A super late strike from Fabian Iacovelli propelled Kemblawarra to a 1-0 preliminary final victory over Wollongong Olympic on Sunday which set up the Fury’s third straight decider.
After a scrappy 87 minutes in driving rain at Crehan Park, Iacovelli produced a moment of magic to score the match winner.
The classy attacker was five yards outside the box when he jinked off his right foot before firing a lovely left foot effort past Olympic keeper Hayden Durose.
The goal sets up an exciting grand final clash with Albion Park White Eagles next weekend. It also gives the Fury the chance to atone from last season’s grand final defeat at the hands of Wollongong United and the opportunity to complete an impressive title double in 2016.
Fury coach Luke McGuire was pleased his men would get that chance.
“I think it was one of those things were it would have been disappointed if the team who were the best team over the year aren’t in the big show,” he said.
“The boys have worked really hard and I am proud of them.”
Battling wet and slippery conditions, Kemblawarra had to fight hard against an Olympic outfit who shaded their rivals on clear cut opportunities.
Japanese striker Yusuke Ueda looked the most likely for Olympic.
He put a half-volley just over the crossbar in the 27th minute and was a constant menace in attack.
After heading into the sheds level, Olympic came out eager to break the deadlock early in the second.
Hard-working striker Kyle Hazebroek had an effort clear off the line in 47th minute and Andrej Gacesa had a half-volley from range cleanly handled by Fury keeper David Poeira a quarter of an hour later. Ueda’s best opportunities came in a ten minute spell in the second half but neither provided the valuable goal.
First he lost control at the crucial moment on the counter-attack before he fired his effort straight at Poeira in the 82nd minute.
The Fury, who had positive patches in possession without creating major chances in the second half, finally made Olympic pay for their wastefulness through Iacovelli with stoppage time looming.
“We haven’t scored in about three games now so to get one in the back of the net in normal time was very pleasing to be fair,” McGuire said.
“I thought knocked the ball around quiet well today. I really didn’t think they were trying to do too much.
“They were lumping it forward with the two big boys up front that really caused problems. For us, the way we tried to play for football and the way we kept fighting right to the end, was pleasing.”
Olympic coach Rob Birkin was left to rue his side’s missed opportunities.
“If we take our chances we probably win the game,” he said.
“It was one of those games; nip and tuck. Whoever took their half chance when it arose was going to get away with the game. They took it towards the end there and fair play to them.”