All roads in the SELECT Futsal Premier League 2 competition led to Thomas Hassell Anglican College as the 2018-19 Grand Finals took centre stage on Sunday.
Here is the low-down on what transpired in an amazing day of Futsal action.
Sydney City Eagles kicked off the day in style, as they triumphed 3-1 against SD Raiders FC in the 12 Boys SELECT Futsal Premier League 2 12 Boys Grand Final.
Early in the piece, the attacking threat came from SD Raiders FC. Luka Knezevic had a pair of chances, both forged from sublime work by Ella Abdul Massih but fired both efforts wide of the mark.
The Eagles took their first chance and opened the scoring. Leandro Carle cushioned the ball to Evangelos Kalamvokis, who speared home an effort which made it 1-nil to Sydney City Eagles.
Knezevic continue to be a thorn in the side of the Eagles, the attacker rattled the post in the 19th minute quickly followed by a slashing effort that curved wide after the resumption. SD Raiders needed to take their chances as the Eagles clung on.
The equaliser came from a moment of individual brilliance. Abdul Massih snatched the ball from an Eagles defender before the youngster hammered home for 1-1.
The deadlock only lasted four minutes, as Dean Bosjnak scored probably the most bizzare goal of the day, in the first contest. Bosnjak fired in a shot which deflected off a SD Raiders FC player on the ground before it trickled in for 2-1 Sydney City Eagles.
Bosnjak almost repeated the dose 60 seconds later, as he strode through confidently but denied bravely by the SD Raiders FC keeper, as they clung onto the contest. That would only last six minutes as Carle directed in a free-kick for 3-1 and a Eagles victory.
Sydney City Eagles 3 (Kalamvokis, Bosnjak and Carle)
SD Raiders FC 1 (Abdul Massih)
SD Raiders FC put in a dominate performance, as they swept aside South Coast Taipans 5-1 to claim the SELECT Futsal Premier League 2 Championship in the 13 Girls division.
Much like in the previous contest, SD Raiders FC dominated the opening exchanges. Ella Abdul Massih fired the first warning shot from a kick-in which was deflected away, straight to danger by the Taipans keeper but no one could prod home.
Siena Hawkins was clinical with her chance, in a breakaway with Tayla Agostino, they exchanged passes down the court before the youngster slotted home, making it 1-nil to SD Raiders and wake up the mostly SD Raiders crowd.
Abdul Massih kept up her energy as she battered the Taipans keeper with shots but it was a closer effort from Anika Stajcic that saw her get on the scoresheet in the 16th minute to make it 2-nil SD Raiders FC in complete control at the break.
Taipans were inventive in getting back into the contest. Indiana Dos Santos sprung free from her marker at the kick-in, to curl home and make it 2-1 just after the resumption.
From there, it was a SD Raiders FC procession as they piled on three goals to confirm the first Championship of the day for the south-west club. Abdul Massih picked herself up a brace while Stajcic added a second half strike to complete her brace.
SD Raiders FC 5 (Abdul Massih 2, Stajcic 2, Hawkins)
South Coast Taipans 1 (I. Dos Santos)
Two out of three ain’t bad for SD Raiders FC, as they picked up their second Championship of the day, defeating South Coast Taipans 4-2 in an open affair to bring the curtain down on the 14 Boys season in the SELECT Futsal Premier League 2.
Taipans got themselves off to the perfect start. Jyden Harb positioned himself well at the far post to receive a directed pass then swept home to make it 1-nil to the South Coast side.
SD Raiders replied with a point-blank shot by Brohym Abdul Massih that was saved well then Taipans charged downfield for Jayden Makowski to fizz an effort just the wrong side of the post as the game started to open up.
Adrian Pini brought the SD Raiders level in the ninth minute, when he danced past a defender then arrowed the ball home for 1-1. Abdul Massih gave them the lead just before the break when he tapped home for 2-1.
SD Raiders kept that energy up right after the break, as they created a third goal which was picturesque. The south-west side pinged the ball across the court as it cut open the Taipans before Pini swept home his second of the afternoon for 3-1.
Alexander Pintos decided to get himself in on the act, with a smooth chip in the 34th minute which iced the contest, handing SD Raiders FC, their second Championship tonight, 4-1 in an open contest. They did concede a late consolation to make it 4-2 in a six-goal contest.
SD Raiders FC 4 (Pini 2, Abdul Massih, Pintos)
South Coast Taipans 2 (Harb)
Raiders Futsal Club secured the SELECT Futsal Premier League 2 15 Girls Championship in dramatic fashion, with an Amelia Savetta strike in extra-time the difference against Sydney City Eagles.
The first half was an open contest, reflected in the first chance in the 2nd minute from Christa Olivia from Sydney City Eagles quickly followed by a fierce effort from Alanah Nicholas which amounted to the Eagles best chances in the first twenty.
For Raiders, they had a one-on-one battle with the goalpost in the first stanza. They rattled the woodwork three times, Lulu Lozano the third and final Raiders to do so, as the nervous energy ramped up around Thomas Hassell.
That nervous energy turned into celebration as Lozano opened the scoring just before the half-time whistle. It started from a mazy run from Savetta through the heart of the Eagles defence before she cut it to Lozano to knock home, 1-nil.
In the second half, it was a cagey affair. Both Ella Buchanan and Elise Savannah had powerful efforts swatted away by the defense for Raiders FC as the contest headed into the final ten minutes.
As it looked like the contest was about to drift away from Sydney City Eagles, up stepped Nicholas . The attacker found herself in a pocket of space, that allowed her to unleash a whipped shot that rippled into the top of the net for 1-1.
Savannah had the chance to seal the contest for Raiders FC in the final minute. She bounded downfield before she tried to arrow the ball into the corner but it was beaten away, and no follow up was converted so it was off to extra-time.
Mikayala Fuller had the best chance of extra-time but she was denied by a wonderful save from Isabella Sollecito, the Eagles goalkeeper had a terrific time between the sticks to repel the Raiders several times.
Raiders FC would break the hearts of Sydney City Eagles late in the contest, Savetta again, on the spot, to prod home and send the assembled crowd into rapturous celebration but that almost turned into devastation.
Jessica Curtale for Sydney City Eagles almost levelled the match after her effort was saved by the Raiders keeper which resulted in the final play of the game – the Raiders were crowned Champions much to the relief of the traveling parents and fans.
Raiders FC 2 (Lozano, Savetta)
Sydney City Eagles 1 (Nicholas )
It was the rise of the Phoenix FC, as they had a stirring comeback against Boomerangs FS, to claim the SELECT Futsal Premier League 2 16 Boys Championship.
In a tense opening to the contest, the two sides aimed to gain control of the midfield. Boomerangs FS held much of the possession but some dogged defense from Phoenix continued to deny them. Bailey Sorenson did find a way through in the 11th minute to make it 1-nil.
Just before the break, Boomerangs remained patient in their play, switched the ball across the court before they ended up with Oliver Mccarthy free at the far post, the poacher tapped home and made it 2-nil Boomerangs.
Phoenix did find themselves a route back into the contest through an accumulation of fouls that gave Jordan Metcalfe the chance from the spot. The youngster made no mistake, stroked home and the deficit was halved, 2-1, at the buzzer.
If the first half belonged to Boomerangs FS, the second was all Phoenix. Nicholas Scardilli whistled home a free-kick from the left side to bring them back to 2-2 then as coach James Brunacci preached patience, his side flicked the switch.
Jeremy Bradekji combined well with James Fussell to complete the comeback and hand Phoenix FC the lead. Fussell angled the kick-in to Bradekji, shaped well into the area then poked the ball home, 3-2 and a surge from Phoenix.
The team from Hornsby weren’t done though, Bradekji was hungry for goals. He pounced on an error from the Boomerangs, then he comfortably slotted home, for a two-goal cushion for Phoenix FC, 4-2 as they had a hand on the trophy.
Phoenix FC did have to sweat through the final stages of the contest, as Boomerangs FS poured wave after wave of pressure on their goal but they were bailed out by some fantastic saves from their custodian as it secured Phoenix’s first Championship of the day.
Phoenix Futsal Club 4 (Bradekji 2, Metcalfe, Scardilli)
Boomerangs FS 2 (Mccarthy, Sorenson)
The two sides couldn’t be separated by 46 minutes of engrossing futsal deadlocked at 0-0, but in the dreaded shootout, SD Raiders FC prevailed 3-2 from the spot to claim the SELECT Futsal Premier League 2 18 Womens Championship.
Raiders FC enjoyed a bulk of the possession, as Emma Voloder found a pocket of space before she cutback the ball for Julia Morales that was poked wide. Next, Amelia Savetta turned well but had her shot saved in a contest where chances were a premium.
Whenever she is on the pitch, Vesna Milivojevic is heavily involved in SD Raiders FC attack. In the same passage of play, Milivojevic had her first shot saved then a follow up on the turn was denied from a desperate lunge from a Raiders FC defender.
She also had a final chance in the first half, she popped up for a shot that was well saved as both sides went into the half deadlocked. Both even in chances, and possession it may need something special to break it.
Kaiya Buchanan had the best chance of the second half, in a good combination play which was dealt with then SD Raiders FC keeper Kaitlyn Doan swept it upfield for her side to go inches from breaking the deadlock.
There was some drama right on the final whistle. Raiders FC were handed a lifeline for a goalkeeper error that could have cruelled SD Raiders FC. Doan stood tall once again, denied Raiders FC twice and it was off to extra-time which remained cagey, so it quickly was followed by penalties.
After four terrific penalties, there needed to be a circuit breaker to hand someone the victory. Julia Morales stepped up for the fifth spot kick, aimed to go to the left but Doan guessed right and SD Raiders FC celebrated a gritty victory.
Raiders FC 0
SD Raiders FC 0
SD Raiders FC survived a spirited comeback from Boomerangs FS, recording a 5-4 success in a wonderful exhibition of futsal that saw SD Raiders crowned SELECT Futsal Premier League 2 19 Mens Champions.
The action came thick and fast in the opening five minutes, Declan Cotter was in the mood early, as he was released free but skewed his chance wide.
Adrian Monge was clinical with his chance, the attacker thrashed the ball home for the opening goal, as SD Raiders FC started to find the advantage. The opener was followed by a trio of chances from Monge, Matthew Barkho and Luis Ferreira.
Cotter found himself on the scoresheet in the 11th minute, a sweeping team movement saw them prise open the Boomerangs FS defence, like open heart surgery which left Cotter the final touch to make it 2-nil to the jubilant SD Raiders FC.
The team from the capital weren’t going down without a fight. The ‘rangs went Boom Boom as Jayde James-Ward firstly flicked home at the far post in the 17th then he rolled home to suddenly, make it 2-2 in an electric final.
SD Raiders FC had the final laugh in the half, Ferreira cut inside smoothly before the attacker slotted home calmly, handed the Raiders the lead back, 3-2 headed into the team talks.
Looking to spring back into the contest, Andrew Aitchison carved out a wonderful chance for Boomerangs FS but it was equaled by a superb stop from SD Raiders ‘keeper Daniel Ibrahim to keep the margin at one.
The rest of the half ebbed and flowed between two sides, Cotter got himself a brace when he touched home well to make it 4-2. Boomerangs FS responded immediately as Nicholas Felizzi rocketed home a free-kick for 4-3.
Jack Koutrodimos, again restored SD Raiders FC’s two-goal cushion, when he turned home the fifth goal for the team from the South West. Again though, Boomerangs clawed their way back – James-Ward completed his hat-trick when he slide home, 5-4.
As Boomerangs FS pushed forward, bringing on the extra attacker, they created the chance they wanted. William Manalo broke free from his defender at the far post and was found with an angled ball, but Manalo couldn’t direct the chance so SD Raiders collected another Championship.
Boomerangs FS 4 (James-Ward 3, Felizzi)
SD Raiders FC 5 (Cotter 2, Ferreira, Monge, Koutrodimos)
A pair of goals from Daniel Gravas has steered Phoenix FC to a 4-2 AWD success against a gallant Sydney Futsal Club side in what was an open contest.
Phoenix FC signaled their intent early in the contest, Shawn Walford had a shot in the first 60 seconds which sailed wide. Daniel Gravas remained the key threat for them, as he unleashed a flurry of fierce shots on the Sydney goal.
Gravas did find the opener in the 13th minute. He finally directed one of those efforts on target and it left the Sydney ‘keeper with no chance, 1-nil. Raymond Young made doubled the dose in the 14th with a wonderful curled effort.
Ayoube Jamal was the target man for Sydney Futsal Club. He held the ball up well several times, before he found himself in on-goal but either swept it wide, or denied by some wonderful saves from the Phoenix ‘keeper to keep it 2-nil at the break.
Phoenix continued their dominance after the break, Kevin Huynh combined well Michael Wade for the latter to prod just wide of the goal. Gravas made up for that with an arrowed effort that made it 3-nil Phoenix after half an hour.
There was some joy for Sydney Futsal Club, and Jamal. The target man slotted home to make it 3-1, and celebrated with the famous Ronaldo celebration, as the Sky Blues eyed a comeback.
Sadly, that was quickly quashed as Joshua Smith inventively took the set piece quickly, found Vito Girrantino, who had the simple task to sweep the ball home, for 4-1.
Both Luis Gutierrez and Jamal had late chances at consolation for Sydney Futsal Club. Firstly, Gutierrez weaved through the Phoenix defence but couldn’t find the finish. Jamal, after his first half struggles, got himself a brace to make the final score, 4-2.
Phoenix FC 4 (Gravas 2, Girrantino, Young)
Sydney Futsal Club 2 (Jamal 2)
They made heavy weather of it, but South Coast Taipans were crowned SELECT Futsal Premier League 2 Open Womens Champions, 3-2, after extra-time, taking the title from fourth after they downed Raiders Futsal Club.
These two sides played out a thrilling contest during the regular season, and this game with the stakes attached, was on another level. Taipans had the early running, Danielle Wise tested the keeper with her first effort then thudded another off the post as they aimed to upset Raiders FC.
Raiders FC took some time to get into their usual groove, their slick movement slightly stagnant. They burst into life in the sixth minute, Jessica Fallah latched onto a directional ball, thumped her effort off the bar, which took some punishment early.
Taipans found the opener that their early possession deserved. Elise Battin pounced on a midfield error from Raiders FC, picked her spot and slid home an effort, 1-nil to the South Coast side.
Right before the break, Raiders FC showed their grit and hit back. Sophia Hamilton found the needle in the haystack of the goalmouth, squeezed her effort inside the cage, which sent us to the break, level at 1-1.
Buoyed by their goal, Raiders FC looked their usual selves in the second half. Ashleigh Krenich and Mia Connors both had strong efforts denied by the Taipans defense. As the chances mounted, it looked a matter of time before they snatched the lead.
It came from an odd passage of play. Alyssa Marco lined up a free-kick from near halfway, she struck it low and harsh, which saw it bowl Taipans ‘keeper Hannah Farrugia, handed them a 2-1 lead with ten left on the clock.
In search of the equaliser, Taipans continued to pump forward looking for the slightest hole in the Raiders FC brick wall. Danika Matos tried her best, with a free-kick that rattled the post then she became the extra attacker as Taipans pulled their goalkeeper.
As the seconds ticked away, Taipans stroked the ball around for an opening, Matos with single digits left and extingushing quickly, unleashed a powerful effort that rippled the net, sending the game into extra-time at 2-2.
All the action came in the second portion of extra-time. Again, Matos was heavily involved. She had a two-pass free-kick blasted into the wall then became the central figure as Taipans were awarded a last-minute penalty.
Every eye inside the jam-packed Thomas Hassell court were focused on the striker. An eerily silence only interrupted by the whistle rippled around the court, quickly followed by raucous cheers when Matos slammed home for a 3-2 win.
Speaking afterwards, Taipans coach Bobby Mazevski praised the heart, spirit and commitment of his side as they showed they could match it with the heavyweights of the competition.
“This team has a lot of character. Even at the later stages I was confident in them. I think they even played the better futsal. The culmination of the Grand Final is probably was a just reward for us.” finished Mazevski.
A speechless Matos, admitted she dislikes taking penalties but the side dug deep to secure the victory late in the contest.
“When we go on the court, we go all-in. Girls gave their all. On the penalty, I am not a big fan of them but [Bobby] Mazevski likes to put pressure on you. This has been my favourite team to play with ever so I am so pleased.” finished Matos.
Raiders FC 2 (Hamilton, Marco)
South Coast Taipans 3 (Matos 2, Battin)
In a drama-filled finish to a wonderful day of futsal, SD Raiders FC capped off the night with a 4-3 success against a gutsy West City Crusaders side, to make it a hat-trick of triumphs against the Crusaders in the Open Mens competition.
Ryan Faulkner got the action started early, as the Crusaders attacker pounced on a defensive error from SD Raiders, slotted home, making it 1-nil to the underdogs.
For much of the first half, Patrick Antelmi had the ball on a string. The striker carved open several opportunties including a wonderful turn and shot, crashed an effort against the bar but he did find success late in the half, making it 1-1, letting out a huge euphoric roar following.
Crusaders looked to catch SD Raiders on the counter, Greg Kondek playing the pivot role in attack. He picked out Tobias Elliot-Oar, who couldn’t find his feet. Kwadwo Boamah Addai’s pace created a pair of chances for the attacker in the first but again, lacked the finish.
In the second half, SD Raiders FC asserted their superiority on the contest. Joshua Da Silva pounded home an effort from out wide in the 26th, made it 2-1. Their intensity was shown in the immediate response by Antelmi with his second goal after Crusaders had equalised.
Some quick thinking from Kondek had created that second Crusaders goal. He took the free-kick quickly, found a roaming Elliot-Oar on the wing, his third goal of the season, gave Crusaders some life.
Needing leadership, SD Raiders brought Nick Carle back into the fray, he produced a classy touch for their third goal. He held the defense at bay before he cushioned the ball to Sebastian Malfara for 4-2.
The Crusaders refused to go quietly into the night. Racking up the fouls in both halves, Crusaders were given a penalty kick in the 45th which Kondek duly converted for 4-3. Crusaders leader had a mirror chance in the final minute to take us to extra-time, drilled it wide as SD Raiders held on for the fifth Championship of the day.
Afterwards an exhausted Sergio Malfara, underlined the spirit that resides in his SD Raiders FC side after three straight Grand Final successes.
“It’s kinda special, this isn’t something we expected this year. Boys dug deep, they like to make it difficult on themselves, got the result,” said Malfara.
“To get six teams in the finals was a massive result itself but to also succeed in five of them, in our first season is amazing. I look forward to next year.” finished Malfara, who Nick Carle dubbed the “king of coaches” added in the interview enjoyed the success.
-By Justin Davies