Canberra Olympic 4 Belconnen United 2
Belconnen United vs Canberra Olympic
Belconnen United player Jack Green tries to break through the Canberra Olympic defence during the match at Deakin. Photo: Jeffrey Chan
CANBERRA OLYMPIC has come from a goal down to set up a mouth-watering grand final rematch with Canberra FC.
Two years after Canberra FC emerged triumphant in a 13-goal epic, Olympic will get its chance for retribution after overcoming Belconnen United 4-2 in Saturday’s Canberra National Premier League preliminary final at Deakin Stadium.
A hat-trick from striker Mark Shields helped Olympic rally from a 2-1 deficit at the break to book its spot in the decider.
Olympic will be eager to turn around its 8-5 loss to Canberra FC in the 2011 decider when it faces the league champions at McKellar Park on Saturday.
Shields is enjoying a dream run in his first finals campaign after joining Olympic from Tuggeranong United.
“This is what I wanted to do when I came over to Olympic,’’ Shields said.
‘‘We didn’t do it the easiest way, but we got there. We’ve beaten Canberra FC before, but it’s always a close battle.’’
Olympic’s elation was in contrast to the devastation for Belconnen United. The Blue Devils went out in straight sets after finishing second at the end of the league campaign.
“I’m gutted,’’ Blue Devils coach Lou Gaspari said.
“At 2-1 up we thought we were good enough and confident we would fire up in the second half, but you’ve got to give full credit to Olympic. They wanted it more, and unfortunately that’s the way it goes. We spoke about desire and hunger, and it just didn’t look like we had it towards the end.’’
A frantic opening 20 minutes produced three goals as the Blue Devils jumped.
Shields gave Olympic the perfect start, controlling the ball on his chest and producing a neat volley into the bottom corner.
Dustin Wells reacted quickest to a rebound off the crossbar with a diving header to level the scores before Jack Green made the most of some lazy defensive marking on the back post to give the Blue Devils the lead.
Olympic came out of the half-time break full of intent, and within five minutes had the equaliser, Oliver Wiederkehr smashing a shot past keeper Ben Klug.
Shields did the rest, scoring his 22nd and 23rd goals of the season in the 63rd and 73rd minutes to put the result beyond doubt.
Olympic faces a selection headache, with classy midfielder Victor Yanes expected to be available after missing the preliminary final with work commitments.
CANBERRA OLYMPIC 4 (Mark Shields 10’ 63’ 73’, Oliver Wiederkehr 50’) bt BELCONNEN UNITED 2 (Dustin Wells 13’, Jack Green 18’) at Deakin Stadium on Saturday.