Round 18 Wrap up | 2019-2020 Macron SFL WA7 min read
An intriguing round of futsal with movement within the Top 6 & amongst the chasing pack.
Perth Longobarda FC 1 – 0 Joondalup ECU Jets
Friday Night Lights at Pro Futsal Bibra Lake, with Round 18 of the Macron State Futsal League opening with Longobarda completing the double over Joondalup in a surprisingly low scoring encounter. After witnessing a 12 goal thriller in Round 5, combined with the return of Alex Kretowicz for Longobarda & Paul Grant for ECU, expectations were high for another goal-laden match. But the standouts in this match were the goalkeepers – Ricardo Louro stood firm all match for Longobarda, whilst Alex Collier & Alex Donev excelled for The Jets. Jan Cok scored the solitary goal of the match, but, in controversial fashion, referee Lachlan Mcalindon ruled out a late equaliser to Joondalup for a moving ball violation. With their 2nd victory in a row, Longobarda jumped to 4th on the ladder.
Rockingham Cambio Cumbre FC 6 – 1 South Perth FC
One of the matches of the weekend, with Rockingham (3rd) defeating a star-studded South Perth (8th) with a clinical performance. In a mouth-watering encounter, expectations were high as South Perth had welcomed interstate recruit Jamie Dib (Mountain Majik, NSW) 3 weeks earlier, and had added Rhys Buick & George Lethbridge (Gold Coast Force, QLD) to their roster. But it was Cumbre who did themselves & the rest of the Top 6 a favour by outwitting the ambitious South Perth. Academy product Kylan Watson opened the scoring in the 8th minute with a fine finish, only for Buick to equalise with a thunderbolt 8 minutes later. Two late goals to Spanish sensation Raul Sanchez & Michael Lino rattled South Perth & blew the match wide open. A 2nd from Sanchez early in the 2nd half, along with late goals from stalwart Nestor Fonseca & mid-season transfer Mason Vojdani completed the rout. Back to the drawing board for head coach Roberto Boi to see how quickly he can fit all the new pieces together in what is now a Galacticos squad at South Perth.
Cockburn EWA FC 5 – 2 Fremantle FC
The final match of a captivating Friday evening of futsal saw a full-strength Cockburn (5th) return to form with a resounding 5 star performance. Fremantle (6th) had come into this match high on confidence as the form side of the competition, but EWA tore them apart with a 4 goal 1st half. Fremantle won the 2nd half 2-1 but it was too little too late against a rampant Cockburn who took an early late through Alex Gamble. A double from inspirational talisman Stefan Cvijanovic on his return from injury appeared to drive his team. With a clean shaven Mark Gavranic also on the scoresheet, confidence appeared to be buzzing through the side. Fremantle’s own talisman Danilo Neves responded in the 2nd half, and a late goal from academy product Jake Pizzuto showed why Fremantle are lauded for the way that they employ the 5th man tactic.
Byford Venom FC 3 – 4 Spearwood Lions FC
An absorbing encounter opened the Saturday afternoon list of fixtures, with Byford (13th) falling just short against finals-chasing Spearwood (7th). The Lions completed the double over Byford to continue their march up the table with a starring performance from talisman Jamal Yusof. Yusof opened the scoring midway through the 1st half, only for Byford’s very own defensive rock Brodie Stevens to equalise a minute later. With the scores tied at half-time, Byford had hopes of securing their 2nd victory of their 1st campaign in the SFL. But an early 2nd half goal from Bakr Al-Qaraghuli and a late double from Yusof to complete his hattrick gave Spearwood what appeared to be a comfortable game-winning lead. Only for The Venom to score 2 goals in the final stock-clock minute via Brandon Vander Ros & Stevens with his 2nd of the match, to push The Lions all the way to the end. A fine match ended with Spearwood now leading the chasing pack, 5 points outside the Top 6.
Canning Ultra Tigers FC 2 – 4 Curtin Footbalista FC
Canning (14th) have shown a marked improvement in recent weeks, and, once again took a half-time lead via Shaz Ramlee against more fancied opponents Curtin (12th). The returning Farzam Mehrabi restored parity early in the 2nd half, only for Lucas Alonzo to give The Ultra Tigers hope of their maiden victory with 11 minutes remaining. But, as with earlier in the season, the final 10 minutes proved difficult for Canning with a 2nd from Mehrabi & singles to Abdullah Alsahli & player-coach Saeed Danesh securing Curtin’s 4th victory of a difficult season. Footbalista narrowed the gap to ECU to 2 points, whilst Canning remain rooted to the bottom of the table, alas with signs of improvement for next season.
Balga FC 4 – 1 Perth AFC
Two sides that have blown hot & cold this season collided in a match that should have been closer than the final result, except that AFC were missing 6 players. Balga (9th) reminded the league that when they have their full squad, they are a threat to any team. And they flew out of the blocks with a 4 star 1st half performance; goals from Conor O’Driscoll, Luke Ross & a cracking double from Gideon Servatius was the welcome that returning captain Luqman Sayyed was looking for. AFC, to their credit, responded in the 2nd half with a goal from mid-season transfer recruit Luke Palmateer & effectively won the 2nd half, but it was too late to affect a result that appeared certain once the team lists had been announced. Balga rekindled their fading finals hopes with the win, and are now 6 points outside the Top 6.
Stirling Braza Ginga FC 2 – 3 Murdoch Warriors FC
A clash of 2 titans closed out Round 18 of the Macron State Futsal League and what a battle the leading sides of the competition put on. Stirling came into this match 6 points behind Murdoch, but with a match-in-hand, and in full knowledge that a 2nd victory against The Warriors this season would put their premiership hopes in their own hands. Murdoch, for their part, were looking to avenge their early season drubbing by Braza & to put daylight between them and the chasing pack. A high quality encounter ensued, with end-to-end action & Ashley Green starring in the Stirling goal. A tight 1st half saw Claudio Tavares give Braza a halftime lead with hist customary back post tap in. Murdoch thundered back into the match with Justin Pearce & Justin Tang turning the game on its head early in the 2nd half to give The Warriors a 2-1 lead. Talisman AJ Martino restored parity, and the large crowd were on tenterhooks as the match ebbed & flowed until a Massimo Basolu special settled the match-of-the-season. Credit to both sides who turned up late on a Saturday night to delight & thrill the viewing audience.