ANU FC clawed themselves back from 0-3 down to halt Tuggeranong United’s potential march to promotion equalising in 89th minute to earn a point in a breathlessly entertaining encounter at ANU South Oval.
At the interval Tuggeranong led 3-0 and were cruising towards another three points and keeping their seven-point lead at the top of the table. A trio of goals within the space of ten minutes of each other had Tuggies comfortably ahead and looking like racking up another high-scoring victory.
Patrick Hislop opened the scoring on the half-hour and Mark Richards doubled the lead eight minutes later as Tuggeranong clicked into gear. Central defender Harrison Buesnel continued his fine season by making it three five minutes before the break and United looked home and dry.
But ANU FC had other ideas. Rory Spiers, a mid-season signing from NPL leaders Canberra Croatia pulled one back and when defender Jan Wojna grabbed a second with eleven minutes remaining suddenly Tuggeranong looked wobbly. Even then they might have held on, but Carl Hynes poached an equaliser which, based on the final half-hour, ANU FC fully deserved.
Queanbeyan City reduced the lead to five points with a 2-1 away win over Wagga City Wanderers to reignite their promotion hopes with another gritty performance that yielded the maximum return.
City hit the ground running in the Riverina, striking twice inside the opening forty-five minutes to take a stranglehold on the match. David Ramos netted the first, opening the scoring in the 28th minute from the penalty spot and when Zach Knight made it two, eight minutes later, City were on course for the win.
Wagga City Wanderers have proved resilient in recent weeks though and they hot back six minutes after the resumption as Morris Kadzola scored, which made for a nervy second half for the title chasers. They did enough to secure the win though and take advantage of the uncharacteristic slip-up from Tuggeranong.
Brindabella Blues have moved into third place in the Capital Premier League table following a 3-0 win over bottom club Weston-Molonglo FC at Ipan Park in Calwell.
The Blues have been quietly going about their business of late and are now six games unbeaten in the division as they moved above both White Eagles and ANU FC to move into the top four.
Henry Wilks gave Ray Junna’s team the lead in the 34th minute and they quickly added to that as Jayden Deighan-Smith took his CPL tally to five, scoring for the second week in succession as the Magpies found themselves in a depressingly similar position, chasing a game at the interval.
A first of the season from Isaac Weekley eight minutes into the second half put the outcome to bed and left Weston-Molonglo FC winless after eleven rounds and with the Blues well in with a shout of finals football should they continue their excellent form.
A long-range bomb from midfield maestro Isaac Donadel kept Yoogali SC in with an outside chance of a place in the top four as they rocked into Canberra and defeated the high-flying White Eagles by 1-0.
Donadel struck with eight minutes left of an absorbing encounter in which both teams had chances to take the lead before the visitors did so in spectacular fashion. Incredibly, for a team one off the bottom of the table, Yoogali are only six points behind the Eagles who occupy the final place in the top four.
It’s been that kind of season in the CPL and with every game being played at a top tempo, there’s likely to be a lot more twists and turns between now and the final whistle of Round 21.
Brindabella Blues 3 (Wilks 34’, Deighan-Smith 41’, Weekley 53’) Weston-Molonglo FC 0
White Eagles 0 Yoogali SC 1 (I. Donadel 82’)
Wagga City Wanderers 1 (Kadzola 51’) Queanbeyan City 2 (Ramos 28’ (p), Knight 36’)
ANU FC 3 (Spiers 60’, Wojna 79’, Hynes 89’) Tuggeranong United 3 (Hislop 30’, Richards 38’, Buesnel 40’)
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