By ANTE JUKIC
Dandenong Thunder 1-1 Oakleigh Cannons (4-5 on pen), Green Gully 3-1 Northcote City
|THE WEEKEND STORY
Oakleigh caused a boilover last Friday, edging minor premiers Dandenong on penalties and booking a place in their second-consecutive VPL grand final. The Cannons rode their luck deep into extra-time after the Thunder's Ross Thompson turned the ball into his own net, but Nate Foster's equaliser still could not force a result. The Thunder will this weekend come up against Green Gully, who will now look to make it a repeat of last year's grand final, after they ran out comfortable 3-1 victors over Northcote on Sunday.
Elimination final: Bentleigh Greens 0-1 Northcote City
Qualifying final: Oakleigh Cannons 2-0 Green Gully
Major semi-final: Dandenong Thunder 1–1 Oakleigh Cannons (4-5 pen.)
Minor semi-final: Green Gully Cavaliers 3–1 Northcote City
Dandenong Thunder – Green Gully
Oakleigh Cannons v Winner PF
17 – Luke Sherbon (Dandenong Thunder)
12 – Nate Foster (Dandenong Thunder)
11 - Nick Hegarty (Hume City)
10 – Tom Cahill (Richmond)
9 – Ricky Diaco (Northcote City)
|PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
After narrowly going down to Oakleigh the week before, the reigning champions bounced back in convincing fashion in their 3-1 win over Northcote City. Last week's loss, in reality, belied Green Gully's knack of clicking in the latter stages of VPL seasons. Most Victorian football fans have all seen this late-season charge before, but if regular-season form is anything to go by it will take some effort for them to go any further, with the Thunder taking both fixtures out 3-0.
In spite of the drama of this year’s finals series, news surrounding the clubs who did not make the post-season has not stopped. While Melbourne Knights coach Andrew Marth was reportedly holding out on negotiations with the board, Michael Chatzitrifonos has parted ways with Richmond, along with rumours that president Helmut Kalitzki could also be out the door at Kevin Bartlett Reserve. In what can be seen as an end of an era, Chatzifronos' influence with a number of players at the club is not to be underestimated, and whether an exodus occurs remains to be seen.
6 – The number of goals Dandenong have put past Green Gully in their past two fixtures.
2 – The number of successive finals for Dandenong to go to penalties.
|TWEET OF THE WEEK (#VPL)
Yessar Daou @yesd25: "Congrats @PeterZois on a fantastic win tonight! All the best for the final #VPL #finals #oakleigh"