CF PS4 NPL Rd 8 Match Report: Late Barnett equaliser breaks Canberra FC hearts

Barnett Celebration
Football Federation Australia Centre of Excellence 3 (Muratovic 54', Brooks 75', Barnett 82') - Canberra FC 3 (Subasic 4', Brown 32', 72')

With only eight minutes left to play, FFA Centre of Excellence midfielder Jay Barnett broke the Canberra FC faithful’s hearts, firing the ball past goalkeeper Sam Brown into the back of the net to complete a spectacular comeback, securing a 3-3 draw.

As good as it was to score the equaliser, Barnett stressed the most important thing was that his side got something out of the game after being two goals down.

“We can be very confident heading in to our next games as we know we have the ability to get something out of the game even if we are not at our best,” said Barnett.

“Hopefully we can improve and try to put in better performances to win games and to try and push ourselves up the table."

Canberra FC came out the stronger of the two sides and found themselves ahead early when Daniel Subasic scored.

Thomas James put the visitors two goals to the good soon after with a thumping shot that sent the ball past goalkeeper Jordan Griffiths.

The FFA Centre of Excellence went into the break with their backs against the wall but came out stronger side in the second half after some inspiring words from coach Tony Vidmar.

Murza Muratovic continued his rich vain of form, securing his sixth goal in as many games to put the home side within a goal of the league leaders.

With his second goal of the game, Thomas James restored Canberra FC’s lead but it counted for little as substitute Lleyton Brooks scored just two minutes after coming on, thanks to a calamity of errors from Canberra FC goalkeeper Sam Brown.

When Michael Aikon Mensah received his second yellow card of the game, hopes of a FFA Centre of Excellence comeback were elevated.

The stage was sent for a late equaliser and when the visitors switch off after a disallowed goal. The young FFA Centre of Excellence side leaped on the chance.

From the resulting free-kick captain Joel King played the ball to Louis D’Arrigo, who ran half the length of the field before finding Jacob Italiano.

Without hesitation the winger delivered a pinpoint, lofted through ball to Barnett, who was streaming into the box.

With one touch to bring the ball down and another to fire it into the bottom left land corner of the Canberra FC net, Barnett sent FFA Centre of Excellence players, staff and supporters into pandemonium.

The stalemate means Tony Vidmar’s side remain in fourth place on the 2017 PS4 National Premier League ladder, sitting six points behind league leaders Canberra FC while having played two games less.