Men’s Futsal Premier League round-14 Saturday saw Mountain Majik defeat Enfield Allstars 4-1, UTS Northside edge Campbelltown Quake 4-3, Eastern Suburbs Hakoah stun Inner West Magic 1-0, and Mascot Vipers beat Boomerangs FS 6-2.
Mascot Vipers (31 points) became the sixth club to win a men’s premier league premiership, heading off a best-ever season from Northside (26), with Inner West (25) and Easts (24) rounding out the top-four narrowly ahead of Mountain (23).
The Golden Boot race had Vipers ace Bruno Mendes (15) finishing just in front of Majik’s Jordan Guerreiro (13), with Allstars weapon Luiz Lobo (12), UTS star Michael Loupis (12), Magic’s Daniel Fogarty (11), Vipers’ Conor Quilligan (11), Quake’s Mark Symington (10) and Majik’s Chris Barbera (10) also breaching double-figures.
And to underline how tight premier league has become, the average winning margin per victory this season was again 1.9 goals (equal to last year’s competition tightest margin – it was a 3.1-goal gap in 2012/13), with the second-closest points-gap (7) between top-four sides in PL history (four points separated Dural from Enfield in 2017/18).
Mountain Majik 4 (Daniel Muzzarelli, Chris Barbera 2, Jordan Guerreiro) Enfield Allstars 1 (Luiz Lobo)
UTS Northside 4 (Michael Loupis 2, Karim Moursi) Campbelltown Quake 3 ()
Eastern Suburbs Hakoah 1 (Everton Vendrasco) Inner West Magic 0
Mascot Vipers (Luke Clifford, Bruno Mendes, Conor Quilligan, Thomas Quilligan, own goal) 5 Boomerangs FS 2 (Arlo Hook, Daniel Giovinazzo)
Mountain beat Enfield
A second-half Mountain Majik blitz accounted for Enfield Allstars 4-1 in their Sunday-afternoon clash at Valentine Sports Park.
Luiz Lobo gave Enfield a sixth-minute lead that they held until just moments before halftime when Mountain’s Daniel Muzzarelli struck back for a 1-1 scoreline at the changeover.
Chris Barbera then bobbed up for a brace that gave Majik a 3-1 break, a position then aided by a Lobo red card and punctuated by Jordan Guerreiro’s late strike for a three-goal victory.
The win however wasn’t enough for the green machine to breach the top-four as they fell an agonising one point short of a top-four reckoning despite the Mountain men registering second-best club-marks for points haul (23), goal-difference (-1), goals scored (52) and goals conceded (53).
However, they did lift the club’s first piece of senior silverware after beating Boomerangs 9-3 in the Futsal Cup final on Wednesday night.
Enfield finished sixth overall with a club joint-low 19 season points, second-lowest goal-difference (+2) and second-least goals scored (42).
Northside pip Campbelltown
UTS Northside celebrated its first-ever finals appearance with a tight 4-3 win against Campbelltown Quake at PCYC Dee Why on Sunday evening.
Winless Campbelltown held a 1-0 lead at the break and battled bravely for a stunning 3-0 advantage before Northside gunned them down mercilessly, Michael Loupis scoring a hat-trick and Karim Moursi adding a fourth to register a close one-goal win.
Coupled with Inner West’s loss to Easts, UTS moved into second spot on the ladder on the back of a breakthrough summer that saw the men’s team notch up its most points (26), best goal-difference (+13, the first time they’ve finished in the black), most goals scored (47), least goals conceded (34) and most goals scored in a match (8-5 win over Majik).
Northside are the 10th club to reach the finals stage of premier league, while Loupis’ dozen season-goals is the second-highest personal tally at UTS (Mason Ireland scored 16 last summer).
Club official Danny Beauchamp congratulated the side for a landmark finish but admitted they did it the hard way ahead of finals futsal.
“The boys where poor across two-thirds of the game against a depleted Quake team,” he said.
“We showed some energy and character in the last 15 minutes to stage a good comeback and finish the game strong, but we’ll need to be better in next week’s semis.”
“We are very proud of our achievements as a men’s program this year, but want the journey to continue past next Saturday [versus Magic].”
Unfortunately for Campbelltown, a one-point season is the competition’s lowest-ever points return.
Easts roll Inner West
A stoic Eastern Suburbs Hakoah held premiership-contenders Inner West Magic at bay in a 1-0 Sunday-evening result at All Sorts Indoor Sports Centre.
It was a huge game with both sides wanting to win for different reasons, Magic aiming for a shot at top spot while Hakoah needed a win to cement a place in next weekend’s finals.
With that in mind, both sides attacked each other’s goal from the outset and, if the goals were slightly larger, it could have been a rugby score.
Instead it was a scoreless deadlock at halftime and it wasn’t until midway through the second half that Easts star Robbie Ezekiel found the slightest of gaps to give Everton Vendrasco a bullseye shot to finally move the scoreboard.
Inner West immediately engaged the ever-reliable Jonathan Barzel for a fifth-man, but Hakoah’s solid defense held tight.
Magic coach Mohammad Dubdub even tried his luck as a substitute in search of an equaliser, but plenty of shots came and went in a very tense finish to an eventful game, Easts holding on for a stubborn 1-0 win that sees them try their finals hand in just their second top-flight season.
It’s the third one-goal margin (plus a draw) in five crazy meetings between the clubs, and remarkably just the sixth time Inner West have been held scoreless in 200 league outings.
More eye-catching is a third Easts cleansheet in 28 PL matches (1 in every 9.3 games) – it’s the second-highest ratio of any club behind Dural’s insane 22 in 145 runs (1 in 7.2), with Inner West (1 in 15) and Boomerangs next (1 in 18).
Hakoah’s defence has definitely played a major part in its successful finals bid with a miserly 26 goals conceded the fifth-best return of any club over 13 premier seasons (Dural leaked just 20 in 2012/13).
Mascot overcome Boomerangs
All heil Mascot Vipers after a 6-2 defeat of Boomerangs FS at Morris Iemma Indoor Sports Centre on Sunday night saw them claim this summer’s premiership.
They didn’t have it their own way after Luke Clifford’s early strike was cancelled out by Arlo Hook and Daniel Giovinazzo goals that gave Boomerangs a 2-1 advantage midway through the contest, but a second-half Mascot storm saw them claim victory with Conor Quilligan bagging a brace to go with goals from Thomas Quilligan and Bruno Mendes.
Mendes moved to 15 goals for the summer, two more than nearest rival Majik’s Jordan Guerreiro – it joins Joel Flores (2017/18) as most season-goals in Mascot colours, and also most games scored-in by a Vipers player (10).
It was a landmark season for Mascot. They collected their most-ever points (31, six more than their 2015/16 tally), most points away from home (17), best goal-difference (+20), second-most goals scored (54, one short of their 2011/12 best) and least goals conceded (34, nine better than 2015/16).
Vipers head into the finals on a roll, a third straight win equals a club-best run and they’re one short of equaling their club-high seven league games without defeat – they’ll break their record if they win the grand final. Having said that, Mascot have not won a finals match in four tries…
Not surprisingly though, club maestro Zvi Ben David was over the moon!
“I was looking forward to a match that we must draw or win to win minor premiership, but it was pre-determined with Inner West losing their game [to Easts],” he said.
“Never-the-less I said to the men’s coach Nick Hanna, it will not be acceptable if we don’t win tonight!”
“Boomerangs showed up to play and were leading 2-1 at halftime but simply ran out of legs in the second half.”
“It was important [for us] to go into the finals with a win and enjoy [our first) premiership, and I am very proud of our Nick who, year after year, was persistent with the team and last night was his night.”
“[It also] means Vipers have now won in every age group over the years,” Ben David said.
Boomerangs were very competitive once again but endured their toughest summer with a lowest-ever points total and goal-difference, remarkably only winning once in the capital.
2019/20 Men’s Futsal Premier League enters the Saturday playoff rounds at Sydney Olympic Park Sports Halls with Mascot Vipers versus Eastern Suburbs Hakoah and UTS Northside versus Inner West Magic (both matches kickoff at 5pm).
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