WSFL Semi-Finals Wrap Up5 min read
With South Perth having wrapped up the minor premiership several weeks ago, the finals series format was as follows: the major semi-final featured 1st placed South Perth vs 2nd placed Fremantle with the winner heading straight to the grand final and the loser facing the winner of the elimination semi-final between 3rd placed Cockburn and 4th placed Rockingham.
On Friday evening, defending champions & minor premiers South Perth FC took on the form team of the competition Fremantle FC. Those two sides had met in the final round of the regular season, with Fremantle running away with a 7-3 victory, despite trailing 0-2 early in the match. Fremantle had displayed their strength in depth in that match, as South Perth had run out of legs in the 2nd half. In the semi-final, though, Fremantle flew out of the blocks with an early goal to take the lead & South Perth were chasing for the remainder of the match. South Perth equalised at every opportunity, as Fremantle kept taking the lead. And with South Perth chasing the match late, Fremantle scored the 5th and final goal to seal the match. An intriguing and highly intensive game between two sides and two coaches who know each other well; Daniel Muzzarelli’s plan for Fremantle was to press South Perth for the entire match, knowing that they lacked depth on the bench. Roberto Boi too wanted his players to press, and they did so for long periods, as they were always chasing from behind. Fremantle had opportunities to sit deep in the 2nd half and absorb the pressure. A tactic that they were able to employ as they led the match. This was the match of the season so far. A fantastic exhibition of fast flowing futsal. Gemma Craine starred for Fremantle, as she had done in the previous encounter, with a brace of goals, to take her season tally to 23 goals in 18 appearances. Ingrid Gomez Basallo excelled for South Perth, as she had done for most of the season, with a brace of her own, taking her season tally to an exceptional 32 goals in 23 appearances. Alas, though, it was not enough, and South Perth will have to pick themselves up for the 2ndelimination semi-final this Friday night at 7pm.
In the 2nd semi-final on Saturday, a full-strength Cockburn EWA FC took on a struggling Rockingham Cambio Cumbre FC, who had lost 4 matches in a row towards the end of the regular season. And, true to form, Cockburn secured a comfortable 7-2 victory to book their place in the 2nd elimination semi-final on Friday evening against South Perth. EWA took an early 4-0 lead and never looked back in this match. Despite Cumbre’s attempts, they were held at bay by an inspired performance from Samantha Geddes in the Cockburn goal. Cockburn’s starting outfield players all scored in this match, with Marianna Tabain (15 goals in 12 matches), Sadie Lawrence (43 goals in 24 matches) and Shannon May (20 goals in 9 matches) each scoring a brace. South Perth will need to tighten up their defence against the highest scoring side in the competition in what will be another exhilarating encounter.
In the Drafl Women’s State Futsal League (DWSFL), effectively, the women’s reserves league, Fremantle took out the minor premiership several weeks ago, further demonstrating their strength in depth. Perth AFC demonstrated by they are a rising side in women’s futsal by finishing the regular season in 2nd place, and they were followed by South Perth and Rockingham in 3rd and 4th respectively.
In the major semi-final on Friday night, Fremantle FC and Perth AFC played out a classic match in front of a packed house. Livewire Grace Smith gave Fremantle a 1st half lead, only for Lisa Ricci to equalise for AFC in the 2nd half. With both sides creating chances & both goalkeepers excelling in goals, the match went into 5 minutes of extra-time. And with the crowd anticipating a penalty shoot-out, Taneka McCormick pounced to score the winner and drive Fremantle into the grand-final. AFC can be proud of their performance and still have a chance to bounce back as they get their opportunity this weekend in the 2nd elimination semi-final.
In the elimination semi-final on Saturday afternoon, Rockingham Cambio Cumbre FC secured a comfortable 4-0 victory of South Perth FC, with Emmanuella Adu-Pipim Boaduo starring with a brace. Boaduo now has 7 goals in 18 appearances this season. The victory means that Cumbre will now face AFC in the 2nd elimination semi-final this Friday evening for the opportunity to take on Fremantle in grand-final on Friday 14th June.