SFL 2018-2019 Round 30 wrap-up6 min read
With 4 rounds to go, opportunities for twists and turns were galore last weekend. But, true to form, the cream rose to the top & the Top 6 all secured crucial victories. Some though were too close for comfort. A whopping 58 goals were scored in the 6 encounters, ensuring that the level of entertainment was high all weekend.
The first match of the round, and the predicted Match-of-the-Round, ended with what appeared to be a comfortable 5-1 victory for Rockingham Cambio Cumbre FC versus Curtin Footbalista FC. But, the result was in question for long periods of the match. With 3 goals in the first 3 minutes of the match, Cumbre took a 2-1 lead into half-time. The score-line remained the same until late in the match, when Footbalista went 5th man to try to secure a result, but in the process allowed Rockingham to score more goals and safeguard the result. Curtin had to take the risk as the Cumbre defence had held them at bay. Nestor Fonseca took out Man-of-the-Match honours and returned to goal-scoring form with a hattrick, taking his season tally to an extraordinary 43 goals in 27 appearances.
Another match that was in the balance at half-time was Fremantle FC versus Balga FC, with the prior leading 2-0 at half-time. But, Fremantle blew the match wide open with a blistering start to the 2nd half and eventually ran out 7-3 winners in a high-scoring and entertaining match. Liam Cummins returned to blistering goal-scoring form with his first hattrick of the season, to take his season tally to 10 goals in 21 matches, and take out Man-of-the-Match honours. Fremantle’s return to their favoured 3-1 system certainly aided Cummins in his scoring endeavours. He was ably assisted by Moh Totonchy with a brace, to take his tally since his mid-season transfer to 8 goals in 13 appearances. Gabriel Kieswetter continued his blistering start to his State Futsal League career with another brace of his own, to reach 9 goals in only 10 appearances for Balga.
The final match on Friday evening saw Spearwood Lions FC trouble Stirling Braza Ginga FC for long periods before going down gallantly 4-5 in a highly entertaining encounter. Despite their low position on the ladder, Spearwood jumped out of the blocks and took an early lead. Braza came back to draw 1-1 at half-time. The Lions stayed in the match at 3-3 with 3 minutes remaining before Stirling’s late burst secured them a frantic 5-4 victory. The win keeps the pressure on Cockburn for the minor premiership. Chris Rocchi took out Man-of-the-Match honours with a thunderous hattrick, after sitting out the 2 previous matches for Braza. He now has 22 goals in 25 appearances this season. Javier Ramirez impressed with a brance for Spearwood, his first goals of the season.
The goal scoring & end-to-end excitement was not reserved for Friday… Saturday’s matches were even more exhilarating!
Perth AFC and Murdoch Warriors FC faced off for the 3rd time this season. After drawing the 2 previous encounters, a lot was expected of this match. And both sides rose to the occasion, putting on a classic! In a seesawing match, AFC took the lead, only for Murdoch to counter to lead 3-1 and for AFC to come back for a 3-3 draw at half-time. Murdoch once again took a 2 goal lead, jumping out of the blocks early in the 2nd half to lead 5-3. At which point AFC head coach Jon Bucolo called a time-out, reorganised & reenergised the side and once again they came back to 6-6, before eventually succumbing to a 6-7 defeat to a Murdoch side that looked good for most of the match, and held most of the possession, leaving AFC to rely on their lethal and effective counter-attacking strategy. The youngsters Justin Pearce (24 goals in 26 matches) and Joel Di Toro (9 goals in 11 matches) starred for Murdoch with a brace each. Whilst for AFC, Oscar Pit continued on his goal-scoring spree with 2 goals to take his season tally to 16 goals in only 14 matches.
In the 2nd match of the afternoon, Perth Longobarda FC jumped out of the blocks to take an early 5-0 lead over an error-ridden South Perth FC, eventually securing a comfortable 8-3 victory. Robert Armellini once again starred for Longobarda, this time scoring a hattrick as well, to take his season tally to 23 goals in 28 appearance. He was ably assisted by Luka Bergomi with a brace, the mid-season transfer from South Perth now has 11 goals in 15 appearances for Longobarda. For South Perth, Ivan Palermo continued on his extraordinary recent goalscoring spree, with another brace, to take him to 12 goals in only 15 appearances. He is proving to be the find of the season and is quickly becoming a Target Player to be feared and respected by all opponents.
The final match of the round was a highly entertaining seesawing affair between table topping Cockburn EWA FC and new-comers Joondalup ECU Jets, with EWA eventually running out winners by 5 goals to 4. The match was in the balance for long periods with Cockburn struggling to cope with ECU’s physical presence on the court. The Jets took an early lead and the match was evenly poised 2-2 at the half-way mark. But, as with previous matches this weekend, the more experienced sides took charge in the 2nd half of the matches, and that was repeated here with Cockburn taking a 5-2 lead and eventually securing a much-needed victory to maintain a 5 point gap over 2nd placed Stirling. With a long list of stars missing, Stefan Cvijanovic again starred for the defending champions with a brace, to take his season tally to 14 goals in 20 matches. Joe Higgins too was in superb form for Joondalup, also scoring a brace, and now has 27 goals in 27 appearances in his first season in the State Futsal League. It has certainly been a stellar campaign for Higgins.
With 3 rounds to go, Cockburn maintained a 5 point gap at the top. But they still have to face 2nd placed Stirling and 3rd placed Rockingham. The minor premiership is still on the line. Fremantle, Longobarda and Murdoch took steps towards securing their positions in the Top 6 with hard-fought victories, leaving Curtin in a precarious position; 2 losses in a row have seen them drop 4 points behind the 6th placed Warriors. The bottom 5 sides all lost and are still only 5 points apart, with 1 of them set to claim the dreaded wooden spoon. Join us next weekend as the action continues to heat up and the goals continue to flow..