Canberra City snatches 90th minute equaliser to share spoils with Woden Valley

A 10-man Canberra City team snatched a 90th-minute equaliser to ensure an unbeaten start at its new home in Gungahlin.

Woden Valley appeared to have secured the three points when Regan Walsh broke the deadlock in the 86th minute, but 15-year-old Gimale Essacu produced a piece of magic to give City a share of the spoils at the new Gungahlin Enclosed Oval on Sunday.

Essacu bamboozled the Woden goalkeeper with a wonderful piece of skill as City overcame the sending off of Alan Gaston midway through the second half after his second yellow card.

The draw leaves both sides in the bottom half of the Canberra National Premier League table after a game that didn't reach any great heights until the final 10 minutes.

City coach Nick Palaygi believed it would have been an unfair result if his side hadn't come away with something from the game given the way it played after the break.

"It was a great game in the second half, but the first half was not of the same standard from either side,'' Palaygi said.


"When we went down to 10 men, we showed a lotĀ of character to keep playing positively and continue to attack aggressively.

"We got a reward of a point, but we were still disappointed we didn't get the three points from the match.''

It was City's first game at the Gungahlin Enclosed Oval, which is shared between soccer, rugby union, rugby league and Australian football, after previously playing on the synthetic surface at Hawker.

Meanwhile, Jack Blackley scored a brace as Belconnen United made it a perfect three from three to start the season with a 3-2 win against the FFA Centre of Excellence.

Canberra FC has back to back wins after thumping Tuggeranong United 7-0 at Deakin Stadium, while Canberra Olympic was just as impressive in belting Monaro Panthers 6-1.