Canberra NPL: Canberra Olympic v Cooma Tigers
Cooma Tigers keeper Jack Pettit reacts after getting hit in the face. Photo: Jeffrey Chan
A second-half scoring spree lifted the Cooma Tigers to a 4-0 triumph but the title contenders lauded goalkeeper Jack Pettit's first-half courage for swinging the game in their favour.
The Tigers cemented their second-place standing with a 4-0 win against Canberra Olympic at O'Connor Enclosed on Sunday with super sub Julian Borgna netting two goals in the finals 15 minutes to seal the result.
But a bloodied Pettit changed the game in the first half when he bounced back from copping a powerful shot to the face to save a Mark Shields penalty.
The diving save instilled new confidence in Cooma and it ran away with the game in the second half.
Pettit is in his first season with the Tigers after leaving Tuggeranong down on confidence at the end of last year. And having to stop blood flowing from his nose before saving Shields' shot wasn't the first time the keeper has had to bounce back from injury.
"One time when I was 14, I broke four bones in my face when a guy from the other team got me with his knee," Pettit said.
"He was crying, he thought I was dead and they called the ambulance, my face was all over the place.
"So this one wasn't too bad, I always get blood noses. I didn't have time to get my hands up to the ball, so I made sure I took my time and it wouldn't have helped that [Shields] had to wait so long to take it."
Olympic was poised to strike first in the crucial Capital Football Premier League match.
One of its players was fouled in the box, but the ball dropped to Shields who try to smash it into the back of the net.
Pettit stood helplessly as the ball hit his face and blood started pouring from his nose.
The referee awarded the penalty to Olympic and Shields got a chance to put the ball in the net, but a composed Pettit dived to his right and tipped the shot wide.
Scores were locked at half-time, but the Tigers struck first after the break with attacking duo Stephen Domenici and Goran Josifovski giving the visitors a 2-0 lead.
The pair have now scored 14 goals between them this year and when Olympic pushed for equalisers, Borgna took advantage to put the result beyond doubt.
Belconnen and Cooma sit first and second respectively while Canberra FC, Olympic and Tuggeranong are fighting for top four spots.
"We hit the cross bar, we missed a penalty ... it changes the game, but we should have been better than that in the second half," Olympic coach Frank Cachia said.
"We weren't at our best, we made too many mistakes and Cooma are a good side who run riot if you let them go."
AT A GLANCE
COOMA TIGERS 4 (J Borgna 2, S Domenici, G Josifovski) bt CANBERRA OLYMPIC 0. Other games: Canberra FC 6 bt Monaro Panthers 2, Belconnen United 2 bt Woden Valley 0.