Whilst the top four has already been decided, that doesn’t mean that the final weekend of the SELECT Futsal Premier League 2 Open Women’s competition didn’t lack for entertainment and action from the four contests across the weekend.
Check out all the action in the review below!
Match of the Round: SD Raiders FC 4 defeated by Phoenix Futsal Club 6
Phoenix Futsal Club were given a stern examination from SD Raiders FC, but took the spoils 6-4 in a full-blooded contest as a finals warm up at Fairfield Youth & Leisure Centre on Saturday afternoon.
The visitors showed their clinical nature in front of the net, Neisha Monteleone led the way with a double as Hannah Mcnulty found the opener after four minutes. Cyrena Bouris, Hannah Gestier and Sarah Moore chipped in with goals as Phoenix FC warmed up for the finals with a stern test against a tough side.
Saturday afternoon was emblematic of SD Raiders FC season. They showed signs of brightness in the contest, Victoria Guzman and Jessica Grasso shone with their goals in the contest while Stephanie Conejeros Berjerie also picked up a goal and Vesna Milivojevic dazzled in patches but they couldn’t maintain the effort which has seen them narrowly miss out on the finals.
Vesna Milivojevic has shown her technical skill through the season, the youngster showed strength as she bumped off an attacker before she narrowly shot wide for the first chance of the contest for SD Raiders FC.
Phoenix FC weren’t going to miss their first opportunity though. Isabella Hopkins teased out a perfect corner to Hannah Mcnulty, the sharpshooter is automatic from close range, she swept the ball home, 1-nil to the visitors after four minutes.
Milivojevic fashioned another chance for herself in the fifth minute with swift feet but couldn’t find the finish which was followed up by Jessica Grasso being denied from close range, SD Raiders started to warm into the contest.
Their endeavour brought about the equaliser. Victoria Guzman finished off the movement after some combination play with Milivojevic, 1-1 with the home side finding their range now.
Phoenix responded to the equaliser with Hannah Gestier almost found the net at the far post but thrashed wide, quickly followed by Gestier setting up Isabel Gomez to flay an effort wide just before the break. Despite the intent, the game headed into the break, locked at 1-1.
The first five minutes of the second half was a contest between Phoenix keeper Eri Arikawa and the SD Raiders attack. Grasso was denied twice, Milivojevic cut through but also bricked as Arikawa added a further double save to cap off her brick wall display.
The visitors rewarded the efforts of their keeper, Neisha Monteleone kept the play alive before she slotted home, making it 2-1 to Phoenix FC.
It was SD Raiders FC turn to respond though, some quick thinking from a keeper throw put Grasso into space, once she is in that territory it makes it hard to stop. She duly finished cleverly to bring the game back to 2-2.
As the game started to open up, Phoenix FC restored their lead in the 33rd minute. Monteleone completed her brace after a superb pass from Mcnulty released her and the former just had to finish for 3-2. Quickly, Cyrena Bouris doubled their delight, making it 4-2 with fifteen minutes to play.
Their good work was undone by a simple looping ball though, it found SD Raider FC’s Stephanie Conejeros Berjerie behind the defence, left with the simple task to tap the ball home, some hope for the home side at 4-3.
The ping-pong nature of the contest continued, diligent defensive pressure from Phoenix FC forced the turnover which popped up to Gestier, after her earlier efforts found herself on the scoresheet, restored the lead back to 5-3.
Milivojevic continued her running battle with Arikawa, the attacker cut through the defence again but the keeper remained big to deny the youngster a goal in the contest. The frustration evident on her face after the block.
It was going to take some quality to beat Arikawa, step up Jessica Grasso. She controlled the ball precisely onto her chest then thrashed a volley past the Phoenix FC keeper, making it 5-4 with 120 seconds to go.
Sarah Moore put paid to their attempted comeback with an empty netter in the final minute to for the final time, give Phoenix FC a two-goal cushion again, 6-4 but importantly, a stern test before the finals series in a few weeks.
Speaking afterwards, a delighted Albert Disciacio reflected on the effort from the Phoenix FC side as they battled hard for the three points this afternoon:
“They gave us a run for our money tonight, thankfully we got the win. We just need to get ourselves ready and move onto the finals coming in the new year.” said Disciacio.
For SD Raiders FC boss, Sergio Malfara, the game was emblematic of the side’s season as they can find their form against the big sides but not the weaker teams.
“It’s been touch and go this season with the women. They have been inconsistent, we can get ourselves up for the big contests but not so much for the weaker ones.” said Malfara.
Saturday 22 December 2018
Fairfield Youth & Leisure Centre, Fairfield
Referee: M Liminos
2nd Referee: A Valiente
3rd Referee: J. Katz
SD Raiders FC 4 (Grassi 2, Conjeros Berjerie, Guzman)
Phoenix FC 6 (Monteleone 2, Bouris, Gestier, Moore, Mcnulty)
SD Raiders FC: 2. PAHOR Emily, 3. HANCOCK Katelyn, 4. CONEJEROS BERJERIE Stephanie, 7. MUSSETT Jami-Lee, 8. PUSATERI Sabrina, 10. MILIVOJEVIC Vesna, 11. LABRA Paulina, 12. GUZMAN Victoria, 14. NEVILLE Jessica, 19. DOAN Kaitlyn, 22. TORO Sabrina, 25. GRASSO Jessica
Yellow cards: nil
Red cards: nil
Phoenix Futsal Club: 1. ARIKAWA Eri, 2. BARRERA-PEREZ Amanda, 4. GESTIER Hannah, 5. HOPKINS Isabella, 6. MONTELEONE Neisha, 7. MCNULTY Hannah, 8. MOORE Sarah, 22. JONES Illiana, 38. BOURIS Cyrena, 60. DISIASCIO Nattasha, 63. GOMEZ Isabel
Yellow cards: Disciascio ‘39, Gestier ‘22
Red cards: nil
Rest of Round 14 Matches
Boomerangs FS finished off a magnificent regular season in style. The side from the capital recorded a thirteenth win in a 5-nil rout of West City Crusaders on Saturday afternoon at Hawkesbury Indoor Stadium. The already crowned Premiers had a slower start than usual, they led by a single Grace Basser-Silk goal headed into the break. Boomerangs FS offence exploded in the second stanza, Basser-Silk completed a brace, Georgina Kent, Alex Martens and Alex Mckenzie took them into the festive period in high spirits before the finals which kick-off in January.
Meanwhile, second placed Raiders FC were made to work for their three points, as they edged Sydney City Eagles, 4-3 in a close contest at Thomas Hassell Anglican College. The Eagles ran the competition heavyweights close, even taking a 2-1 lead into the break and holding them at 3-3 until a late strike gave Raiders FC all three points and deflated the visitors. Jessica Beale led from the front for the Eagles again with a pair of goals while Tameeka Thomson chipped in with the other. Raiders FC once again, showed their resillience in the bout, Amanda Lauric and Emma Voloder both found the net but it was Hannah Voloder took the headlines for Raiders FC with her brace making it 13 goals for the season.
For the last of the top four sides, South Coast Taipans, they had a comfortable afternoon in dispatching Sydney Futsal Club, 6-1 down at UOW Sports Hub on Saturday afternoon. A majority of the attacking weapons for Taipans got themselves on the scoresheet – Kya Stewart and Emilia Skopal with a brace, Danika Matos and Katelyn Leadbeatter with solo strikes as they made short work of the wooden spooners. Sydney did pull one back in the first half, as their top scorer, Rochelle Johnson scored her eighth of the season to make it 2-1 at the break.
Hope all the teams enjoy their break across the festive season, then we’re back for a fantastic finals series which takes place across the weekend of the 19-20th of January.
-By Justin Davies