Round 25 Wrap up | 2019-2020 Macron SFL WA7 min read
The penultimate round of the Macron State Futsal League produced an extraordinary weekend of Futsal in which the summit changed hands & a set of results that meant that the Top 6 positions remain in play, in terms of finishing places, plus 6th & 7th can still swap places in the final round.
Murdoch Warriors FC 2 – 4 Spearwood Lions FC
Murdoch (2nd) surrendered the top spot in a thrilling encounter with a spirited Spearwood (8th). The Warriors started well with an early goal from talisman Massimo Basolu. The Lions responded in kind with a quickfire double from Bakr Al-Qaraghuli & Jamal Yusof midway through the 1st half to surprise their more fancied opponents. Spearwood defended stoutly and were testing Ethan Hardy in the Murdoch goals with every opportunity. The returning Kelechi Nmeni scored early in the 2nd half to give The Lions a 2 goal advantage. At the stage, the upset looked more likely. And when Jamal Yusof doubled his personal tally he also collected man-of-the-match honours & condemned The Warriors to their 5th defeat of the campaign. A late reply from Justin Pearce was not enough & now Murdoch have to rely on other results & a victory over Fremantle in the final round of the search to secure the minor premiership.
Perth Longobarda FC 4 – 8 Fremantle FC
In a likely preview for the semi-finals, Longobarda (5th) fell to a confident & determined Fremantle (4th) and in the process surrendered 4th spot to them. Two of the three sides with perfect records since the Covid-19 restart clashed in a surprisingly open & high scoring encounter. Captaining the side for the 1st time since his return from a stint in the NSW Premier Futsal League, Daniel Muzzarelli opened the scoring with Fremantle’s 1st attack, on his way to a match-winning hattrick. Not to be outdone, Cristiano Dos Santos replied for Longobarda via a smartly taken set play. And when captain Remo Capitani gave Longo the lead midway through the first half, it looked like head coach Brian Watkins has mastered another opponent on his way to an outstanding campaign. But Fremantle are made of sterner stuff this season and goals from club president Luke Tidy & former MVP Danilo Neves gave the harbour side the advantage at half-time. Muzzarelli & Benji Mikhael gave Fremantle a 3 goal lead early in the 2nd half, to all but complete the double over their opponents. Later in the half, Muzzarelli completed his hattrick, Neves & Capitani their doubles, with Jake Pizzuto & Alex Kretowicz also on the scoresheet.
Perth AFC 2 – 6 South Perth FC
Perth AFC (10th) succumbed to finals-chasing South Perth (7th) in yet another thrilling encounter. With South Perth also looking to avenge their Round 12 loss to their crafty opponents, early goals to club president Roberto Boi & young gun James Toth settled their nerves. AFC returned the favour midway through the first half via Martyn Sharpe, only for captain Dilan Patel to lead by example & restore the 2 goal advantage going into the halftime break. Patel’s 2nd early in the 2nd half extended that lead, but AFC came roaring back with Sharpe’s 2nd. Late goals from Toth & Filip Rojnica settled this encounter & temporarily took South Perth up to 6th on the ladder. Despite dropping back to 7th the following day, they do have an easier final day fixture than Cockburn, and a better chance of finishing in the 6th and last finals position.
Cockburn EWA FC 7 – 2 Byford Venom FC
Cockburn (6th) returned to winning ways against a valiant Byford (13th), with the victory taking them back up to the 6th and last finals position on the ladder. But, despite the scoreline, it was not plain sailing at all for EWA, as they had goalkeeper Jason Quintiliani to thank for some outstanding saves throughout the match, but particularly in the 1st half. A half that started well for The Venom, with Joshua Heerema providing them with the early lead. Cockburn equalised via their returning player-coach Alek Kukic. That seemed to release the shackles for EWA, who proceeded to take the lead via Niko Cvijanovic & charismatic leader Mark Gavranic. A response late in the half from Byford’s very own young gun Eddie Garrido made for an interesting 3-2 scoreline at half-time. Kukic completed his hattrick in the 2nd half, to take out man-of-the-match honours. Late goals from Alex Gamble & Brandon De Abreu flattered the scoreline. EWA will not care how they got the win, a victory that will lift their spirits and make them dangerous finals contenders, if they can defeat Rockingham Cambio Cumbre if the final match of the regular season.
Balga FC 9 – 0 Canning Ultra Tigers FC
Balga (9th) routed Canning (14th) and would have moved up to 8th except for Spearwood’s heroics again Murdoch. Fielding an experimental & youthful looking line-up, Balga showed that the future is hot for them with so many solid young players coming up through their youth ranks. This has been a break-through season for young gun Luke Ross, who opened the scoring early on. A double from Luqman Sayyed and a hattrick from man-of-the-match Conor O’Driscoll either side of half-time put this match to bed early. Matt Dudek thus had the luxury of allowed his new recruits extra minutes on the court, and debutant Numan Sayyed repaid that faith with his maiden goal in the State Futsal League. A 2nd from Ross & a goal from Dudek rounded out the scoring. An unusual season for Balga, where a 52% winning ratio is not enough to finish in the Top 6. If they had been able to convert some of their losses into draws, then they may have been dark horses in an open finals campaign.
Stirling Braza Ginga FC 0 – 2 Rockingham Cambio Cumbre FC
The match of the round featured the historic derby with Stirling (3rd) being held scoreless by the in-form Rockingham (1st). With both sides still in contention for the minor premiership, it was Cumbre who took the initiative with the hard-fought win taking them past Murdoch to the summit of the Macron State Futsal League with one round to play. Undermanned but bolstered by the Covid-19 return of the often unplayable Tyler Garner, Rockingham rose to the occasion in a bruising encounter. Spearhead Mason Vojdani opened the scoring midway through the 1st half, and with Braza in foul trouble, Vojdani had the opportunity with the last kick of the half to double the scoreline from the 10 metre penalty. Glenn Sheldon’s presence made him miss. Garner scored a terrific 2nd early in the 2nd half to spare Vojdani’s blushes. Stirling struggled to penetrate the Cumbre defence, and, when they did, they found Rain Blauberg in imperious form. The win was costly for Rockingham, with charismatic leader Nestor Fonseca limping off with a groin injury.
Joondalup ECU Jets 2 – 2 Curtin Footbalista FC
The closing match of the round featured a bruising Battle of the Universities with ECU (11th) and Curtin (12th) sharing the spoils. With both sides victorious in Round 24, they will came into this match with confidence, looking to end the season on a high. A late own goal gave Footbalista a narrow half-time lead. The Jets’ talisman Joe Higgins equalised early in the 2nd half to bring the match to life. Captain Paul Grant put Joondalup ahead 3 minutes later, and all of a sudden, Curtin went from leaders to chasers in this match. A late equaliser from the enigmatic talisman Farzam Mehrabi gave Footbalista a deserved draw as both sides proved difficult to separate. Both sides will look to end the season this weekend with a 3 match unbeaten run.