Canberra FC 9 (Daniel Subasic 12’, Jason Ugrinic 17’, 45+3’, Mathew Waters 25’, Daniel Barac 45+1’, 84’, Jordan Lamb 83’, 85’, 90+1’) def. Riverina Rhinos 0
By Tim Warren
Canberra FC kept their top-four hopes alive with a clinical 9-0 victory over the Riverina Rhinos at Deakin Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Deakin-based club moved in to fourth position on the NPL1 ladder, tied on competition points with Belconnen and Monaro, however, have a superior goal difference to both challengers.
Complete first half dominance from the home side saw Canberra FC claim a five-goal lead at the break and they never looked back from there.
Canberra FC found the first goal of the game in the 12th minute, when Daniel Subasic pounced on a loose ball in the box following a corner and turned the ball into the net for the hosts.
The home side doubled their advantage just five minutes later when Daniel Barac superbly turned a Rhinos defender and ran into the box before cutting the ball back to Jason Ugrinic who curled the ball into the bottom corner.
Matthew Waters added his name to the scoresheet in the 25th minute as he drilled home Canberra FC’s third goal of the half past Riverina keeper Adrian Montagner.
Daniel Colbertaldo would’ve been disappointed to strike his spot-kick into the crossbar in 40th minute, following Canberra FC receiving a penalty after Connor Earley earnt a yellow card for tripping Lucas Mauragis in the box.
However, the miss did not go on to haunt the home side as two quick goals on the stroke of half time to Barac and Ugrinic saw Canberra FC take a comfortable five-nil lead at the break.
In what was the complete opposite of the first half, the second period of the game started very slowly with Canberra FC appearing to take their foot off the accelerator slightly.
After a long goalless period, the second half deadlock was eventually broken in the 82nd minute when Jordan Lamb slotted the easiest of chances in front of an open net after Montagner was drawn out of his area.
Barac added his second goal of the afternoon just minutes later when he rifled the ball into the bottom-right corner following up his blocked shot among a sea of Rhino defenders.
Lamb capped off a perfect afternoon individually and for Canberra FC as he his two late goals rounded off his hattrick in just a matter of eight minutes.
Lamb’s stoppage time goal was the final highlight in a match that was drowned in them, with the final score line finishing 9-0.
Canberra FC will be looking to string two straight wins together next Sunday at Nijong Oval when they face Tigers FC, who will be coming off a midweek FFA Cup match against Hume City.
The Rhinos – who look likely to be relegated at seasons end, must defeat Gungahlin United next Saturday in Griffith to remain any chance of avoiding the drop.
Belconnen United 1 (Own Goal 56’) drew. Canberra Olympic 1 (Lasse Olrik 49’)
Canberra Olympic’s Premiership challenge hit a snag on Saturday afternoon as they were held to a draw by Belconnen United in a tense affair at McKellar Park.
The match presented Olympic with the chance to draw within two points of ladder-leading Tigers FC and Belconnen with an opportunity to climb into the four.
The visitors had the best chance of the first half when Stephen Domenici curled an effort goalwards and had Deakin Jewell beaten but it struck the base of the upright and Kofi Danning could not get to the rebound as Belconnen escaped.
It took just four second half minutes for them to lead though, as Lasse Olrik got on the end of Andre Jancevski’s header from a corner and tapped it past Jewell to put Olympic on track for three points.
Seven minutes later though Sam Whithear’s cross from the right edge of the area rocketed into Michael Reeve’s foot and into the goal to bring Belconnen level and leave the sides sharing the points.
United had a man advantage for 10 of the final 15 minutes after Jay Kelly was temporarily dismissed but could not take advantage as the game finished with honors shared.
Belconnen now host Tuggeranong with both sides in the thick of the race for finals, and Olympic will take on Woden-Weston at Melrose.
Gungahlin United 5 (Jack Green 2’, 50’, Michael John 59’, Samuel Habtemariam 66’, 86′) def. Woden-Weston 1 (Jackson Paisler 51’)
Gungahlin United put five goals past Woden-Weston for the second time this season in a dominant display at the AIS on Sunday afternoon.
Jack Green got the hosts off to the perfect start when he ghosted in seemingly unmarked at the back post to tap home Tom McLachlan’s cross but despite firing out of the blocks Woden-Weston did well to contain them and the difference was just one at the break.
Green had them two to the good though inside five second-half minutes, again allowed too much space from a corner to volley past the keeper but just moments later Jackson Paisler pulled one back for the Wanderers with a stunning first-time strike from the edge of the area.
From there on though it was all Gungahlin, Michael John pushing the lead back to two goals as he got on the end of a cross from Zac Barbatano before the latter was again involved to setup Samuel Habtemariam for the team’s fourth goal.
Habtemariam got his second inside the final few minutes when Michael John was afforded too much time in the box to turn and fire towards the corner and although his effort was well saved, Habtemariam was on hand to tap home the rebound.
The result leaves Gungahlin in third spot ahead of a trip to Griffith to take on the Rhinos, while Woden-Weston will host Canberra Olympic with finals looking a bridge too far.
Tuggeranong United 2 (Daniel Roberts 13’, Aisosa Ihegie 44’) def. Monaro Panthers 1 (Lachlan Harrington 76’)
Tuggeranong United thrust themselves back into the top four conversation on Sunday afternoon, scoring twice in the first half to knock Monaro out of the four and further their own finals hopes.
United entered the game in seventh spot and five points back from the four, while Monaro had dropped back to fifth, level on points with third after Saturday’s results. Both sides were missing key players, with a number of youngsters stepping up to fill the gaps.
The hosts got off to the better start, going ahead after just 13 minutes when Daniel Roberts’ strike from the edge of the area appeared to take a deflection and nestle in the bottom corner. Moments later the Panthers almost equalised as a header struck the crossbar but it was not to be as Tuggeranong maintained their lead.
The hosts looked to be going into the break up by a goal, but on the stroke of half-time Ihegie took advantage of an errant clearance from the back and poked the ball past Nathan Alferink to put his side two goals ahead.
Deep in the second half a Josh Gulevski free-kick was floated in and while a defender got to it first, the Tuggeranong defence failed to clear it in time and Lachlan Harrington was quickest to react on his first-grade debut and lash the ball home to set up a tense final few minutes.
It was not to be though as Tuggeranong prevailed, leaving Monaro back outside the top four ahead of the bye this week, and Tuggeranong taking on Belconnen United.