Round 22 Wrap up | 2019-2020 Macron SFL WA6 min read
After a 3 month hiatus, the Macron State Futsal League returned on Friday night with Round 22 featuring a lot of exciting action & some surprises. The Top 6 positions are well & truly still in the mix with 4 rounds to play, as the players & fans (online) returned with much fanfare.
Rockingham Cambio Cumbre FC 6 – 4 Perth AFC
Rockingham (2nd) continued where they left off prior to the Covid-19 enforced break, with a commanding victory over a gallant Perth AFC (10th). Despite missing Spanish sensation Raul Sanchez (back in Spain) and charismatic leader Nestor Fonseca (injured), Cumbre flew out of the blocks with 1st half goals from Mason Vojdani, Ben Thorpe (on debut), Tyler Garner & an own goal giving them a commanding 4-1 lead at half-time. AFC’s solitary response coming from captain Nathan Thorp. Head coach Rob Caruso’s half-time talk inspired AFC who came out fighting in the 2nd half to trouble Cumbre with goals from Kevin Higgins & a late double from returning spearhead Andrija Jukic. Ben Thorpe’s 2nd goal, in an inspired debut, and Faris Noor Rani rounded out the scoring for the impressive Rockingham, who jumped up to 2nd on the ladder & are now the form side of the competition.
Byford Venom FC 0 – 2 Joondalup ECU Jets
Joondalup (11th) turned their form around & completed the double over a valiant Byford (13th) in a physical yet absorbing encounter. Maiden goals from Joshua Green and Jordan Geenacker either side of half time sealed this match for The Jets. Head coach Felipe Testa would have been pleased with ECU’s 2nd shutout of the season. Despite battling hard for long period, Byford we unable to pierce Joondalup’s solid defence & goalkeepers. A missed opportunity for The Venom to continue their pre-Covid-19 form, as their coach Ray Vanderross later acknowledged.
South Perth FC 5 – 2 Spearwood Lions FC
The match-of-the-night, a massive 6 pointer that was as good in real life as we had expected in the previews. South Perth (7th) outlasted Spearwood (8th) in a blistering end-to-end encounter. The Lions started with a flourish, taking an early lead via Dominic Ireland. Shortly after, it looked like doom & gloom for South Perth as they lost their enigmatic leader Roberto Armellini to a match-ending injury. But, player-coach Roberto Boi rallied the troops & Filip Rojnica & academy product James Toth responded to give South Perth a narrow half-time lead. With an early 2nd half double to claim his hattrick & man-of-the-match honours, Rojnica appears to take the tie away from Spearwood, but, Josh Ban responded to bring The Lions some hope. Toth completed his double late on to secure the tie, and maintain South Perth’s chase of the Top 6. After 5 successive victories had driven Spearwood back into contention, this loss all but mathematically put an end to those hopes.
Canning Ultra Tigers FC 1 – 9 Murdoch Warriors FC
Saturday afternoon’s futsal festivities began with title-chasing Murdoch (1st) returning from the Covid-19 break & returning to winning ways to extend their stranglehold on the top spot to 5 points. Canning (14th) were outmatched as The Warriors put on a counter-attacking clinic. Doubles from Joel Di Toro, Aaron Abreu, Massimo Basolu & captain Mauricio Da Rocha, along with a single from Masoud Sharif Kanani meant that the result was never in doubt. The Ultra Tigers’ solitary response came from Hezairee Sharizan, as their preparations for next season resumed after a 3 month unprecedented break.
Curtin Footbalista FC 1 – 9 Fremantle FC
Fremantle (6th) continued their march to another finals campaign, with a 9-1 technical dismantling of Curtin (12th). With South Perth hot on their heels, Fremantle started with purpose scoring 3 goals in the opening 3 minutes. They finished with doubles from former MVP Danilo Neves, Daniel Muzzarelli & academy product Jake Pizzuto, along with singles from player-coach Luke Tidy, captain Liam Cummins & goalkeeper extraordinaire Frank Del Rosso. Footbalista’s solitary response came from Gorkem Coskun. The victory kept Fremantle 2 points ahead of South Perth (7th), whom they face in another tantalising 6 pointer in Round 23 this weekend.
Cockburn EWA FC 4 – 7 Balga FC
The clash of the entertainers lived up to the billing, with Cockburn (5th) falling to a rampant Balga (9th). Balga avenged their loss in the reverse fixture, with a determined & focused performance. Young gun Luke Ross opened the scoring half-way through the 1st half with a stunning strike, to add to his collection of worldies this season. The ever reliable Deklan Burdle equalised for EWA seconds before the break. The floodgates opened in the 2nd half, with both sides trading blows & man-of-the-match Graham Dixon scoring a hattrick. He was well supported by Adam Mangion with a double & captain Luqman Sayyed with another for the highlights reel. Alec Kukic did his best with a double for Cockburn, along with a goal from the irrepressible Mark Gavranic. But it was not enough, as EWA slumped to a surprising defeat that drags them back into the fight to maintain a grip on a finish in the Top 6. Balga, on the other hand, revived their slim mathematical chance of playing finals in only their 2nd season in the SFL.
Stirling Braza Ginga 1 – 2 Perth Longobarda FC
The match-of-the-round witnessed another surprise, with defending champions Stirling (3rd) falling to surprise packets Longobarda (4th). Braza had been grinding out results in recent rounds, but in Longobarda, they found a well-coached opponent who implemented their Brian Watkins inspired plans to perfection. After a cagey opening, Longobarda took the lead halfway through the 1st half via captain Remo Capitani. And, despite having their founder & talisman Victor Brauner back from injury, Stirling struggled to open up the tight Longo defence. And when they did get past the defence, they found goalkeeper Ricardo Louro in inspired form. Longobarda doubled their lead halfway through the 2nd half via Cristiano Dos Santos, to force Braza coach Thiago Mesquita to call a timeout and use the ace up his sleeve; 5th man, or fly-keeper. With the added player on the court, Stirling were able to fashion more opportunities, from which Rob Ftynogiannis managed to reduce the deficit. But Longo held on for a famous victory, to lift themselves up to 4th on the ladder and cement their position in the Top 6.