Canberra Olympic claimed the Premiership on the final day of the season with a confident performance against Tigers FC, while Canberra FC stormed out of the blocks at Deakin to jump Belconnen United back into the top four.
Canberra Olympic 4 (Stephen Domenici 22’, 82’, Kofi Danning 44’, Nik Popovich 58’) def. Tigers FC 0
Canberra Olympic claimed the 2019 NPL1 Premiership on the final day of the season with a convincing 4-0 win over Tigers FC at O’Connor on Sunday afternoon.
The victory meant Olympic finished the 2019 title race in 1st position, with Frank Cachia’s men amassing a total of 37 competition points, recording 12 wins, 1 draw and 3 losses.
Olympic have now won their third Premiership in just four years and booked a spot against the Wollongong Wolves in the first round of the 2019 NPL Finals Series.
The first chance of the game fell to Michael Piccollo who failed to convert a rebound from just six yards out after Tigers keeper Jakob Cole parried Daniel Sparrow’s long-range strike in the 8th minute.
Just minutes later Cooma had their first major goal scoring opportunity when Mark Shields hammered a low shot at goal, but it was smartly kept out by Olympic keeper Rory Larkin.
The title deciding match was a closely fought contest in the early stages but a 22nd minute goal from Stephen Domenici proved to be the turning point as the hosts jumped to the lead and never looked back.
Some clever build-up play from Olympic in the middle of the park brought the ball to Nik Popovich at the top of the box, and he threaded a pass through to Domenici whose shot was deflected into the back of the net.
Piccollo should have doubled Olympic’s advantage in the 37th minute when he sliced the ball wide of the left upright, following Kofi Danning’s superb low-cross from the right wing.
But Olympic didn’t go on to rue the missed chance as Danning scored their second goal of the afternoon on the stroke of half-time, calmly swiveling on the spot and tucking the ball home.
Straight after the restart Laurence Redmond received a yellow card for a rash challenge on Daniel Sparrow, in a match that proved to be a physical contest due to the prize at stake.
Olympic all but confirmed the three points and therefore the title in the 58th minute when a fantastic cross from the right wing by Sparrow was met in the box by Popovich who cleverly flicked the ball past Cole into the bottom corner.
The fourth and final goal of the afternoon came in the 83rd minute when Seb Woods teed up Domenici in the box after a great run and striker proved his class recording a brace and ultimately putting the finishing touches on a marvelous campaign for Olympic.
As fate would have it Olympic and Tigers will once again face each other in the first round of finals at the AIS on Saturday the 31st of August in the Qualifying semi-final.
Other results |
Woden-Weston 1 (Michael Adams 26’) def. by Monaro Panthers 3 (Nick Dahl 24’, Niko Kalfas 57’, Adam Neou 90+2’)
Monaro finished their season on a strong note at Melrose, doing enough to see off Woden-Weston 3-1 in their final match of the season.
The Panthers got on the board as a nice exchange of passes saw Adam Neou released on goal and he finished easily from the edge of the area, but it took Woden-Weston just two minutes to restore parity as they launched a blistering counter attack that Michael Adams finished to tie the scores.
Shae Thornton struck the bar from a long way out not long after, but the next goal came after the break through a stunning free-kick from Niko Kalfas as he lifted the ball over Callum Cook with the outside of his boot from a tight angle.
Neou finished it off in stoppage time with a neat finish from the other side of the goal and the win means Monaro finish the season in seventh spot, eight points ahead of the Wanderers.
Riverina Rhinos 1 (Keith Jackson 66’) def. by Tuggeranong United 2 (Marco Gayer 37’, Regan Walsh 79’)
Tuggeranong won in Griffith on Saturday to lock in sixth spot and condemn the Riverina Rhinos to a winless season.
Marco Gayer scored first, volleying home tidily from a corner to put Tuggeranong on the front foot but after trailing at the break, the Rhinos hit back 20 minutes into the second half.
Keith Jackson, a bright spot for the Rhinos this season, broke away down the left before racing inside and tucking a shot past the advancing Jakob Wiseman and in.
But parity lasted only 13 minutes until Regan Walsh scored a wonderful free-kick, beating everyone with a curled effort that landed in the far corner.
Youngster Jack Rowley was sent off in the dying minutes but it would not cost his side the points as they finished the season with 21 points, with the Rhinos back in ninth with just one.
Canberra FC 3 (Mat Grbesa 22’, Own Goal 29’, Daniel Barac 47’) def. Gungahlin United 1 (Riley Angelosante 53’)
Canberra FC booked their spot in the finals with an important win against third-placed Gungahlin United on Sunday at Deakin.
Beaten previously 5-0 by the same opposition in round nine, it was the hosts who got on the board first when Daniel Colbertaldo’s cross from the byline made it all the way across the 18-yard box before it was met strongly by Mat Grbesa to fire it home.
Seven minutes later they had two as Daniel Barac’s cut back at the far post struck Ross Costanzo and went in, and two minutes after half-time Luka Ujdur’s side were cruising at 3-0 when they got out on the break and Jason Ugrinic found Barac with a good cross.
Gungahlin got one back with just under 40 minutes to go when Riley Angelosante pounced on a tragic back pass from Jordan Lamb to curl a finish around Sam Brown but they could not make up the gap.
The two sides will face each other once more in the Elimination Final at the AIS on Saturday, 31st August.
2019 NPL1 Capital Football Semi-Finals | Saturday, 31st August
Elimination Final: Gungahlin United v Canberra FC | 2pm @ AIS Grass 2
Qualifying Final: Canberra Olympic v Tigers FC | 4:30pm @ AIS Grass 2