Victorian mens team go close at National Championships
Western Australia 1 (Simon Barber 24’) Victoria 1 (Vadim Mazurskiy 19’)
The final match of Round 1 in the men’s competition was a fiercely fought clash between Victoria and Western Australia with the final result ending 1-1. Victoria created the better chances but was held at bay by an excellent performance from WA number 1 Mirko Mancia. Western Australia’s Daniel Micevski was lively at the other end throughout the opening half and made sure that Victorian shot-stopper Christos Apostolakis was on his toes forcing him into a smart double-save before David Micevski hit the outside of the post with a rasping half-volley. It could be argued therefore that it was largely against the run of play that Victoria took the lead but, if that was the case, there was no disputing the quality of the goal. Vadim Mazurskiy cut inside and hammered a wonderful strike past the despairing Mirko Mancia to give Victoria a slender half-time lead. It was almost 2-0 seconds into the second half as Adam Cooper saw a firm shot pushed round the post by Mancia. The woodwork saved Western Australia twice in the early stages of the second half before they equalised in sensational fashion. A stunning solo run by Ciro Celulari culminated in a sweeping finish from Simon Barber to bring the team’s all-square. There were glimpses of the talent possessed by Futsalroo international Fernando De Moraes whose silky skills and quick feet threatened to open up the solid West Australia defence but in the main it was an even contest.
Victoria 6 (Fernando De Moraes 7’, 29’, Jonathan Barrientos 8’, Adam Cooper 9’, Carlos Munoz 15’, Vadim Mazurskiy 25’ (pen)) South Australia 0
Victoria stormed to a 6-0 hammering of South Australia in the opening match of the Open Men’s competition on Day 2. It didn’t take long for Victoria to hit their stride as they ripped into South Australia from the outset showing a ruthlessness and technical prowess that their opponents simply could not match. The Victorians appeared a lot fresher than in their opening match and took firm command of the contest with a three-goal burst within the space of three first-half minutes. Fernando set the scene, dictating the pace early on, before scoring a sublime opener. That set the scene and when Jonathon Barrientos and Adam Cooper added to the Fernando strike Victoria was virtually home and dry by the nine minute mark. They still kept attacking though and the impressive Carlos Munoz swept home at the back post after another rapid-fire break to take the score to 4-0 at the interval. There was little let up in the second half as Victoria kept up the offensive. A handball in the area presented Vadim Mazurskiy with the chance to blast goal number from the penalty spot before Fernando completed his brace with a cute flick from close range after good lead up work from Mirza Pedic.
NSW Metro 0 Victoria 3 (Adam Cooper 11’, Fernando De Moraes 13’, Reuben Langerak 21’)
Victoria put down a firm statement of intent as they ripped asunder the reigning champions NSW Metro with a convincing 3-0 victory in a performance that marks them down as the early favourites for the 2013 title. The margin of victory in no way flattered Victoria who dominated possession in the opening half and only some excellent zone defending from the NSW Metro outfit denied them the space to create clear cut chances and really test Roberto Maiorana in the Metro goal. Surprisingly therefore the best chance in the first quarter belonged to Metro as a slick break saw an effort from Takuya Umeda blocked by Victorian ‘keeper Christos Apostolakis. Victoria’s weight of possession was sure to tell though and they duly took the lead in the 11th minute as Adam Cooper found the back of the net. Two minutes later they took control of the match on the score board as Fernando got in behind to clip the ball over Maiorana and make it 2-0. Their grip on proceedings became even firmer only a minute into the second half as Reuben Langerak took aim from distance and thumped home the third goal that emphasised Victoria’s lead and they were easy winners from there on in.
Victoria 0 Queensland 3 (Giancarlo Romano 11’, Scott Fenn 15’, Lucas Cordeiro 25’)
After Victoria had underlined their championship credentials with a win over NSW Metro in the morning so Queensland laid down a marker of their desire to take home the Open Men’s crown with a stunning 3-0 defeat of the previously unbeaten Victorians in the opening match of the afternoon session. The Maroons, who had a bye on the first day, looked fresh and sharp heading into the match and, after withstanding some early pressure Queensland roared into action with a brace of goals within four minutes of each other. Giancarlo Romano got the ball rolling with the first goal in the 11th minute, his second of the day, and he was joined amongst the scorers by Scott Fenn four minutes later. Fenn, who had scored against the ACT earlier in the day, netted his second of the championship to put Queensland in the driving seat. Any hopes that Victoria had of getting back into the match were dashed five minutes into the second half as Lucas Cordeiro joined Romano and Fenn on two goals in the tournament with another sharp finish as the Maroons stormed towards the top of the table alongside the vanquished Victoria.
ACT 1 (Michael Reeve 9’) Victoria 1 (Fernando De Moraes 25’)
An exceptional save from Christos Apostolakis from a Pat Ross-Magee half volley ensured that a terrific match between Victoria and the ACT ended 1-1. There was very little to choose between the two teams in the opening half as desperate defending and some quality tackles made the contest a close and intriguing one. With scoring opportunities limited it was the ACT that took the lead in the 9th minute. From a set-piece the ball was rolled back to Michael Reeve and the ACT leading marksman took aim and sent in a shot that took a deflection on its way past Apostolakis between the Victorian posts to register his fourth goal of the competition. Victoria hit back straight away but ACT custodian Angelo Konstantinou was equal to the task set by Miguel Barrigos making a firm save to preserve his team’s slim advantage at the interval. The Futsalroo ‘keeper was in good form in the second half as well denying his international team mate Fernando with a low save. He could do little to prevent the equaliser moments later though as Fernando cut inside and flicked a beautiful finish past the ACT shot-stopper. Robbie Cattanach then fired a brace of the wrong side of the post for the ACT before both Adam Cooper and Fernando wasted chances from 10m penalties for Victoria the latter seeing Konstantinou palm his shot wide.
Victoria 3 (Mirza Pedic 1’, Fernando De Moraes 2’, Vadim Mazurskiy 13’) Tasmania 2 (Andrew Clark 8’, Jacob Clamp 33’)
Victoria booked their semi-final ticket with a 3-2 win over Tasmania in the AIS Training Hall but they were made to fight hard for their victory after initially appearing to have a path to the last four comfortably under control. Victoria got off to about a perfect a start as you could wish for scoring twice in the first two minutes of the match. Barely forty seconds were on the clock as Fernando and Adam Cooper combined to find space for Mirza Pedic and his low shot was true, finding the bottom corner. A minute later Fernando danced through the Tasmanian defence to slot past Liam Ferrell and Victoria were off to a flier. And it was almost three in three minutes as Pedic just failed to turn in a low centre from the industrious Cooper seconds later. Tasmania showed their mettle though when crafting a goal for skipper Andrew Clark, the captain converting the rebound after his own shot had rebounded off the upright, but Victoria soon made it 3-1 as a lovely move ended with Fernando freeing Vadim Mazurskiy who buried his shot in off the post to give the Victorians a healthy half-time lead. Jacob Clamp pulled another back for Tasmania with seven minutes left to leave Victorian nerves jangling and Lawrence Lau needed to make a big save with time running out as Victoria sneaked home.
Queensland 1 (Giancarlo Romano 6’) Victoria 3 (Adam Cooper 5’, Miguel Barrigos 11’, Fernando De Moraes 15’)
Victoria ended Queensland’s dreams of a place in the Open Men’s Final with a thoroughly professional performance winning their semi-final clash 3-1. The match began in rip-roaring fashion with both teams setting a phenomenal pace and Queensland striking the crossbar in their first attack as Sean Byrne spun and sent in an effort that shook the frame of the goal. Victoria responded in kind as a volley from Fernando De Moraes hit the post before Victoria took the lead. Awarded a free-kick for an infringement of the goalkeeper ‘two-touch’ rule Adam Cooper stepped up to blast his team ahead. The lead lasted less than 30 seconds though as Giancarlo Romano slid the ball past Christos Apostolakis and in off the post for the equaliser. The game was boiling along nicely as Victoria restored their lead when Miguel Barrigos turned in a fiercely struck corner with his thigh at the far post in the 11th minute before an audacious back-heel flick from Fernando found the top corner to make it 3-1, a lead they held into the half-time break. Fernando was pulling the strings for Victoria alongside skipper Jonathan Barrientos and their influence meant that their team controlled possession and denied Queensland a way back into the semi-final.
ACT 3 (Daniel Fulton 1’, Robbie Cattanach 6’, Stephen Domenici 9’) Victoria 3 (Jonathan Barrientos 22’, 35’, Vadim Mazurskiy 32’) – after extra time, ACT win 6-5 on penalties
The ACT claimed an epic penalty shoot-out win over Victoria to take out the Open Men’s Grand Final after a strength-sapping 50 minutes ended 3-3. The match exploded into life as early as fifteen seconds as the ACT struck early. Skipper Daniel Fulton did the damage flicking the ball over opposite number Jonathan Barrientos before slamming a shot past Christos Apostolakis in the Victorian goal. The home state made it 2-0 in the 6thminute as Robbie Cattanach cut inside, beat his man and unleashed a ferocious drive that crashed into the net off the underside of the crossbar. And the ACT were in dreamland three minutes later as Stephen Domenici broke from his own half, beat three players and scored with ease. Victoria hit back though and their captain Barrientos pulled one back two minutes after the restart before an amazing three minute spell saw Vadim Mazurskiy and Barrientos bring the sides level. Victoria was flying by now and they almost won it before extra-time. Neither team could manage the break through and the match went to penalties. After many successful efforts, Domenici scored his and Mirza Pedic was the fall guy as Angelo Konstantinou emerged as the hero saving the fourteenth penalty to win the tournament for his team and complete an epic match.
Match reports provided by Russ Gibbs
FFA National Futsal Championships