Lions FC are one win away from claiming the crown of Australia’s National Premier Leagues (NPL) Champions, following a tough penalty shootout win over Heidelberg United in the Semi Final at Lions Stadium last night.
The NPL Queensland Premiers and Champions will now play the winner of the second Semi Final between Campbelltown City SC (SA) and Sydney Olympic FC (NSW) in the NPL Grand Final, which will be held over 29/30 September (details TBC).
Nathan Shepherd opened the scoring for Lions in the 20th minute before Heidelberg’s Sean Ellis equalised in the 73rd minute, after the away side were reduced to 10 men following a red card to Harry Noon.
Extra time then a penalty shootout was required to determine which side would go through to the Grand Final and it was Lions goalkeeper Luke Borean who again proved the hero – saving two penalties and scoring another to send Lions through to the national decider.
The NPL Finals Series brings together the eight teams who finished top of their respective NPL standings at the end of their regular seasons to determine Australia’s best NPL side.
The winner of the NPL 2018 Finals Series will receive automatic entry into the FFA Cup 2019 Final Rounds, providing an added incentive for the eight clubs taking part.
POINTS SYSTEM TO DETERMINE HOSTS OF SEMI FINALS AND GRAND FINAL:
To determine the host Member Federation clubs for the Semi Finals and Grand Final, the following points system will apply.
- Win within normal time (i.e. 90 minutes) = 3 points
- Win during extra time = 2 points
- Win on penalties = 1 point
- Goals scored by home team (excluding penalty shootouts) = 3 points
- Goals scored by away team (excluding penalty shootouts) = 4 points
- Goals conceded (excluding penalty shootouts) = -1 point
- Yellow cards = -1 point; and
- Red cards = -3 points
The host of the Grand Final will be determined by the club with the highest accumulation of points across the Elimination Finals and Semi Finals.
Image: Alison Langevad/Football Queensland