Round 23 Wrap up | 2019-2020 Macron SFL WA7 min read
Another outstanding round of futsal, with several sides finding their goalscoring feet, and, for the first time ever, 3 clean sheets.
Perth AFC 9 – 2 Canning Ultra Tigers FC
AFC (10th) returned to winning form with a commanding display over a gallant Ultra Tigers (14th). Canning started brightly, with the ever present Afiq Mutalip scoring from a swift early attack. AFC replied quickly, with academy product Brandon Perera scoring on debut. 3 more goals from captain Nathan Thorp, Oscar Pit & Liam Ellison gave AFC a comfortable 4-1 lead at half-time. The 2nd half featured doubles from the impressive Andrija Jukic & super-sub Kevin Higgins, as well as a maiden SFL goal from another academy product Jak Attfield. Hariz Khairulnizam with the solitary response in the 2nd half for The Ultra Tigers, with club president & head coach Khalif Omar observing from the sidelines. AFC president & head coach Rob Caruso was pleased with the result and relieved that the long losing streak had come to an end. With both sides out of finals contention, they continued their planning & rebuild for next season.
Fremantle FC 8 – 2 South Perth FC
A season-defining 6 pointer saw Fremantle (5th) take the plaudits against a brave South Perth (7th). With the win Fremantle took a massive step towards cementing their place in the Top 6, now 5 points clear of 7th, although they still have 3 difficult matches to come in the regular season. South Perth, missing player-coach Roberto Boi, and with enigmatic leader Robert Armellini injured, though named on the bench, started nervously, conceding an early own-goal. Academy product Diego Florenca doubled the lead halfway through the 1st half, with South Perth’s Italian Stallion Moreno Cappello reducing the deficit shortly after. Benji Mikhael restored the 2 goal advantage for Fremantle, only for Victor See to reduce the deficit once again. But, 2 late goals, another own-goal & Mikhael’s 2nd, took Fremantle to the half-time lead to a commanding 5-2. Second half goals to Danilo Neves, Jake Pizzuto & goalkeeper Frank Del Rosso (his 2nd in 2 games!) bolstered the victory, and took Fremantle’s goal difference to +49, second only to Rockingham Cambio Cumbre. South Perth live to fight another day, due to Cockburn’s loss to Stirling.
Balga FC 10 – 2 Byford Venom FC
Balga (9th) came into this match high on confidence after their commanding victory over former SFL champions Cockburn. Byford (13th) did well to hold Balga at bay early, with goalkeeper Tom Amoraal in fine form. Mr Consistency Connor O’Driscoll opened the scoring for Balga, only for Joshua Heerema to respond for The Venom. Another special finish from teen sensation Luke Ross restored Balga’s lead, and, once Matt Dudek came on, it became the Dudek show, with 2 goals late in the 1st half giving Balga a commanding 4-1 half-time lead. 2nd half goals to Graham Dixon (2), Lachlan Ryan & Ega Dowling made it a comfortable victory in the end, with Matt Dudek adding a further 2 goals to take his match tally to 4 & man-of-the-match honours. Byford’s very own teen wiz Brandon VanderRos will the solitary response in the 2nd half, as Byford continue their rebuild for next season. With the victory, Balga maintained their mathematical chance of reaching finals, with 3 rounds to go.
Stirling Braza Ginga FC 3 – 0 Cockburn EWA FC
Saturday afternoon’s futsal festivities began with Stirling (3rd) returning to winning ways against a strong but surprisingly toothless Cockburn (6th). Braza had to battle hard for victory, with a double from veteran Thiago Mesquita giving them a commanding 2-0 lead at half-time. With the experienced Glenn Sheldon in goals, EWA found it difficult to find the net. Indeed, the highest scoring team in the competition, averaging 5+ goals per game, were kept scoreless for only the 2nd time this season. Connor Crews scored the only goal of the 2nd half with a thundering free-kick, his general play earning him man-of-the-match honours, as the injured Victor Brauner looked on from the sidelines. Brauner would have been impressed with his side’s response following their defeat to Longobarda in the previous round. Cockburn, on the other hand, have now dropped from 3rd to 6th with defeats in successive rounds since the restart following the unscheduled 3 month break due to Covid-19. They will need to return to form soon if they are to play finals futsal this season, with South Perth hot on their heels.
Perth Longobarda FC 6 – 1 Spearwood Lions FC
Longobarda (4th) continued their march towards another finals campaign, with a 6-1 tactical dismantling of a spirited Spearwood (8th). With the experienced Brian Watkins showing rare emotions on the sidelines, Longo started brightly with an early goal from Bruno Di Gregorio. If that did not calm their nerves, then further 1st half goals from the returning Alex Kretowicz and Cristiano Dos Santos certainly did. The Lions were unfortunate to lose Jamal Yusof to a quad/groin injury early in the match, although he returned later to see if he can help the team maintain the chances of finals futsal. But a 2nd half exhibition of speed from man-of-the-match Kretowicz (who added 2 goals to complete his hattrick), along with a customary contribution from captain Remo Capitani settled the outcome. The impressive goalscoring return of James Oldroyd not enough for Spearwood to be competitive against an unyielding Longobarda, who are timing their run to the finals to perfection.
Joondalup ECU Jets 0 – 4 Rockingham Cambio Cumbre FC
The form side of the competition, Rockingham (2nd) mathematically cemented their spot in the Top 6 with a challenging victory a gallant Joondalup (11th). Cumbre started on fire, forcing the in-form Alex Donev into a multitude of saves early on. But, with the early barrage not yielding a return, head coach Alex Lalovic introduced Ben Thorpe off the bench, and he proceeded to break the deadlock with his 1st shot, late in the half (his 3rd goal in 2 matches since making his SFL debut). Another academy product Michael Lino doubled the lead to give Rockingham a 2-0 half-time lead. Despite missing several players & their head coach Felippe Testa, ECU battled hard in the 2nd half. It took late goals from veterans Nestor Fonseca and Mason Vojdani to break their resolve. That was after they had a 1 man advantage for 2 minutes with the dismissal for foul play of the enigmatic Faris Noor Rani. But the Jets could not make that advantage count, and Cumbre showed their experience to run away with the match.
Murdoch Warriors FC 5 – 0 Curtin Footbalista FC
Murdoch (1st) continued their march towards the minor premiership, with another impressive victory over a brave Curtin (12th). Footbalista, already preparing for next season, had more depth on the bench this week, but ran into a Warriors side that has been in a punishing mood; making every opponent’s error & every opportunity count. 2 early goals from academy product Masoud Sharif and captain Mauricio Da Rocha settled this match. Late 1st half goals from Alex Basto & Devan Conry took Murdoch to a 4-0 half-time lead. A solitary Massimo Basolu goal in the 2nd half made it 5-0, although Curtin battled hard for a response, with Farzam Mehrabi and co. battling hard to get on the scoresheet. The win maintained Murdoch’s 5 point lead at the top with 3 rounds to go.