NPL 1 Grand Final: The Key Moments

Richmond ended a tremendous 2015 season with massive cherry on top, a 2-1 Grand Final victory over Bulleen Lions on Sunday Night.

Here are the key moment throughout the 90 minutes that impacted the game.

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13′ Sami Nour beats the offside trap and tucks home a nice finish. 1-0 Lions
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18′ Nour is through on goal again! But his shot is saved this time by Rossi

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42′ Cahilll mistimes his freekick and it rolls harmlessly into the hands of Bulleen goalkeeper Sardelic

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63′ Andrew Mullett receives his second yellow card; Bulleen down to 10 men

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68′ Catalano dances his way into the heart of the Lions defence and is tripped up; PENALTY!

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70′ Cahill smashes home the resulting spot kick. All square 1-1

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75′ Caniglia swings a cross in from the right finds Catalano with an open net but Sardelic makes it remarkable save

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87′ Cahill get through on goal and coolly slots home the winner for Richmond!

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Bulleen 1 – 2 Richmond

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NPL 1 WEST: The Equation

Two Rounds to go, six points up for grabs.
Two teams can still win the league
Four sides battling for second place.
The top six all play each other

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Bulleen sits atop the NPL 1 VIC West table six points clear and one foot into the NPL in 2016 BUT…

They play second placed Ballarat this Saturday and on the final day of the league travel to Moreland City who are in fourth spot after coming back from 2-0 down to defeat Melbourne Victory 3-2 last weekend. Plenty of football still to be played!

Before thinking about round 28, let’s look at the fixtures that matter this weekend and what need to happen for whom for the race for the title and promotion.

 

Round 27 Fixtures:

(1) Bulleen vs Ballarat (2)

(3) Moreland Zebras vs Melbourne City (5)

(6) St.Albans vs Moreland City (4)

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Bulleen vs Ballarat

Off to the Veneto Club first; a win or a draw for Bulleen will crown them NPL 1 West champions for 2015. Simple

An away win for Ballarat will keep them in the hunt for the title. A win will also knock both Melbourne City and Moreland City out of the battle for second place and a playoff spot for promotion even if both teams win on the weekend.

 

Zebras vs City

Melbourne City need to win and only a win and hope Ballarat lose
If the Zebras win and Ballarat lose to Bulleen they will overtake the Red Devils into second.

If Zebras lose and Ballarat win, they’ll be four points adrift with one game to play. Game over for the Zebras.

A draw will be enough to keep the battle for second alive through to Round 28 although they will need Ballarat to lose next week.

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St.Albans vs Moreland City
Moreland City’s goal difference is 14 worse than Ballarat’s and 27 less than the Zebra’s meaning they must overtake them outright. City need to make up 4 points on the Red Devils and at least three points on their cross town rivals in the next two games.

Moreland need to win and hope Ballarat lose stay in the hunt for promotion

If Moreland draw they need Ballarat to lose to Bulleen and for Moreland Zebras to lose or draw to Melbourne City

If Moreland City lose then it’s lights out for City.

 

There you have it, big weekend of football to be played. Let’s see who’s still alive on Monday and what’s left to play for!


 

 

Photographs Matt Johnson (Header), Bruno Silverii and Mark Avellino

Wembley Holds the Key To NPL success

In July it appeared Melbourne Victory had all but sealed the NPL 1 East title and automatic promotion, they were eight points ahead of Richmond SC, two wins clear of Kingston and a Barcelona-like goal difference.

Now in late August with three games to play they remain just one win ahead of Richmond after winning only two of their past five matches.

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Second placed Richmond SC on the other had are in season best form, winning seven of their past nine games including a 4-0 thrashing of Victory at Kevin Bartlett Reserve in round 24. They’ve scored nine goals and conceded just one their last three games and seemed to be gelling perfectly at the right time of the year.

The other form side of league is Box Hill United. One loss in 12 starts has seen Greg Kassidas’ side jumped into the top four of the NPL 1 East and now sits just two points behind third place Kingston City. Box Hill will have a big part to play in how the top of the table looks after 28 matches, United play Richmond in Round 27 and Melbourne Victory the following week on the final match day. Both title contenders will need to be at their best to defeat Box Hill at Wembley… Park.

The equation of Melbourne is simple, win two of the last three games and the title is theirs. Victory has three tricky encounters to finish the season; on Saturday afternoon they’re up against fourth placed (NPL 1 West) Moreland City followed by a long away trip to Albury-Wodonga to play Murray and then Box Hill. Eighth placed Murray should be a lock for Victory, their 9-1 destruction of the northern Victorian team should give them a lot of confidence, however a long away trip is a long away trip and anything could happen. The final game against Box Hill looks like their toughest on paper, United’s current form is championship worthy and on the last game of the season they will leave nothing on the pitch in front of their home fans.

11270448_1131148283577404_380951327434890918_oRichmond’s final trio of games starts in Sunshine, although the forecasts predicts anything but. They will need to be at their best to take home all three points as George Cross are in good form, winning 16 points from a possible 21 over the past two months which included a 2-1 win over Melbourne Victory. Richmond SC then face in-form Box Hill at Wembley and finish up with another away trip to Springvale White Eagles who currently sit 9th having accumulated a disappointing nine points thus far.

Richmond must win all three games have any chance of leap frogging Victory and with their current form it will be no surprise if they do.

Melbourne Victory are still the clear favourites to clinch the NPL VIC 1 East title but will need to do it in the next two weeks as a final round at Box Hill needing a win is all too risky.

… But it would make for a show stopping end to the season.


Saangpi Suan

Photography: Matt Johnson