Sunday 4th September
PS4 NPL Preliminary Final
TIGERS FC 1 (Alexandre Uricaru 77’) CANBERRA FC 5 (Kye Edwards 20’ 30’ 90+2’, Aidan Brunskill 73’, James Field 75’)
By Ahmed Jbeili
Canberra FC is through to the Playstation 4 National Premier League Canberra Grand Final, after defeating Tigers FC 5-1 at McKellar Park on Sunday. Goals from Kye Edwards, James Field and Aiden Brunskill, topped off a dominant performance for Canberra FC, who now go on to play Westfield FFA Cup Quarter-Finalists and PS4 NPL Minor Premiers, Canberra Olympic FC in the Grand Final next weekend.
Tigers FC were outclassed by their opponents and despite putting up a good fight; missing notable names (Stephen Domenici, Julian Borgna and Daniel Barac all out with either suspension or injuries) was too much in the end and Canberra FC dominated the match ultimately.
The first half began with Canberra FC continuing their rampant form from last week (defeating Belconnen United 4-0), coming out of the blocks with a number of near chances only to be cancelled out by some close offside calls and some excellent stops by Tigers FC keeper Jakob Cole.
Attackers Thomas James, Kye Edwards and Ivan Pavlak were leading the charge for Canberra FC, the early pressing and attacking flair from last year’s PS4 NPL Grand Final Runner Ups was too much for Tigers FC. After 20 minutes Canberra FC broke the deadlock after Kye Edwards got his first goal of the afternoon. Edwards capitalised on a loose ball at the edge of the box and neatly slotted it in from close range to open the scoring.
Canberra FC were dominating the game so far. Tigers FC couldn’t keep up with the high intensity and quick breaks from the wing as 10 minutes later, Canberra doubled their lead. A storming run on the right by striker Thomas James ended with a neat cross to Edwards who made no mistake and got his second goal of the game. Tigers FC were lacking that spark in the final third and finished the half down two goals having not found an answer to Canberra FC’s attacking play.
Tigers FC started the second half with a much higher level of intensity. Tigers FC Coach Gaby Wilk must have given his players a spraying at the interval, as his team began to gain some momentum going forward. Attackers Nikolas Abot, Goran Josifovski and Michael Kita were beginning to put some pressure on the Canberra FC backline. It seemed as though Tigers might find a comeback, but in the 73rd minute, all hopes were tarnished thanks to back to back goals for Canberra FC.
Midfielder Aiden Brunskill made it 3-0 after tapping it in from right in front after a Thomas James cross. Substitute James Field made it 4-0 two minutes later, smashing it into the back of the net after being played through brilliantly and only had keeper Cole to beat. Tigers FC’s Grand Final dreams were crushed, and although substitute young gun Alexandru Uricaru scored moments later, it was all but a consolation goal.
Late into added time, Kye Edwards completed his hat-trick and made it 5-1 to Canberra FC. Another assist by Thomas James and a fantastic finish by Edwards to end the game as Canberra cemented their spot into next weekend’s grand final. Canberra FC now set up a tantalising clash against Canberra Olympic FC in what should be a huge game to crown Canberra’s PS4 NPL champions.
Tigers FC: 22. Jakob COLE, 3. Hussain FUREJE, 6. Alan GASTON, 2. Nahuel GUERRERO, 4. I. ELLIOTT, 5. Dejan SANTRAC, 8. Jeremias IBARRA, 11. Jared TONINI, 9. Michael KITA, 7. Goran JOSIFOVSKI, 10. Nikolas ABOT
Substitutes Used: 14. B. MOORE, 15. Daniel TODOROSKI, 12. Alexandru URICARU
CANBERRA FC: 1. Rory LARKIN, 17. Aidan BRUNSKILL, 19. Michael MENSAH 5. Izach CLEMENTS, 11. Ivan PAVLAK, 15. Jordan LAMB, 8. Ian GRAHAM, 6. Ryan KEIR, 3. Thomas MILICEVIC, 9. Thomas JAMES, 13. Kye EDWARDS
Substitutes Used: 10. James FIELD, 16. Ross COSTANZO, 4. Marko VRKIC
YELLOW CARDS: 3. Thomas MILICEVIC, 8. Ian GRAHAM, 13. Kye EDWARDS (Canberra FC) 2. Nahuel GUERRERO (Tigers FC)
RED CARDS: Nil