Ante Jukic takes you through all the action from the first week of finals in the Victorian Premier League, with Northcote City claiming the first upset
By ANTE JUKIC
Bentleigh Greens 0-1 Northcote City, Oakleigh Cannons 2-0 Green Gully
|THE WEEKEND STORY
Northcote City caused a minor upset on Friday, eliminating Bentleigh from the VPL finals series with their 1-0 win at Kingston Heath. Milos Lujic's header in the 85th minute proved the difference between the two sides, but it was Northcote who had to do without Paul Savio, who was sent off on the hour for his second bookable offence. On Sunday afternoon at Kingston Heath, Oakleigh claimed a valuable win both in terms of their finals campaign and confidence, defeating Green Gully 2-0 in a measured performance.
Elimination final: Bentleigh Greens 0-1 Northcote City
Qualifying final: Oakleigh Cannons 2-0 Green Gully
Major semi-final: Dandenong Thunder – Oakleigh Cannons
Minor semi-final: Green Gully Cavaliers – Northcote City
Loser SF1 – Winner SF2
Winner SF1 – Winner PF
17 – Luke Sherbon (Dandenong Thunder)
11 – Nate Foster (Dandenong Thunder), Nick Hegarty (Hume City)
10 – Tom Cahill (Richmond)
9 – Ricky Diaco (Northcote City)
|PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
Fighting off a number of teams for the last finals spot, Northcote showed they were not there to make up the numbers, making it to the second week with their 2-0 win over the more favoured Bentleigh. Milos Lujic has more than made a good account of himself this season, effectively replacing Trent Rixon, but Northcote’s performance was made all the more impressive given they were a man down for the concluding half-hour after Paul Savio's dismissal. Can they back it up this weekend, or will Green Gully bounce back?
The first weekend of the Victorian Premier League finals dished up what has come to be expected this time of year. The VPL is arguably the most competitive league in Australia, and the weekend's results proved it again. However, Dandenong's first appearance in the 2012 post-season will serve to clarify a rather muddled picture, despite the fact the Thunder and Oakleigh played out two draws in their regular season fixtures.
4 – The number of draws between Oakleigh and Dandenong in eight matches.
4 – Also the number of clean sheets Green Gully have been kept to in the past five weeks.
|TWEET OF THE WEEK (#VPL)
Tony Persoglia @dalmanac: "Bentleigh have never beaten Northcote in the #VPL"