Thursday 14th January 2010
31st FFA Futsal National Championships
11-15 January 2010, Canberra
Queensland to face ACT Cobras in Grand Final decider
ACT Cobras will face Queensland in the Grand Final of the Women’s Open competition at the FFA Futsal Nationals following a stunning day’s action around Canberra.
Queensland defeated NSW Thunder 4-3 in a dramatic penalty shoot out, after a 2-2 draw, whilst the Cobras did enough to ease past NSW Lightning 3-0 to ensure that no New South Wales teams would be represented in the Women’s Open Grand Final much to the surprise of many pre-tournament judges.
Queensland’s stunning penalty-shoot out victory came after an epic semi-final battle with NSW Thunder. Both sides went at it hammer and tongs in the forty minutes of action with neither side able t break clear with the match goalless at half-time. It took Queensland 24 minutes to open the scoring when Brooke Skelly broke down the left channel and fired a low shot that went in off the leg of goalkeeper Nina Blundell.
Thunder responded in kind and equalised when Ifenia Radapolous struck a goal bound shot that was palmed in the air by Queensland ‘keeper Tegan McKee. Unfortunately for the Maroons the ball spun in the air to Thunder’s Stephanie Haim who headed the ball into the empty net to level the scores.
When Radapolous raced clear to put the Thunder in the lead, following the dismissal of Queensland’s Diana Kubrick, the writing seemed on the wall. However, with seconds remaining Queensland worked an opening for the competition’s top scorer, Rebekah Stott, who showed why she now has ten goals to her name with a thunderous finish into the top corner.
Extra-time failed to separate these two gallant protagonists leaving the game poised for a penalty shoot-out. Tegan McKee saved from Hayley Buckingham and Stephanie Haim, who deserved better after a terrific tournament, shot wide leaving Renae Badham with the shot take Queensland into the Grand Final. Badham duly obliged to spark joyous scenes amongst the Maroon following.
Their opponents in the final will be ACT Cobras after the home town team despatched NSW Lightning 3-0 in the semi-final.
The Cobras enjoyed a superb start to the match taking the lead through a deflected shot from Amanda Aurousseau, the ACT player finding the ideal time to open her account for the tournament. Shortly afterwards the Cobras extended their lead when Becky Roche smuggled the ball into the net for her fifth goal of a productive week. Rachel Crittenden rounded off an excellent team performance with the third goal to set up a highly anticipated re-match with Queensland after their round robin match ended 3-3.
The semi-final match-ups were confirmed earlier in the day with the final round of action at the ANU. Queensland took top spot after defeating Southern NSW 4-2 on the back of a double from Kate Orkild and Rebekah Stott’s ninth goal of the campaign. That victory, coupled with NSW Thunder’s shock 2-0 loss to rivals Lightning, gave the Maroons the semi-final clash against the Thunder. Dominique Caridad and Jacqueline Frier struck for NSW Lightning to give them second spot on the ladder.
The ACT Cobras had secured third spot on the ladder by defeating Western Australia 4-1 led by a brace of goals from Luisa Marzotto, Sabrina Spinapolice and Rachel Crittenden completed a comfortable win. Jessica Linquist netted a consolation for an outclassed Western Australia.
DAY FOUR RESULTS
Women’s Open – Round Seven
Queensland 4 (Kate Orkild (2), Brooke Skelly, Rebekah Stott) defeated Southern NSW 2 (Amy Copping (2))
NSW Lightning 2 (Dominique Caridad, Jacqueline Frier) defeated NSW Thunder 0
Victoria 7 (Ashleigh Kelly (2), Thomay Nicolaou (2), Melanie Camilleri, Deanna Niceski, Katrina Smith) defeated Northern NSW Hawks 1 (Lara Pilton)
ACT Cobras 4 (Luisa Marzotto (2), Sabrina Spinapolice, Rachel Crittenden) defeated Western Australia 1 (Jessica Linquist)
Queensland 2 (Brooke Skelly, Rebekah Stott) defeated NSW Thunder 2 (Stephanie Haim, Ifenia Radapolous) 4-3 on penalties, after extra time
ACT Cobras 3 (Amanda Aurousseau, Becky Roche, Rachel Crittenden) defeated NSW Lightning 0
Women’s Open – Final Table
Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Queensland 7 5 1 1 23 10 13 17
2 NSW Lightning 7 5 1 1 20 12 8 17
3 ACT Cobras 7 4 2 1 20 8 12 16
4 NSW Thunder 7 5 0 2 16 5 11 15
5 Western Australia 7 3 0 4 13 14 -1 9
6 Victoria 7 2 1 4 17 15 2 8
7 Southern NSW 7 1 1 5 13 22 -9 5
8 NNSW Hawks 7 0 0 7 6 42 -36 0
10 Rebekah STOTT (Queensland)
7 Kate ORKILD (Queensland), Amy COPPING (Southern NSW)
5 Becky ROCHE (ACT Cobras), Stephanie HAIM (NSW Thunder), Sarah SEMAAN (NSW Lightning), Melanie CAMILLERI (Victoria)
4 Rachel CRITTENDEN, Luisa MARZOTTO (both ACT Cobras), Ifenia RADOPOLOUS (NSW Thunder), Brooke SKELLY (Queensland), Kylie MEEHAN (Southern NSW), Ashleigh KELLY (Victoria), Erin WALSH (Western Australia)
3 Sarah CRITTENDEN, Laura JONES (both ACT Cobras), Dominique CARIDAD, Jacqueline FRIER, Lauren RALSTON (all NSW Lightning), Sarah O’CONNOR (NNSW Hawks), Deanna NICESKI (Victoria), Bianca LAVORGNA, Jessica LINQUIST (both Western Australia)
2 Sabrina SPINAPOLICE (ACT Cobras), Rhiannon FLEMING, Clare WALSH (both NSW Thunder), Ashley FRANCIS (NSW Lightning), Georgie BRIDGES (Queensland), Emily LEVERSHA, Thomay NICOLAOU (both Victoria), Jessica SARDI (Western Australia)