Round 17 Wrap up | 2019-2020 Macron SFL WA6 min read
Perhaps the most competitive Round of matches so far in the 2019-2020 season, with some captivating games & extraordinary comebacks.
Murdoch Warriors FC 4 – 3 Balga FC
Table topping Murdoch extended their lead to 6 points with a tantalising victory over a spirited Balga. The Warriors complete the double over Balga with a massive contribution from their young brigade, with Justin Tang scoring a brace & Meysam Kanani & Joel Di Toro also on the scoresheet. Luke Ross responded for Balga in the 1st half to make it 1-1, and Lachlan Ryan made it 2-1 to Balga early in the 2nd half, but Murdoch took charge from there, and Conor O’Driscoll’s goal with 1 minute to play allowed Balga to believe in an equaliser which did not materialise. Balga dropped to 9th with their 3rd loss in a row leaving them 7 points outside the Top 6.
Fremantle FC 3 – 1 Stirling Braza Ginga FC
Fremantle avenged their Round 4 loss to Stirling & in the process consigned their opponents to their 1st defeat in 28 SFL matches. Fremantle jumped up to 3rd on the ladder, 4 points behind Braza, with a composed & commanding performance against the defending SFL champions. They took an early lead via club president Luke Tidy, with veteran Natta Narong doubling the lead with an opportunistic finish to give Fremantle a 2-0 lead at half-time. Braza battled hard in the 2nd half & cut the deficit in half with 5 minutes to play with a classic 5th man goal via Connor Crews. Academy product Jake Pizzuto restored the 2 goal lead late on to secure a memorable victory for the Fremantle faithful who turned up in numbers to watch this match.
Spearwood Lions FC 3 – 3 Cockburn EWA FC
The final match of a captivating Friday evening featured another engrossing encounter, with Spearwood staging an impressive comeback against Cockburn. EWA started on fire, with the imposing Alex Gamble giving them a 2-0 half-time lead. And when mid-season transfer recruit James Eustace made it 3 early in the 2nd half, memories of the Round 4 drubbing must have been reverberating. But, to their credit, The Lions came roaring back with goals from stalwart Jamal Yusof, mid-season recruit Amirali Azimi & the ever-present Chris Castro to complete the remarkable comeback. The draw dropped Cockburn from 4th to 6th, and with in-form 7th placed South Perth having a game-in-hand, EWA will want to return to their top form soon if they are to avoid missing the finals. Spearwood move up to 8th, only 6 points outside the Top 6.
Perth AFC 2 – 3 Joondalup ECU Jets
Joondalup turned the tables on AFC, in the process avenging the Round 4 defeat & eliminating their opponents’ finals prospects, with a hard-earned victory. A cagey 1st half ended in a 1-1 stalemate with Nathan Thorp & Joshua Bennett exchanging strikes. A brace by Jimmy Fung early in the 2nd half gave ECU a commanding 2 goal lead, and, as the tackles & chances flew by, it showed just how much this result meant to both sides & their supporters. A late 2nd from Thorp was not enough, as The Jets celebrated a famous victory. Joondalup’s 4th win of the season left AFC in 10th spot, 10 points behind Cockburn in 6th. With 9 matches to play, you could not help but wonder whether this was a missed final opportunity for AFC to secure a position in the Top 6.
South Perth FC 7 – 2 Byford Venom FC
Byford came into this match high on confidence, but it was South Perth who took charge from start to finish to re-emerge as finals contenders. Interstate recruit Jamie Dib starred for the 2nd match in a row, scoring a highly entertaining hattrick. The combination play between Dib & Robert Armellini (2 goals) sizzling at times. With Filip Rojnica & Luka Bergomi also on the scoresheet, South Perth have thundered back to form at the toe end of the season to find themselves 4 points outside the Top 6 with a game in hand. Byford can take some positives from the match with excellent strikes from Vaughan Audrain & Brandon Vander Ros, and some good counter-attacking play. But, it was the South Perth show from start to finish that has reignited their season.
Canning Ultra Tigers FC 4 – 5 Perth Longobarda FC
Canning were on their way to a famous victory over their more fancied opponents, before a late revival by Longobarda & some controversy saw them leave empty handed. Having started the match with purpose & determination, The Ultra Tigers took a 3-0 half-time lead via Lucas Alonzo, Shaz Ramlee & Jules Leveque. A heated 1st half featured 3 yellow cards & 2 red cards, with Scott Duffy (Longobarda) & Leveque receiving their marching orders. Jeevan Krishnan started the comeback with a goal early in the 2nd half. Remo Capitani made it 3-2 halfway through the 2nd half, only for Alonzo to restore the 2 goal lead for Canning with his 2nd of the match with 5 minutes to play. Longobarda’s 5th man play & experience gave them the edge in the closing stages as they scored 3 goals in the final 4 minutes to complete the unlikeliest of comebacks. A goal by Cristiano Dos Santos & a double by Krishnan (to complete his hattrick) secured the victory & 5th spot on the ladder. Canning can take heart from their performance, including the heroics of Trong Do in goals, and, with a little more composure, may have secured their 1st win of the season.
Curtin Footbalista FC vs Rockingham Cambio Cumbre FC