SELECT Futsal Premier League – Round 11 Open Men’s Review
A breathtaking series of round 11 results has set up a delicious ending to this season’s SELECT Futsal Premier League.
Sunday games saw Inner West Magic beat Mountain Majik 5-1, UTS Northside edge Campbelltown Quake 3-2, Enfield Allstars overtake Eastern Subs Hakoah 6-2, and Dural Warriors downed Mascot Vipers 4-2.
It was a landmark weekend as the Premier League surpassed 700 games and the men’s competition just ticked over 5550 goals. Inner West’s (183) played the most games of any club, followed by Campbelltown (171), Mascot (167), Dural (154) and Enfield (133).
The results kept Mountain (22 points) just in front of Inner West (20), Dural (20) in a dramatic premiership showdown, with Mascot (17), Enfield (16) and now Northside (14) challenging for the fourth and final playoff spot. Easts (10) and Campbelltown (7) sit at the back of the pack.
Six players are still in the golden boot race as UTS star Mason Ireland (13) heads Majik’s Jordan Guerreiro (12), Allstars ace Shervin Adeli (12), Magic’s Daniel Fornito (11), Allstar Luiz Lobo (9) and Vipers ace Jakov Radas (8).
Inner West Magic 5 (Daniel Fornito, Chris Zeballos, Jonathan Barzel, Miles Downie, own goal) Mountain Majik 1 (Jamie Dib)
UTS Northside 3 (Mason Ireland, Emilio Manos, Karim Moursi) Campbelltown Quake 2 (Danny Martinez, Shannon Fielding)
Enfield Allstars 6 (Shervin Adeli 2, Laureano Gomez Castro, Cesar Perego, Michael Kouta) Eastern Suburbs Hakoah 2 (Gilad Swartz 2)
Mascot Vipers 2 () Dural Warriors 4 (Wade Giovenali, Greg Giovenali 3)
Magic betters Majik
Inner West Magic outhustled frontrunners Mountain Majik 5-1 in an excellent match-up at Valentine Sports Park on Sunday afternoon.
It was tit-for-tat throughout an entertaining game and it took until a minute from halftime for the first goal to be scored, Daniel Fornito burying a neat chance to steal a 1-0 lead at the break.
Veteran Chris Zeballos doubled the advantage minutes into the second term before Mountain man Jamie Dib showed off his talents with an absolute screamer of a chip, intercepting Daniel Fogarty’s pass as Inner West were on the attack and spiraling a delightful lob from just outside his own D to catch Magic keeper off his line and cut the margin in half.
The joy was shortlived however as Fogarty made amends of his earlier turnover and passed neatly to Zeballos who drew out the Majik keeper beautifully and laid it across to Fogarty to crack into an open net and restore Inner West’s two-goal buffer.
The home side extended the buffer when Fornito slid it under the keeper in a clinical one-one-one situation, and it was 5-1 in the blink of an eye when Fornito set up Andrew Luttringer on the burst for Inner West’s fifth.
Majik pressed hard but in the end only some excellent close-quarter keeping from Mark Brackenrig prevented the scoreline from changing in their Magic’s favour.
Despite Mountain showing definite signs of improvement, they really face a bogey side in Inner West: Majik winning just two of 12 encounters (one draw) and managing a miserly goal in each of the last five contests – although that’s all they needed to win their round-four clash 1-0 and draw 1-1 last summer.
Magic club manager Matteo Maiorana’s head was in two places all day after the hospitalisation of his brother and star Inner West glovesman Roberto Maiorana following a dreadful clash in the Dural match the night before, the three-time PL Goalkeeper of the Year breaking his fibula and tibia.
“The boys were really hurting with Robbie going down last night. There was a real down-mood throughout the camp, but they lifted and got three points for him,” Matteo said.
“I can’t be any prouder from a club’s point of view and as an older brother. The boys really pulled together. It was special.
“Mountain Majik showed why they are sitting top; they started really well and had the best two chances of the game. Had they scored those the score could’ve been different, but boy-oh-boy did we play well after that,” Maiorana said.
“The quality of Futsal the boys are playing is incredible at the moment, and I’d like to make special mention of Dom Badolato – a special goalkeeper, special performance and special kid.”
Maiorana said the result put a huge cherry on their cake as Magic went undefeated in the head-to-head top-of-the-table club-championship clash, securing 17 points from a possible 19.
It also took them to six league games without loss, one short of equaling a club-record seven set over the last two summers.
Mountain assistant Adam Barbera may have tried a foxy move by complimenting Inner West so much in a match that Majik themselves were terrific value, but (then again) only a fool wouldn’t want to emulate Magic’s long-term success.
“We knew we were up against the form team in the competition and feel we competed well during the first half; we were able to stop Inner West getting shots on goal and created a couple goal-scoring opportunities ourselves,” he said.
“It was a completely different second half. We ran out of legs and they showed all their experience and quality, punished our mistakes and staying compact at the back – Inner West showed why they’re the best team in the competition.”
“We know we have to be a lot better if we want to win trophies and play at their level.”
Northside pip Campbelltown
UTS Northside held off a spirited Campbelltown Quake 3-2 at PCYC Dee Why on Sunday evening to breathe new life into the playoff chase.
There was a plethora of chances at both ends of the court and UTS were made to work very hard for the narrow margin they had built, but a second one-goal victory of the weekend has positioned them a win behind fourth-placed Mascot heading into the final three rounds.
Northside’s second win in eight Quake meetings is their first since January 2015.
Only five times has a club suffered more than seven straight league losses, with Campbelltown now three short of equaling a record 10 set by Phoenix (2013-15) and Sydney City Eagles (2012/13).
Allstars defeat Hakoah
Enfield Allstars hammered home a remarkable 6-2 come-from-behind victory over Eastern Suburbs Hakoah at the Morris Iemma Indoor Sports Centre on Sunday night.
A win either way would throw the other out of the finals chase and it certainly looked like being Hakoah’s night as the Allstars keeper got sent off inside the first few minutes.
Easts then compounded the pain with a quickfire Gilad Swartz double – both on the counter – catapulting them into a 2-0 halftime lead as Enfield struggled to get something going.
The break certainly did something to the home side as they returned to the court with renewed vigour, and as soon as they scored one goal the others just kept on coming as they racked up six for the half in a barnstorming finish.
The four-goal win pitched Enfield a point behind fourth-placed Mascot and sent Easts back to the drawing board for their open men’s program.
Allstars coach Christian Soares hasn’t mucked around in making a name for himself as Enfield continue to grow into a championship contender – and the fans are loving it!
“I adjusted the team at halftime and we then moved the ball faster and found the goals,” he said.
“Our first win at home credits the boys, but the atmosphere with our fans was the best part of the night.
“Next Saturday Morris Iemma [Sports Centre] will be fully packed for our next game [vs Inner West].”
Mascot Vipers Dural Warriors
Dural were pushed all the way in a 4-2 win against Mascot Vipers at All Sorts Indoor Sports Centre on Sunday night, Warriors captain Greg Giovenali on point with a match-winning triple.
The visitors were full of menace as they took a handy 3-1 lead into halftime, and a second-half goal to both sides was enough for Dural to secure a much-needed win.
It was Giovenali’s seventh premier league hat-trick, only two players have more to their name: long-serving Shervin Adeli (14) and Mark Symington (11). Danny Martinez also has seven and Jordan Guerreiro six (in the last four seasons).
Greg’s brother Wade also chimed in with a strike that finally took him to 50 PL goals overall.
Next week’s games
SELECT Futsal Premier League round-12 Saturday matches pits Campbelltown Quake against Eastern Suburbs Hakoah at Minto Indoor Sports Centre (4.50pm), Dural Warriors meet UTS Northside at The Centre (6.50pm), Enfield Allstars face Inner West Magic at Morris Iemma Indoor Sports Centre (8.05pm), and Mascot Vipers play Mountain Majik at All Sorts Indoor Sports Centre (8.50pm).
– By Dan de Nardi
FOOTNOTE: Football NSW would like to wish former Futsalroos and Inner West Magic number one keeper Roberto Maiorana the speediest of recoveries.