Round 21 Wrap up | 2019-2020 Macron SFL WA7 min read
Another mouth-watering weekend of futsal, with 2 of the Top 6 losing, the gap at the top narrowing to 3 points, 8 teams left in contention for a position in finals, Balga all but mathematically dropping out of the race, and Byford securing their 2nd victory in their maiden season in the SFL.
Joondalup ECU Jets 2 – 5 Cockburn EWA FC
The round opened with Joondalup (11th) falling to in-form Cockburn (3rd). EWA have hit a bright spark of form at the right end of the season, with 4 wins & a draw from their last 5 matches. And, despite a cagey 1st half in which Alex Collier excelled in goals for ECU, Cockburn went into the break with a narrow lead curtesy of Deklan Burdle. Brandon De Abreu & a 2nd from Burdle gave EWA what appeared to be an unassailable lead early in the 2nd half, only for The Jets to fly back into contention with a reply from Jimmy Fung. Mark Gavranic restore Cockburn’s 3 goal advantage, but, again, Joondalup came back with a strike from Joe Higgins. An exquisite piece of skill from man-of-the-match Alek Kukic rounded out the scoring late in the match to drive EWA up to 3rd on the ladder.
Spearwood Lions FC 5 – 0 Curtin Footbalista FC
Finals chasing Spearwood (8th) defeated Curtin (12th) to maintain the pressure on the Top 6. The Lions came into this match high on confidence & roared their way to a 4th win in a row. The match was a tighter than the scoreline, as Footbalista managed to restrict Spearwood to a 1-0 lead at half-time curtesy of the irrepressible Jamal Yusof. Yusof doubled the lead halfway through the 2nd half & shortly after, Curtin player-coach Saeed Danesh took a timeout in order to chase a result; to their credit, Footbalista played 5th man to try to get something out of the match. 3 late goals against the fly keeper secured the victory for The Lions with Spanish recruit David Vall Brossa & a double to local talent Kelechi Nmeni rounding out the scoring.
Murdoch Warriors FC 1 – 3 Rockingham Cambio Cumbre FC
The match-of-the-round saw table-topping Murdoch (1st) succumb to Rockingham (4th) in a highly entertaining encounter. The Warriors have impressed this season with their fast flowing style of futsal taking them all the way to the top. But in Cumbre they came up against a team that were keen on retaining some distance between them & the finals-chasing pack. And with 5 rounds to go, Rockingham remain 4 points ahead of South Perth (7th) & Spearwood (8th). For the 3rd match in a row in Round 21, a cagey 1st half ended with a solitary goal, scored early by the unstoppable Nestor Fonseca. Joel Di Toro equalised for Murdoch early in the 2nd half, only for academy product Kylan Watson to restore Cumbre’s lead from the restart. The match continued to ebb & flow, with timeouts from both sides resulting with The Warriors playing 5th man & creating a lot of late chances. Rockingham defended like ‘warriors’ themselves, and a late strike from Spanish sensation Raul Sanchez settled the match. Murdoch battled gallantly but it was not enough against their crafty opponents.
Perth Longobarda FC 3 – 7 South Perth FC
A contender for match-of-the-round, with in-form Longobarda (5th) falling to finals-chasing South Perth (7th). Longobarda came into this match as the form side of the competition having won their previous 4 matches. And took a 2 goal 1st half lead via strikes from Cristiano Dos Santos & Marco Tomassetti. South Perth responded with long periods of ball possession & several opportunities thwarted by the post & the expertise of Longobarda goalkeeper Ricardo Louro. It appeared to be a repeat of the previous Round, when South Perth struggled to finish their opportunities against Curtin, until, with the last touch of the half, academy product James Toth converted to cut the deficit to 2-1 at the break. That goal appeared to give South Perth momentum as they won the 2nd half 6-1 with a masterclass from Roberto Armellini (4 goals), and Filip Rojnica & Toth’s 2nd rounding out the scoring. Remo Capitani responded late on to no avail; South Perth completed the double over Longobarda to reassert their drive towards the Top 6.
Balga FC 1 – 3 Stirling Braza Ginga FC
A result that all but extinguished their finals aspirations, Balga (9th) lost to defending champions Stirling (2nd). Braza completed the double over a spirited Balga with classy goals from Moh Totonchy & Thiago Mesquita giving them an early lead. Matt Dudek responded late in the half to drive Balga back into the contest. A solitary 2nd half goal from Chris Rocchi concluded the scoring, as Stirling’s 3rd win in a row took them back within 3 points of table-topping Murdoch to reignite the race for the minor premiership with 5 rounds to go.
Perth AFC 1 – 2 Byford Venom FC
AFC (10th) and Byford (13th) played out another highly entertaining encounter with The Venom avenging their Round 8 loss to secure their 2nd victory in their maiden season in the SFL. AFC started with purpose, looking to overturn their recent run of poor form, with spearhead Martyn Sharpe giving them an early lead. Byford responded with Josh Heerema equalising a few minutes later. The scores remained tied until late in the 2nd half when Vaughan Audrain scored what looked like the winner. But, with 9 seconds to go, AFC were awarded a penalty for a hand ball inside the D. Tom Amoraal stood tall to save the spot kick & decide the match in a memorable moment for the veteran goalkeeper & his side.
Fremantle FC 5 – 2 Canning Ultra Tigers FC
Fremantle started the weekend in 6th position but found themselves down in 8th spot by the time they hit the court to take on a lively Canning. Knowing that anything but a victory will do, they started with focus & determination, taking a quick 2 goal lead after 2 minutes, with deadly strikes from their formidable captain Liam Cummins & academy product Benji Mikhael. Further 1st half goals from Jake Pizzuto & player-coach Luke Tidy gave them a comfortable 4-0 half-time lead. Stalwart & former MVP Danilo Neves made it 5-0 early in the 2nd half as a rout looked on the cards. But, to their credit, The Ultra Tigers battled back to score twice late on via Afiq Mutalip & Jules Leveque to add some respectability to the scoreline. Indeed, if not for some heroics by Frank Del Rosso in goals, Canning may have made the outcome more interesting. Ultimately, an important victory for Fremantle who returned to 6th on the ladder, 2 points ahead of South Perth & Spearwood.