SELECT Futsal Premier League – Round 5 Open Men’s Review
SELECT Futsal Premier League round 5 matches saw Dural Warriors go top with a 4-2 defeat of UTS Northside, Mascot Vipers stun Mountain Majik 5-3, Enfield Allstars shock Inner West Magic 3-2, and Eastern Suburbs Hakoah beat Campbelltown Quake 3-0.
It looks funny from the outside with only one of last year’s semifinalists currently in the top four, but only six points covers the whole comp as Dural (10), Mountain (9), Mascot (8), Easts (7), Enfield (7), Campbelltown (7) look down on Inner West (4) and UTS (4).
And with a stat such as 17 of the 20 matches played so far being decided by two goals or less (includes four draws) you’d probably get more sense and order from shaking up a snow globe as the points ladder could be turned upside down in as little as two weeks.
Mountain Majik 3 (Chris Barbera, Mitchell Ward, Justin Wilkin) Mascot Vipers 5 (Jakov Radas 2, Gilly Desouza, Conor Quilligan, Shu Torihara)
Inner West Magic 2 (Jonathan Barzel, Daniel Fogarty) Enfield Allstars 3 (Luiz Lobo 2, Cesar Perego)
UTS Northside 2 (Karim Moursi, Grant Lynch) Dural Warriors 4 (Nathan Niski, Greg Giovenali, Sam de Oliveira, Jacob Basden)
Eastern Suburbs Hakoah 3 (Brad Paikin 2, Gilad Swartz) Campbelltown Quake 0
Mascot topple Mountain
Mascot Vipers came from behind to beat highfliers Mountain Majik 5-3 in a Saturday-afternoon thriller at Hawkesbury Indoor Stadium.
Chris Barbera’s sixth-minute strike for Mountain was the only first-half goal, team-mate Mitchell Ward doubling the lead a minute after the restart before Jakov Radas scored twice and Gilly Desouza once to suddenly put Mascot ahead 3-2 with 10 minutes to play.
Mountain’s Justin Wilkin leveled the scores almost immediately, but it was to be the Vipers day as Conor Quilligan and veteran Shu Torihara scored inside the final five minutes to give Mascot a two-goal victory and top-three position a point behind Majik.
Torihara’s efforts shouldn’t go unnoticed as it brought up a 22nd goal in Mascot colours, only club magician Yavus Ekinci has registered more (24, but with data from 20-odd games unobtainable, estimates would put Ekinci in the 30s).
The result tied the clubs after 11 meetings (five wins each and a draw), Mascot becoming the comp’s second-highest scorers (16 goals, one behind Dural)… unfortunately they’ve also conceded the second-most goals (16, three less than bottom-side UTS). They managed to also snap a 10-game win-less run on the road one short of equaling an unwelcome club record.
Mascot club man Zvi Ben David would run out of hats to dip at a very good performance and outcome.
“I’m very impressed. What has happened this year is we’ve been training twice a week and everybody’s been showing up,” he began.
“It’s a big squad with good individual players who are all still getting to know each other, and they will get better. They believe in themselves which is very, very important, and I have to say that [coach] Nick Hanna has been the most organised and committed ever, so a lot of the success needs to be attributed to him, he’s enjoying it a lot and maturing as a coach.”
Despite the senior trophy cabinet being a bit bare, not many clubs can match the silverware collected by Mascot’s juniors, and they’re almost unmatched in pumping out the very best young Futsal players.
“A statistic I can give to you is the boys and men’s teams at the club have together lost only one game so far; this is remarkable!”
“We’ve always had good strong young players but we do lose them to other clubs and outdoor when they get older. Our development program is magnificent, but what they need most is elite Futsal pathways,” he said.
Majik coach and a star of Futsal himself, Jamie Amendolia knows what it takes to compete with the best and subsequently has high expectations of his developing squad.
“A very disappointing result after some good wins – we gave up a 2-0 lead with some lazy defending,” he said.
“It was still a good opportunity for some of the younger players after losing a few [senior] players before the game.”
Allstars stun Magic
Enfield Allstars have stunned Inner West Magic 3-2 in a typical eye-catching derby at Valentine Sports Park on Saturday evening.
After all the to-and-fro action and post-game fireworks that could’ve resulted in either and neither side winning, it was left to a frantic final 30 seconds when Andres Gomez cleared a last-ditch Inner West effort off the line before Luiz Lobo skipped down the other end to score an epic matchwinner for Enfield.
Earlier Lobo had scored an Allstars opener that was cancelled out by a Jonathan Barzel quarter-hour equaliser for Magic, a second-term Cesar Perego goal restoring Enfield’s lead before Daniel Fogarty leveled for Inner West, leading to Lobo’s last-second heroics.
It brought the clubs back to evens in their head-to-head count, seven wins apiece and three draws only telling half the story as it’s now an almost unbelievable 12 of the last 13 meetings decided by two goals or less.
Enfield’s Brazilian-born coach Christian Soares is certainly relishing his newly-found Futsal challenge.
“I’m just so proud of the boys, they’ve worked really hard the last couple of weeks without reward and this helps build up the confidence,” he said.
“It was my first derby experience and I’m just glad to win this one because of the rivalry, but to be fair both sides could’ve won.”
Soares has been back and forth between Australia and Brazil so many times over the past 10 years that he chuckled when asked which country had become his second home, but he knew where his focus was at the moment.
“I have coached at NPL2 level and this year I decided to take a men’s team at the highest level I could and was invited by the club to take up this challenge, and I am very pleased to have this challenge,” he said.
“100 per cent one of first things to approach is to make sure we have a strong defence and then look to the final-third and get some goals. There is more work to do but we are getting there.”
Inner West are now equal-last and four games without a win, one short of equaling a club record and Magic chief Matteo Maiorana is definitely hurting.
“This one stings! Magic and Allstars have a huge rivalry and to cop a goal with 10 second left was heartbreaking for the boys,” he said.
“But I was proud of them though. They gave their all and their effort should’ve been rewarded with something from the game, but credit to Enfield for getting the result.
“If my boys put in that same effort every week their luck will change, it’s only a matter of time. I can’t wait for the rematch!”
Dural down Northside
Dural had to work hard but a 4-2 win over UTS Northside at PCYC Dee Why on Saturday night put the defending champions back on top of the league after a slightly sluggish start to the summer.
In a physical game Dural conceded first, a screamer UTS strike from out wide, but equalised through a Nathan Niski tap-in at the far post following some good lead-up work by Blake Rosier.
Northside went in front a second time when they converted a contentious penalty just before half time, but they couldn’t match a second-half Warriors outburst that firstly saw Greg Giovenali net a screamer after Rosier’s good build-up, then Sam de Oliveira put Dural ahead midway through with a neat far-post finish following Glen Kelshaw’s superb pass.
The Warriors task was made easier when UTS player Emilio Manos received a second yellow card and a late Jake Basden goal put the icing on the cake to make coach Rob Varela very happy to be back in familiar territory.
“A very pleasing win against a tough team who defended stoutly and were very direct in attack,” he said. “All in all a pretty good performance, but we still have some room for improvement.”
Hakoah break Quake
Eastern Suburbs Hakoah were top value in a 3-0 shutout of Campbelltown Quake at All Sorts Indoor Sports centre on Saturday night.
Considering Quake’s results against Hakoah in Prem League 2 (6-0 and 12-2 wins), to hold talent-laden Campbelltown scoreless (for just the fourth time in their 165 PL fixtures) is an excellent achievement, and Easts coach Rob Ezekiel is chuffed.
“The boys really stepped up last night. We had four youth players come up who were fantastic and put in an incredible performance against one of the top teams in the country,” he said.
“They really showed they’re capable and shows promising times for the club. They all knew it was an important game for our season and played the game perfectly.
“They absorbed Quake’s attacked pressure until we got the breakthrough. Quake then had to chase the game and we consolidated it while they played fifth man. All-in-all a top performance.”
Next week’s games
SELECT Futsal Premier League round-6 Saturday matches has Mountain Majik versus UTS Northside at Hawkesbury Indoor Stadium (4.10pm), Inner West Magic face Eastern Suburbs Hakoah at Valentine Sports Park (6.20pm), Dural Warriors meet Campbelltown Quake at The Centre Dural (6.50pm), and Mascot Vipers host Enfield Allstars at All Sorts Indoor Sports centre (8.50pm).
-By Dan De Nardi