Westfield FFA Cup Qualifiers: Semi-Finals
Wednesday 3rd June 2015
Tuggeranong United 1 (Zac Munster 82’) Belconnen United 2 (Taylor Beaton 42’, Goran Mukevski 60’ (pen))
Belconnen United survived a late Tuggeranong United flourish to book their place in the Canberra Westfield FFA Cup Qualifiers Final with a 2-1 victory at McKellar Park. Goals from Taylor Beaton and Goran Mukevski proved enough for the 2014 Federation Cup winners to reach the Final for a second successive year with the added incentive of a place in the Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32 hanging a tantalising ninety minutes away.
But Tuggeranong, who made history last season by becoming the first ACT entrant in the national cup competition, made the Blue Devils fight all the way for the victory and finished with a wet sail almost snatching an equaliser to send the game into extra-time. But Belconnen withstood the late surge to claim the win and a place in the Final.
It was Tuggeranong, the 2013 Federation Cup victors, who started the better and almost took the lead in the first half when a goalmouth scramble saw Blue Devils shot-stopper Adam Perakovic make a stunning point-blank save when it appeared certain that the underdogs would take the lead. Belconnen slowly took command of proceedings, despite losing Conor Nolan to an early injury with David Arranz replacing the holding midfielder.
The Blue Devils reshuffle didn’t harm their chances and they took the lead three minutes before the break. Receiving the ball twenty metres from goal Belconnen skipper Taylor Beaton took aim and lashed an effort into the top corner to give his team the all-important breakthrough.
If the first half was a cagey affair, that changed in the second stanza as the game became more open and chances began to be created at both ends of the field. For Belconnen, Goran Mukevski was unfortunate to be denied a second when his shot, fairly hammered at goal, was brilliantly pushed over the bar by Tuggeranong goalkeeper Rowan Forbes-Shepherd. From the resultant corner David Kemp won a clean header that looked certain to kill off Tuggeranong only for Matt Rice to head off the line with Forbes-Shepherd beaten.
The respite was short-lived for Tuggeranong and the favourites took a firm grip on the cup tie with a second goal on the hour. Mukevski was proving a handful for the Tuggeranong defence and he won a penalty for his team when he was brought down by Forbes-Shepherd. Mukevski dusted himself off to step up and convert from the spot to make it 2-0 and send the Belconnen support wild.
Tuggeranong threw caution to the wind with the introduction of two strikers in the form of Sean Murphy and Eddie Coggan with eleven minute to play and the changes had an immediate effect. Zac Munster found room inside the area to bag his fifth cup goal in three matches this season and allow the Tuggies support to raise the roof off McKellar Park. That gave Tuggeranong hope and Munster went close again with a shot that flew just wide.
However, Belconnen had already done enough to claim the win and give themselves a shot at glory in the Qualifying Final as they aim for a second successive Federation Cup and a chance to take on the Hyundai A-League big boys.
Tuggeranong United: 20. Rowan FORBES-SHEPHERD, 2. Cameron DOHERTY, 3. Jonathan REIS, 4. Sam SHADBOLT, 6. Sean KIDDEY, 7. Zac MUNSTER, 8. Matt RICE, 10. Ethan MUNSTER, 12. Jonathan TUREK, 13. Dominic SZRAKITY, 15. Harry PETTIT
Substitutes used: 9. Sean MURPHY, 11. Eddie COGGAN
Belconnen United: 1. Adam PERAKOVIC, 2. Cameron REINHART, 4. David KEMP, 7. Taylor BEATON, 8. Connor NOLAN, 9. Goran MUKEVSKI, 10. Jason UGRINIC, 14. Callum BEATON, 16. Matthew GRBESA, 17. Jack BLACKLEY, 18. Danai GAPARE
Substitutes used: 6. David ARRANZ, 11. Aisosa IHEGIE
Discipline: YELLOW CARDS: 6. Sean KIDDEY, 8. Matt RICE (Tuggeranong United), 7. Taylor BEATON, 9. Goran MUKEVSKI (Belconnen United)
Match Officials: Matthew Cropper (Referee), Delfina Dimoski, Greg Taylor
Article courtesy of Capital Football