SELECT Futsal Premier League round-13 saw Inner West Magic wallop Campbelltown 7-0, Dural blast Enfield 4-0, Northside draw 4-4 with Mountain Majik 4-1 and Mascot sweep South Coast 6-2, while Enfield beat the Coasters 7-4 in a Monday night catch-up.
Hold onto your hats folks it’s a do-or-die battle for the premiership when Magic (27 points) face Warriors (27) in a blockbuster top-of-the-table clash this weekend, and a thrilling fight for the last playoff positions spreads the action mid-table as Allstars (23) face Quake (21) in a Thursday night catch-up with UTS (19) lurking in fifth place.
And if that wasn’t enough to send the pulses racing there’s also a three-way contest to avoid the dreaded wooden spoon with the Mountaineers (12), Coasters (10) and Vipers (9) all able to jump out of the basement.
But wait, there’s more… the Golden Boot currently has six feet crammed into it as a mastery five-goal game from Viper Joel Flores (just the seventh recorded in premier league and first since 2015) saw him catapult alongside Warrior Glen Kelshaw on 13 goals, a strike ahead of Taipan Ricky Goodchild and Allstar Shervin Adeli with Quake’s Mark Symington (11) and Allstar Michael Kouta (11) also in the frame.
And an epic club championship goes down to the wire as well with Mountain (209) closing in on the title ahead of a fast-finishing Inner West (200). Majik face bottom-club South Coast in the final round while Magic play Dural.
Inner West have multiple club championships already in a crowded trophy cabinet but manager Matteo Maiorana gave his club ‘absolutely no chance’ of hauling in Mountain’s advantage, however this could prove a bonus for Futsal in general.
“I’m actually very proud of how the club has fought back. We were 30 points behind at one stage and to get this close [nine points behind] is testament to all our teams, especially knowing it was a virtually impossible task,” he said.
“Every time I get the urge to retire I lose the club championship and it drives me to get it back and finish on a good note. This year would’ve been prefect – 15 years and another club championship, but no…”
On the matter of CC winners Eastern Suburbs Hakoah were proclaimed Premier League 2 club champions over the weekend, while SD Raiders held off International Football School Futsal Club for State League honours.
Campbelltown Quake 0 Inner West Magic 7 (Jonathan Barzel, Brett Forward, Daniel Fogarty 2, Daniel Fornito 2, own goal)
Dural Warriors 4 (Glen Kelshaw, Wade Giovenali, Carlos De Oliveira, Brendan Vella) Enfield Allstars 0
UTS Northside 4 (Mason Ireland, Nathan Amore, Alexander Apanian 2) Mountain Majik 4 (Chris Barbera 2, Victor Brauner, Jamie Dib)
Mascot Vipers 6 (Jun Arima, Joel Flores 5) South Coast Taipans 2 (Ricky Goodchild, Alexei Rosser)
Rd 8: Enfield Allstars 7 (Dominic Cox, Shervin Adeli 2, Michael Kouta 3, Yusef Abdul-Galil) South Coast Taipans 4 (Kyle Del, Matt Mazevski, James Brodnik, own goal)
Magic silence Quake
Inner West Magic showed who’s boss of longtime rivals Campbelltown in a 7-0 demolition job at Minto Indoor Sports Stadium on Saturday evening just days after beating Quake 7-1 at Valentine Sports Park to become the first-ever men’s Futsal Cup champions.
It was annihilation from start to finish as a red-hot Magic raced to a 5-0 halftime lead and never looked back, the ‘Double-Daniel Show’ Fogarty and Fornito tearing shreds through a Quake line-up missing big guns Daniel Martinez and Dean Lockhart, and some ruthless defence at the other end holding Campbelltown scoreless for just the third time in 127 premier league outings.
The seven-goal drubbing is Magic’s second-highest premier league margin, nestling between a 9-0 victory against Sydney City Eagles way back in 2013 and a 6-0 win over Mountain Majik in 2014, and ended Quake’s three-game winning streak against them. Surprisingly it’s only the third Magic win in their last 10 Quake encounters, Fogarty netting for the 14th time in the fixture.
Club manager Matteo Maiorana was on cloud nine following a win that puts them in the box seat ahead of this weekend’s premiership showdown against Dural – a draw good enough to capture back-to-back titles. They’ll also claim their best-ever defensive season should they concede less than five goals to better last summer’s 25 leaks.
“We didn’t think it could get any better than Wednesday night after winning 7-1 but Saturday was even better, 7-0, it was scary!” he said.
“Quake and Magic games are always notoriously close, but 14 goals in two games is unheard of. This is the best the boys have played since [coach Steve] Knighty has taken over [this is his fourth year in charge]. We had a good hard look at ourselves after the UTS loss and we have responded.”
“We were hoping that Dural won to set up the showdown between the best two teams in the country vying for the Premiership on the final day, as is the case in the women’s,” Maiorana continued.
“Fogarty is in career-best form, and is by far the best player in the country at the moment; but all our boys are in form. Saturday is going to be a fantastic game and we are looking forward to it.”
Considering their firepower it hasn’t been Campbelltown’s best season in front of goal, with two games left (versus Enfield and Mascot) they’re still seven behind their lowest output of 54 goals scored in 2012/13. And the 7-0 defeat was their third-biggest loss, ever (Dural beat them 10-1 in 2015 and 8-0 in 2012).
A usually vocal Quake manager Carlos Martinez called on an old adage to say all that was necessary. “If you have nothing good to say, say nothing.”
“It was a very disappointing outing. Yes we were down on personnel but no excuse, we were totally outplayed by a very well-drilled outfit at the top of their powers. We now need to win one of our two games to even sneak into the finals,” Martinez said.
“The saving grace is as a club we achieved our objective of remaining in Premier League, which was important to us given our journey over the last seasons.”
Campbelltown won’t mind being sneaky at all. They’ve ‘crept’ into the playoffs in their last five premier league seasons, twice reaching grand finals, and they’ve got ‘Mr Big Game’ Mark Symington in their arsenal – his 18 finals goals daylight more than Inner West’s Chris Zeballos (12) and Dural’s Greg Giovenali (11).
Dural hold Enfield
Warriors made a bold statement in their 4-0 victory against Enfield Allstars at The Centre, Dural on Saturday evening, earning a premiership shot versus Inner West this weekend.
A cracking Glen Kelshaw freekick following a one-on-one foul with Enfield’s keeper foreshadowed Wade Giovenali and Carlos De Oliveira goals as Dural racked up a 3-0 lead by halftime, Brendan Vella adding a fourth after the break to seal their 18th premier league shutout (Inner West is next-best with eight).
Warriors coach Rob Varela was satisfied with both the effort and outcome. “It was a much-improved performance. I’m very pleased to get a cleansheet, and with the chances we created,” he said.
“However, we will need to improve markedly if we are to be competitive on Saturday against the competition favourites [Inner West] who are in white-hot form.”
It wasn’t all doom and gloom for Enfield, who beat South Coast 7-4 in a Monday night catch-up to ensure they’ll contest this year’s playoffs, but it’ll certainly be a busy week with a Thursday night catch-up against fourth-placed Campbelltown followed by a final-round match versus fifth-placed UTS Northside to make it four games in seven nights.
If they keep their opposition to under 10 goals in both combined fixtures it’ll be Enfield’s lowest goal concession since joining premier league (currently 45 in 2014/15). On the flipside they’re still nine short of their lowest-ever scoring output (57 last summer).
Northside, Mountain draw
Northside might rue their slow start in a 4-4 stalemate with Mountain Majik at PCYC Dee Why on Saturday night; to make their maiden finals UTS must beat Enfield this weekend and hope fourth-placed Campbelltown stuff up both their last two games.
A freeflowing Majik got the jump on UTS to build a 3-1 halftime advantage before the home side sprung into action to lead 4-3 late in the game only to concede a fourth goal and share the spoils – Alex Apanian scoring a brace for Northside (his third in a row versus Mountain) and Chris Barbera doing the same for the visitors.
These two sides have really created a fantastic rivalry with three wins apiece and two draws from their eight meetings, and the point handed UTS their highest-ever summer points haul (19).
UTS coach Grant Lynch said his side had the win in their grasp and praised his opposition’s tenacity to take it away from them.
“It was an exiting game and we’re disappointed to concede late on to draw instead of get all three points, but credit to Mountain Majik who were excellent in both their movement and execution,” he said.
Mascot beat back Coast
Mascot Vipers proved too good for South Coast Taipans in a 6-2 win at All Sorts Indoor Sports Centre on Saturday night punctuated by a five-goal haul from superman Joel Flores.
Mascot hammered hard from the outset to create a 4-0 buffer just 10 minutes into the contest, and although the Coasters fought back they couldn’t bridge the gap – a Ricky Goodchild goal seeing him set the highest Taipans season mark, a dozen goals bettering Peter Gaffney (2011/12) and Matt Mazevski (2016/17).
Coast coach Bobby Mazevski gave credit to the Vipers shotblocker and bestowed the same compliment to Enfield’s custodian in their 7-4 Monday night loss.
“Despite dominating periods of the game [against Mascot] we were unable to score enough goals – their goalkeeper had a great game,” he said. “It was the same last night; we were down 4-0 before storming back to 5-4 with three minutes to go only to be caught twice late – their GK pulled off some amazing saves at crucial times in that second half.”
Flores’ high-five sees him join some elite company as only six players have achieved the feat since 2010 – Mark Symington (twice), Shervin Adeli, Lachlan Wright, Daniel Fulton and Chris Zeballos, and they’re all in the top-nine premier league scorers of all time.
This weekend’s matches
SELECT Futsal Premier League round-14 Saturday matches (February 10) feature South Coast Taipans versus Mountain Majik at University of Wollongong Sports Hub (5.40pm), Campbelltown Quake against Mascot Vipers at Minto Indoor Sports Stadium (6.10pm), UTS Northside meet Enfield Allstars at PCYC Dee Why (7.30pm), and Inner West Magic face Dural Warriors at Valentine Sports Park (7.40pm).
-By Dan De Nardi