Canberra clash could decide title

Football seasons of all grades are coming to a close and it is no different in the nation’s capital as the final few rounds of the NPL are set to take place.

Football seasons of all grades around Australia are coming to a close and it is no different in the nation-s capital as the final few rounds of the National Premier League are upon us.

The hunt for top spot is an intriguing one as Canberra FC takes a four point lead over Canberra Olympic and Belconnen United into this weekend-s fixtures with three rounds to play.

Even more intriguing is the fact that Canberra FC and Canberra Olympic come face to face this Sunday in what could go a long way to deciding who claims the league title for the 2013 season.

The clubs have traded 1-0 victories this season with the home side being the winner on both occasions.

This weekend-s match is to be played at Canberra FC-s Deakin Stadium where Canberra Olympic will need to buck this trend to get the result they so desperately need.

“It-s one of those games where anything could happen,” said Olympic coach Leo Exharos.

“They are exceptionally strong at home, it is like a fortress for them, but we are quietly confident we can go in there and get a result.”

With 20 games already in the books, Olympic know that this match could be the season definer.

“If we win we know we put all the pressure back on them to retain top spot.

“We know that if we are within striking distance in the final two rounds then that pressure could do funny things to them.

“It comes down to 90 minutes of football that will ultimately decide both team-s seasons.”

Exharos believes his side are looking better than ever after getting the opportunity to host the 2012-13 Hyundai A-League season-s Premiers Plate winners in the Western Sydney Wanderers on Wednesday night.

“The boys were inspired after playing the Wanderers midway through the week and I think that can really help us this weekend.

“The training session we had on Thursday night was I think the best we have had and all the guys are really looking forward to the match.”

On the other side of the ledger are the league leaders that know that they can claim the title with a victory over Olympic and a Belconnen loss.

“It is definitely a big game for us,” said Canberra FC coach Milo Trninic.

“There are only three rounds to go and if we win we know we are very close to the Championship.”

Trninic-s side have trained well this week and despite being without one of their stars are confident that they can get all three points.

“We don-t have any suspensions and the team has worked hard to get themselves ready for this week.

“Phillippe (Bernabo) has scored 16 goals for us this season but won-t be playing but we have other players that we know can help get us the result.”

Despite Olympic coach Exharos claiming that the home ground advantage to FC is massive, Trninic has a different opinion.

“Everyone loves to come and play at Deakin Stadium as it is the best stadium in the ACT so I think it helps both sides.

“I do think it is a great ground that will help us play our attacking style of football.”

The sides clash at Deakin Stadium on Sunday 18 August with kick off at 3pm, while Belconnen United take on 7th placed Monaro PL at their home ground, McKellar Park, at the same time.