Gungahlin United v Canberra FC | Elimination Final | Saturday, 2pm @ AIS Grass 2
Gungahlin United and Canberra FC go head-to-head in the NPL1 elimination final at the AIS on Saturday afternoon. The sides met just two weeks ago, with Canberra FC claiming a 3-1 win to book their spot in the semi-finals. Deakin struggled for consistency for much of the season, but enter the finals riding some serious momentum having tasted victory in their last four outings. Luka Ujdur’s team will enter Saturday’s encounter with plenty of confidence, but will be without prolific goal scorer Daniel Barac after an accumulation of yellow cards. Their back four has allowed just one goal over the last month and will be key in this match. If they can thwart Gungahlin’s strikers, it will go a long way to helping them advance in the finals.
Gungahlin may have fallen to Canberra FC in their most recent meeting, but it was Gungahlin that triumphed 5-0 when the sides played in round nine. Marcial Munoz and his team will take plenty of confidence from that meeting, but understand that Canberra FC will be a completely different prospect this time around. As ever, Jack Green will be a key figure for Gungahlin in defence, while Michael John and the Habtemariam brothers are sure to cause Deakin some headaches up front. John dominated the round nine encounter, and a similar performance on Saturday could propel Gungahlin into the preliminary final.
Canberra Olympic v Tigers FC | Qualifying Final | Saturday, 4:30pm @ AIS Grass 2
Similar to Gungahlin and Canberra FC, Canberra Olympic and Tigers FC also did battle just two weeks ago, with Olympic running out 4-0 winners to secure the 2019 Premiership. Olympic have been the competitions most consistent side this season, having not suffered defeat since round 10 against Canberra FC. They have a multitude of attacking options, led by Golden Boot winner Stephen Domenici, who bagged a double in the recent Premiership decider, Nik Popovich and Kofi Danning. If all three men fire, it might be a tough afternoon for the Tigers.
It’s been a tale of two halves for the Tigers this season. They lost just one match throughout the first 15 rounds and looked destined to take home the Premiership, before three straight losses down the stretch saw them slip to second place. They will be without defender Darren Bailey for this weekend’s clash, but the likes of Laurence Redmond and Tony Spaseski still have the potential to slow down Olympics’ front three. After a tough month of football, which included an FFA Cup encounter with Hume City, the week off will have allowed the Tigers to refresh, and Gaby Wilk’s side should come out firing with a Grand Final berth on the line.