Belconnen United 8 (Karen Clarke 16’, 21’, Nicole Jalocha 32’, 84’, Bronte Pyke 42’, 81’, Jessie Rasschaert 51’, Alexia Forner 57’) def. Canberra United Academy 0
By Jakob Gisik
Belconnen United have capped off their regular season with a near-perfect performance, crushing the Canberra United Academy 8-0 at McKellar Park on Saturday afternoon.
The Blue Devils were at their dominant best in coach Antoni Jagarinec’s final ever match at McKellar, scoring four goals in each half to run out resounding victors.
Both teams traded early chances, and respective goalkeepers Sally James and Isobel Davy were both forced to make difficult saves to keep the scores level.
Belconnen grabbed the lead in the 16th minute though after a well-directed corner from Katie Woodman found the head of Karen Clarke, who made no mistake at the back post.
Clarke bagged her double just minutes later, tucking away a penalty-kick after Michaela Day was brought down inside the area.
The warning bells started to ring when Nicole Jalocha scored Belconnen’s third, and after Bronte Pyke slid the ball into the bottom corner just before the break, the game was all but over.
The hosts dominance continued into the second-half, as Jessie Rasschaert rose above the Academy defence to head home Belconnen’s fifth after just 51 minutes.
Alexia Forner got in on the act six minutes later, curling a strike into the top corner after finding herself completely unmarked on the edge of the six-yard box.
The next 20 minutes was the Academy’s best of the match, as they were able to hold the Belconnen strikers at bay and push forward in attack themselves.
Bella Barac was a shining light for the visitors, but the absence of Mia McGovern, who recently enjoyed a stint with the Junior Matildas, meant Barac lacked much needed support in midfield.
The final 10 minutes belonged to Jagarinec and Belconnen though, as Jalocha played a neat ball through to Pyke who buried her second of the match, before Pyke returned the favour for Jalocha to secure a double of her own and round out the 8-0 score line.
The finals will commence on the 31st of August following a fixture-free weekend, with Belconnen squaring off against long-time rivals Canberra FC in the qualifying final, while the Academy will face Gungahlin United in the elimination final.
Other results |
Gungahlin United 1 (Ella Brown 38’) def. by Canberra FC 8 (Brittany Palombi 2’, 60’, 64’, 65’, Jamie Berkeley 5’, Grace Gill 71’, 80’, 88’)
Just like Belconnen, Canberra FC concluded their regular season by thrashing a fellow top-four side, defeating Gungahlin United 8-1 at Gungahlin Enclosed Oval on Sunday.
Brittany Palombi opened the scoring from the penalty spot inside two minutes, before Jamie Berkeley pounced on a loose ball in the six-yard box and fired a shot past Kailey Tonini to make it 2-0.
Ella Brown tapped home a low cross from Stella De Marco to give Gungahlin a chance going into the break, but the second-half belonged solely to Canberra FC.
Three goals in five minutes from Palombi blew the game wide open; two of those goals coming from well-weighted through balls by Krista Hagen.
Grace Gill then registered a hat-trick of her own, the best of her three goals coming in the 88th minute when she curled in a shot from the top of the area, rounding out the 8-1 score line.
Both sides will now prepare for finals football, with Canberra FC meeting Belconnen in a qualifying final showdown, while Gungahlin will play the Academy in the elimination final.
Woden-Weston FC 0 drew. Monaro Panthers FC 0
Woden-Weston missed out on a chance to sneak into the top four as they were held to a scoreless draw by the Monaro Panthers at Melrose Synthetic on Sunday.
Following the result at Gungahlin, Woden would have qualified for finals with a win, but they were unable to find the back of the net against a resolute Monaro defence.
The Wanderers best opportunity of the match came just before half-time, when consecutive shots from Sophia Christopherson and Briana Maguire were parried by Panthers goal keeper Jelena Josipovic, before Kaitlyn Joy cleared a third shot off the line.
The Panthers nearly hit the front in the second-half after Woden goal keeper Cristina Esposito cleared the ball straight into the path of Georgia Grant, whose resulting strike cannoned off the woodwork.
The result means Woden end the season in fifth spot, while the Panthers avoided the wooden spoon to finish in eighth.
Wagga City Wanderers 3 (Own goal 34’, Tia Lyons 43’, Megan Castle 72’) def. Canberra Olympic 1 (Emma Finch 53’)
The Wagga City Wanderers closed out their inaugural season with a 3-1 win over Canberra Olympic at Gissing Oval, condemning Olympic to the wooden spoon in the process.
The Wanderers grabbed the lead after Olympic’s Victoria Jamieson cruelly struck the ball into her own net, before Tia Lyons tucked a one-time shot into the far corner to extend the hosts advantage.
Shortly after the break, Emma Finch broke down the right-flank and fired a powerful shot into the top corner to bring the visitors to within a goal.
But Megan Castle ensured the Wanderers would end their first season on a high, tapping in a Madeline Harris cross in the 72nd minute to seal the three points for her side.
2019 NPLW Capital Football Semi-Finals | Saturday, 31st August
Elimination Final: Canberra United Academy v Gungahlin United | 2pm @ AIS Grass 1
Qualifying Final: Belconnen United v Canberra FC | 4:30pm @ AIS Grass 1