoogali SC), Robert RIMMER (Yoogali SC), Dejan SANTRAC (White Eagles), Kolby SEARS (Yoogali SC), Zac STEELE (Wagga City Wanderers), Dustin WELLS (Belconnen United), Jamie WARD (Brindabella Blues), Jan WOJNA (ANU FC)