Round 24 Wrap up | 2019-2020 Macron SFL WA7 min read
Another exciting weekend of quality futsal with permutations running wild & high. Murdoch, Rockingham, Stirling, Longobarda & Fremantle are now
confirmed finalists, with 2 rounds to go. Cockburn will battle with South
Perth over the next 2 rounds to see who secures that last position in the
South Perth FC 3 – 3 Murdoch Warriors FC
Round 24 opened with a feisty & thrilling draw between two worthy
competitors. South Perth (7th) knew that they needed a result against table
topping Murdoch. Their talisman Filip Rojnica opened the scoring early in
the 1st half, only for The Warriors’ captain Mauricio Da Rocha to equalise
late in the half. Joel Di Toro made it 2-1 to Murdoch, and South Perth
captain Dilan Patel responded as the encounter heated up & the cards started flowing. Despite losing firebrand Luka Bergomi to a red card, South Perth took the lead once again with Rojnica bagging his 2nd of the match. Withseconds to go, Justin Tang equalised to give The Warriors a well earned
draw. The match ended but the yellow cards continued as both sets of players continued to have words with each other. The draw benefited South Perth, because of Cockburn’s loss. But Murdoch’s hold on the top spot is now tentative, with only 3 points & an inferior goal difference between them and Rockingham, with matches against Spearwood & Fremantle to come.
Spearwood Lions FC 1 – 3 Fremantle FC
A massive 6-pointer that all but extinguished Spearwood’s (8th) chances of
reaching finals this season, with the loss to a confident Fremantle (5th)
all but sealing their fate. Despite Fremantle controlling the early stages &
having the bulk of opportunities, it was The Lions’ talisman Jamal Yusof who opened the scoring late in the 1st half. Fremantle’s top scorer Danilo Neves responded in the final minute of the 1st half to give the in-form Fremantle the mental edge going into the half-time break.
Early 2nd half goals to academy products Benji Mikhael & Diego Florenca settled a tense encounter, with Fremantle securing their spot in the finals on the back of 4 victories in a row, 3 of which have come post the Covid-19 enforced 3 month break. Spearwood will rue the arrival of Covid-19, which cost them their momentum at the time, and also cost them the presence of their Spanish sensation David Vall Brossa who had formed a solid understanding with Yusof.
Curtin Footbalista FC 6 – 2 Perth AFC
Curtin (12th) avenged the defeat that they suffered at the hands of Perth
AFC (10th) in Round 11, with a commanding performance. AFC had returned from the Covid-19 enforced 3 month break in better form than Footbalista, and opened the scoring within a minute of the start with a goal from Liam Ellison. Curtin responded with a hattrick from man-of-the-match Omar Twalah, a double from Abdullah Alsahli & a single from Dara Dabiri to take a firm hold on the match. Kevin Higgins scored for the 3rd match in a row for AFC. A red card to the skilful Oscar Pit did not help AFC’s cause as head coach Rob Caruso grappled with several mystifying refereeing decisions. But, Footbalista deserved their victory, and, in the process, broke a 5 match winless streak as they continue their preparations for next season.
Canning Ultra Tigers FC 1 – 4 Joondalup ECU Jets
Saturday afternoon’s futsal festivities began with Canning (14th) falling
to a vibrant & vigilant Joondalup (11th). The Ultra Tigers did well to hold
The Jets at bay for the first quarter of the match. But, once head coach
Felipe Testa started using his subs, Joshua Green came on to score the
opener, and Jordan Geenacker doubled the advantage towards the end of the 1st half. With ECU looking to complete the double over a gallant Canning, Green scored 2 more in the 2nd half to complete his hattrick & take out man-of-the-match honours. Yusri Rosley scored a consolation late on, a deserved response for the effort put in by an understrength Ultra Tigers outfit.
Rockingham Cambio Cumbre FC 4 – 2 Balga FC
A contender for match-of-the-round, with two of the form sides of the
competition colliding in a season-defining match for Balga (9th), who bowed out of finals contention with a combative performance. Early goals to Tyler Garner & Mason Vojdani set the tone for this match, with Rockingham (2nd) looking to avenge their Round 11 loss to Balga earlier in the season. Balga responded late in the half with an own goal to narrow the deficit at
half-time. Knowing that nothing less than a win would maintain their slim
chance of reaching finals in only their 2nd season in the SFL, Balga went on
the attack after the resumption & scored via Luke Ross, who is having a
break-out season. Both sides continued to exchange chances & opportunities, with goalkeepers Rain Blauberg & Michael Dudek standing out. Cumbre’s pressure eventually bore fruit with late goals to Mason Vojdani & Michael Lino settling an entertaining encounter. Rockingham march on with their 5th win in a row to narrow the gap with Murdoch to 3 points.
Byford Venom FC 1 – 7 Stirling Braza Ginga FC
Byford (13th) will be ruing the arrival of the Covid-19 enforced 3 month
break, as they had been on a fine run prior to the closure. Having pushed
Stirling (3rd) earlier in the season, they were looking to surprise their
more fancied opponents. But, Braza, fielding a few young players, had other
ideas, with Chris Rocchi scoring early, and late 1st half goals from Moh
Totonchy and Fahed Kassis all but settling this encounter. An early 2nd half
goal from captain Pavel Parihuzic opened the floodgates, with Rocchi &
Connor Crews completing doubles. The welcome return of Eddie Garrido for The Venom was polished with a well-earned late response from Byford who had tested Glenn Sheldon on several occasions earlier in the match. Stirling remain 1 point behind Rockingham in 3rd, and are now 4 points off the summit with 2 rounds to go.
Cockburn EWA FC 2 – 5 Perth Longobarda FC
The match-of-the-round culminated Round 24, with an understrength Cockburn (6th) falling to a confident & organised Longobarda (4th). Longobarda surprised EWA with a high-pressing game that forced Cockburn into uncharacteristic errors that cost them several goals in this match. Captain Remo Capitani opened the scoring after only 2 minutes, and Longobarda did not look back from there, with talisman Alex Kretowicz & Jan Cok giving them a comfortable 1st half lead. A late reply from Alex Gamble gave Cockburn hope going into the 2nd half. And when Gamble scored again midway through the 2nd half, it looked like EWA would make a match up to Longobarda. But, with several players missing, and a small bench, Cockburn ran out of steam. Kretowicz & Capitani completed their doubles to give Longobarda their 3rd win in a row since the Covid-19 return and cement their spot in the Top 6. EWA are now only 2 points ahead of in-form South Perth who are knocking on their door for the 6th and last finals position with 2 rounds to go.