ANU FC knocked out of Australia Cup
By Tom Kersten
A tough game for ANU Football Club saw them knocked out of the Australia Cup, losing 0-5 to National Premier League (NPL) team Monaro Panthers.
On Wednesday night, ANU FC faced 3rd place NPL team Monaro Panthers in a Quarter-Final clash in the preliminary rounds of the Australia Cup.
ANU FC – who are currently 2nd in the Territory’s second division – had previously defeated Weston Molonglo FC 0-9, in the Cup’s previous round.
Rain started pouring down at the Australian Institute of Sport just before kick-off with the game getting underway at 19:05. ANU struggled to get the ball in the early minutes of the game, with Monaro dominating much of the possession.
Despite several early chances, ANU Keeper Keegan Jackson kept the ball out of the net with some great saves.
Just as ANU was starting to get into the game, Monaro opened the scoring in the 9th minute with a header after a cross from the right wing. Despite getting a touch of the slippery ball, Jackson was unable to prevent the goal.
ANU struggled to create any chances, with Monaro putting on pressure as soon as ANU got the ball.
Sixteen minutes in, ANU got its first good chance to score, with a great pass by Jackson reaching Carl Hynes who put in a cross from the left wing, which ANU’s number 7 headed just wide of goal.
This big chance seemed to mark a change for ANU, with the team getting more time on the ball. However this possession didn’t see any goal opportunities. A foul in the 23rd minute had ANU’s Alasdair Moore put in a dangerous cross into the box which unfortunately was not met by any ANU player.
Only minutes later, Monaro doubled its lead with a corner landing awkwardly for ANU’s defence, resulting in a tight scuffle in front of the keeper which ultimately led to a goal.
Monte Grace hit the ball from well outside the box but was unable to trouble the Monaro keeper in the 28th minute, keeping the score to 0-2.
A mistake in the ANU midfield saw Monaro pounce on the ball, with a shot from inside the box beating the keeper making the score 0-3. Only two minutes later, another error in the midfield resulted in a Monaro corner which despite a great save by Jackson and help from the cross-bar – landed in front of a Monaro player who was able to put the ball in the back of the net.
ANU ended the first half well with Chase Dean shooting the ball from outside the box, with Monaro’s keeper unable to keep hold of the ball before being cleared by Monaro defenders.
A crucial 1v1 chance for ANU’s striker was stopped by a Monaro defender, who put in a rough challenge, earning him a yellow card. The resulting free kick was taken by Dean who put it over the four man wall but was just wide of the goal.
Another free kick for ANU was the final play of the half, with Deans’ cross into the box headed away by Monaro. A score of 0-4 at half-time saw a tough challenge ahead for ANU in the second half.
As if a carbon copy of the first half, the rain started pouring down as soon as the second half started. Unlike the first half, ANU managed to get good possession of the ball early on, with a cross by Moore nearly meeting an ANU head in Monaro’s box.
In the 54th minute, ANU’s defender Bruno Melo made a goal saving block on the goal line denying Monaro their fifth goal, after keeper Jackson was beaten by a Monaro player.
ANU’s Tim Lopez made a big impact coming off the bench, with his energy showing during a tough game for ANU. However, despite getting hold of the ball more, ANU was unable to create dangerous chances.
The 81st minute saw ANU have a big chance, substitute Liam Neeson found Max Mottl, who crossed it into the box. The ball headed onto goal by Grace, saved by Monaro’s keeper.
With only five minutes left, two Monaro players combined well creating a clear shot on goal, which was converted, making the score 0-5.
A late chance by Mottl went just wide of the left post, keeping the final score to 0-5.
The club’s focus will now turn back to the league with an away game against Tuggeranong United scheduled for Sunday afternoon.
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