Two mouth-watering clashes await in week one of this season’s National Premier Leagues (NPL) Queensland Final Series, with runners up Olympic FC facing Western Pride FC and Premiers Lions FC hosting Moreton Bay United FC for a place in this year’s Grand Final.
All NPL, NPLW and FQPL Finals Series matches will be livestreamed on Football Queensland Facebook and YouTube.
Olympic FC (2) v Western Pride FC (3)
Sunday, 2 September, 3:00pm
Olympic host Pride
Second-placed Olympic FC host third-placed Western Pride in the first semi-final of the National Premier Leagues (NPL) Queensland at Goodwin Park on Sunday afternoon.
Pride enter the do-or-die contest having lost their last two games of the regular season in a pair of narrow defeats.
Olympic, on the other hand, go into the clash victorious in their last six outings and having beaten Western Pride in both of the teams encounters this season.
The Yeronga-based club will also be boosted by the return of freshly-capped Afghanistan international Zelfy Nazary, who didn’t feature in the club’s Round 26 win over North Queensland United.
The last time these two sides faced off, Olympic FC prevailed 1-0 in a scrappy affair at Goodwin Park, with a moment of individual brilliance from former Brisbane Roar defender Matt Mundy all that separated the two sides.
On head-to-head results, Olympic will be favourites to take out the tie, however defending Champions Western Pride should not be written off as they came from third place to win the trophy last season.
Lions FC (1) v Moreton Bay United FC (4)
Sunday, 2 September, 7:00pm
Premiers welcome the Jets
Premiers Lions FC host fourth-placed Moreton Bay United at Lions Stadium on Sunday night for a place in this season showpiece game.
Lions FC roared to the Premiership this season, winning their last 14 consecutive games of the season and will be heavy favourites going into the clash.
However, Warren’s Moon side will have to back up from their 1-0 midweek loss to Adelaide United in the FFA Cup Round of 16.
The Jets’ route to finals football wasn’t as smooth as their more-fancied opponents, picking up a loss and a draw to go with a treble of wins in their final five matches.
Lions FC have the better head-to-head record as well, winning both of their encounters with Moreton Bay this season.
The two sides last did battle in Round 21 with Lions FC just edging out Moreton Bay 1-0 at home in that meeting. A sublime back-heel finish from Lions talisman Marek Madle enough to secure victory on that occasion.
Lions FC will be expected to be too strong at home for fourth-placed Moreton Bay, but their FFA Cup hangover could work in the visitors’ favour and go a long way to deciding this intriguing match up.
Words: Samuel Johnson
Image: Ian Judd