Gungahlin United will host Canberra FC tomorrow in a blockbuster Federation Cup & FFA Cup Qualifying Final clash at Woden Park.
The two sides will battle it out not only for the prize of the Federation Cup, but for a spot in the FFA Cup National Round of 32 as well.
When the teams met earlier in the season in the league Canberra FC prevailed at Deakin 3-1, with Thomas James netting a brace and Jordan Lamb adding a goal after Ben Obst had given United an early lead. Paul Macor’s side suffered their first loss of the season last weekend as they fell 1-0 to Canberra Olympic, while United are just beginning to build momentum after a stuttering start to the season.
They moved up to fourth on the table last weekend as they saw off Belconnen United at Gungahlin Enclosed, having beaten Woden-Weston in their cup-semi final earlier that week over 120 minutes. They still remain nine points behind Saturday’s opponent in the league with a game in hand, but that will matter for little when the two meet at Woden Park.
Gungahlin’s Marcial Munoz would not be drawn on any injuries or additions to his squad, simply telling media that there were no changes to the side through the week and that his team had enjoyed a settled environment through the week at training.
That was different for Paul Macor, with Aiden Brunskill set to miss the game due to a hamstring injury and Jordan Lamb headed overseas, to add to a number of injuries already in the camp. Macor said he is confident in the depth of his squad though, and it is still hard to look past what is arguably the best forward pairing in the league of Thomas James and Kofi Danning.
Neither side can really enjoy a home field advantage down at Woden Park with it being something of a neutral venue, but it is the same ground where Gungahlin triumped 3-0 over Saturday’s opponent in the Preliminary Final last season.
With the way this season has gone so far this game looks set to feature plenty of goals, but these two teams are also largely excellent at the back and will be able to contain their opponent’s to some degree. Gungahlin’s Jack Green highlighted James as a focal point for United’s defensive strategy heading into the match, but they will need to be wary of Danning and Canberra FC’s other attacking dangers as well.
Thomas Muller has been on fire in the cup and the league for Munoz’s side and will draw attention if he starts, but Munoz also has more attacking weapons at his disposal and Antoni Timotheou will look to pull the strings for them from the middle of the park.
The clash is all set to be a belter, so get on down to Woden Park on Saturday afternoon for the match. Afterwards, head over to the Southern Cross Club in Woden to catch the Socceroos taking on France at the World Cup.
Path to the Final |
Queanbeyan City FC 1 (McCarron 72’ (p)) def. by Gungahlin United Football Club 2 (Obst 16’, Ayuel 48’)
Gungahlin United saw off a determined Queanbeyan City outfit to begin their cup campaign, with a goal in either half enough to overcome the hosts who scored via a second-half penalty.
ANU FC 2 (Andrew Manley 33′, Tim Lopez 69′) def. AET by Canberra FC 4 (Jordan Lamb 42′, Mat Grbesa 53′, Ryan Keir 114′, Ivan Pavlak 118′)
ANU were up for a boilover, and took the lead at Deakin Stadium through Andrew Manley. But the Premier League outfit struck back either side of half-time to take the lead before Tim Lopez levelled things, and Canberra FC scored twice in the final ten minutes of extra-time to secure their passage to the quarter-finals.
Gungahlin United 6 (Katsoulis 25’, O’Dwyer 29’, 45’, 77’, Timotheou 30’, Muller 83’) def. Gungahlin Juventus 0
A dominant performance at Hawker Synthetic saw Gungahlin United breeze through their Gungahlin derby to reach the semi-finals. Mikey Katsoulis scored moments after coming on to begin proceedings, before a Jason O’Dwyer hat-trick and goals from Antoni Timotheou and Thomas Muller saw them through comfortably.
Canberra FC 2 (James 80′, 90+4′) def. Canberra Olympic 0
It was a clash of the traditional heavyweights at Deakin in the quarter-finals, and it was Canberra FC who came out on top as a late brace from Thomas James pushed them over the edge before extra-time was required.
Gungahlin United 4 (Muller 19’, Timotheou 34’, 49’, Gaspari 112’) def. Woden-Weston 3 (Yinka-Kehinde 2’, 23’, Deng 77’)
Woden-Weston took the lead just two minutes in to the semi-final at Gungahlin Enclosed, a worrying sign for the hosts, but the inform Muller soon righted that, and the two teams traded goals throughout the match to leave it tied at 3-3 after 90 minutes. They were eventually separated by Josh Gaspari’s goal eight minutes from the final whistle in what was a thrilling encounter with brilliant support for both teams.
Canberra FC 3 (Danning 4′, James 59′, 90+3′) def. Belconnen United 0
It was another clinical display at Deakin that saw Canberra FC through to the final, as they took the lead just four minutes in to their meeting with Belconnen United. From there they never looked back as the visitors missed a number of chances, and two goals from James in the second half merely sweetened the deal for the home fans.
GAME DETAILS |
Gungahlin United v Canberra FC
Woden Park Enclosed
Saturday, 16th June @ 5pm
Admission: Adults $5/Concession & U/18 $2
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