Matthew Montgomery brings us a review of the latest round of the Melbourne V-League
The first clash of Round 2 saw newly promoted side Albert Park take on CF Brunswick. There was a lot of interest in this game as current Futsalroo Danny Ngaluafe flew down from Queensland to boost his sides chances of claiming the three points, and claim the points they did, as the Brunswick boys displayed a very solid performance. The performance of the night came from CF striker’s Munya Nyadzayo and Rosani Roslan who combined for an 8 goal haul. Nyadzayo who scored 5 now sits on top of the top goal scorers list, a sight which will give Manager Niko Ignatiadis a lot of confidence. Ignatiadis has got his side playing like a well oiled machine and with quality players like Ngaluafe and Duke Duva to add to the squad, the future looks very bright for Brunswick. The same cannot be said for their opponents Albert Park as they (for the second match in succession) lacked cohesion and desire. The Oranges goals came from new squad members in Chris Yang (1) and Josh Berrios (1) who put in a spirited performance, striker Theo Ioanidis also scored a single. Albert Park did not have the greatest start to the game as they had only three players to begin the match. If they want to survive in the V-League their approach to the game must improve. CF Brunswick are the perfect model as they have completely turned their fortunes around since last season, going from rags to riches.
FC Balwyn vs. Fitzroy FC (2-5)
All eyes were on fresh-faced V-League side Balwyn as they took on Fitzroy and aimed to improve on their narrow opening round defeat to Prahran last week. In a bid to swing the match in their favour, Balwyn manager Tony Imeri brought in two new players in Ben Geaboc and Matt Obeid to see if they could match it with one of the leagues most consistent teams. The first half performace was ideal from Balwyn as they fought back from a 2-0 deficit. A strike from Johnny Nikolokoudis kept them in the match with the score only being 2-1 at the break. But it wasn’t going to be enough as the experience and cohesion of the Fitzroy squad overcame Balwyn in the end. Fitzroy manager Ali Rasoulzadeh opted to stick with a new-look defensive partnership using Shayan Rashidi and Iman Arjomand for the duration of the game, it was a move which seemed to pay off as it freed up playmaker Hamid Hassanikhoo to play up forward with striker Haider Noor who ended up scoring two for the match. Fitzroy looked very dangerous at times, as they had the option of calling upon Cameron Holmes and Samim Mehjeri (who also scored two) to make an impact off the bench, and with Victorian State keeper Dianoosh Rasoulzadeh to make a return next week, the Roys may soon become a force to be reckoned with!
FC Essendon vs. North Melbourne FC (4-14)
The third clash of the night saw 2009 V-League champions Essendon take on 2011 title aspirants North Melbourne. It was a match where both sides made many changes to their line-ups in a bid to gain a vital win against a fellow quality team. Essendon lost a lot of run from the squad as they were without striker Dusan Bosniak, but they gained both Ivan Pajic and Boza Lojanica to add some creativity and strike force. Whereas North had lost fluctuating keeper Spiro Kargas but gained
their more organised keeoer in Christos Apostolakis, playmaker Kui Mu and strikers Mirza Pedic and Alex Jankovic. On paper, North had the better inclusions and they were the difference in the end as they ran out 14-4 winners. It was a welcome return to form for manager Miton Sakko’s talented side, as they have not had a more comfortable performance in months. The win was spearheaded by midfielder Tiago Priori as he scored 4 and regular scoring defender Jonathan Barrientos bagged 3. But the question is… can Milton keep the same players together week-in week-out? That’s the key! The issue surrounding Essendon seemed to be their lack of “match fitness” as 5 of 8 players played their first game for a long absence from the game. Defender Igor Stevanovic’s hat-trick was the shining light in the red’s lacklustre performance, as manager Zoran Matic has to go back to the drawing board once again.
Ashburton FC vs. Pascoe Vale FC (2-8)
The prime-time match slot saw Ashburton take on Pascoe Vale in which new ‘Vale’ recruit Marucio Novak lined up against his old side. Ashburton manager Paul Vidic had showed his intent in winning the highly rated clash by going in with a 9 man squad with the likes of ‘mercurial one’ James Blackburn, Rodrigo, Herbert and former Fitzroy FC midfielder Mark McGough all making a return. The intent was definitely there, but the question was… were all of these new faces going to gel? The short answer… No. Pascoe Vale ran rampant as they scored seven un-answered goals before Ashburton striker Udit Dahwan registered their first. The current league and cup champions were led by a match winning performance from Andre Caro as he scored 4 quality goals – one may even be goal of the round! The captain was well backed up by usual contributors Joao Da Silva who scored two along with Vadim Mazurskiy and Richie Ferguson who scored one apiece. It seemed that Vidic was not sure which combination of players worked best on the pitch, as some players seemed a little out of their depth when they went head to head with the leagues most successful club. Although the Vales put Ashbuton to the sword, maybe the large squad was the downfall for Vidic’s Green Machine.
FC Prahran vs. Hume FC (4-7)
In what was deemed match of the round by most spectators, the 9:30 clash saw potential top four rivals Prahran challenge a rejuvenated Hume side. It was a welcome return for Hume manager Amin Keddad as he had called upon some big inclusions to improve upon their 9-5 loss to Essendon in round 1. Coming in were regular keeper Con Makris, box to box defender Nejdet Sahin, and lethal strike duo of Turhan Sumbul and Brukhan Koca. Both sides were worthy of claiming the points, but it was the positive team energy and determination that saw Hume recover from a 3-2 half time deficit to run out 7-4 winners. The performances of the night both came from the Hume Camp as Koca scored 5 and Sumbul scored an absolute rocket from behind the halfway line, a shot that left the crowd in awe of such a powerful strike! Braces from both Maxi Avram and Ernie Simsek were not enough to hold back the boys in black. They just wanted it more! After such a strong performance against Balwyn last week, it would have been thought that Prahran would have won the game. The cohesion within the team was not there, as trying to make substitutions (and the correct sub at the right time) became somewhat of an issue. Maybe in a team full of stars it is time for a full-time manager to lead this ‘potential’ championship winning side?
Metropolitan FC vs. FC Melbourne (5-4)
For the second week running, Metropolitan’s once brimming squad was reduced to bare bones as they were yet again left without a substitute. The sky blues took on FC Melbourne who put in a solid first round performance against Fitzroy last week, and looked to build upon their impressive effort by defeating this weakened yet dangerous Metro side. Melbourne were without influential captain Chris Gospel, but this did not seem to bother last seasons State League Champions as they went up 2-0 early in the first half, both goals coming courtesy of striker Lee Dore. But as always, Metro fought back to level 2-2 before the break as Irzad Spijodic kept his nerve to slot a penalty to go along with Alija Redzepovic’s well placed strike. In the second half it was Metro who took the lead, again through Spijodic (who ended up with three goals for the match) and Alija with his second, but showing a good deal of fighting spirit, Melbourne fought back through well earned goals from stand-in captain Moussi Eloor and utility Mael Gulliou. As the final whistle blew it was the experience of Metropolitan that helped them to claim all three points, but if the sky blues were up against a stronger opponent (Pascoe Vale or North Melbourne for example) would their small squad be able to overcome them? It surely would be a much more difficult task. The squad definitely needs to expand before this week’s crucial game against Balwyn.
V-League 2011 Top Goal Scorers
- M. Nyadzayo CFB 7 Goals
- A. Redzepovic Metro FC 6 Goals
- B. Koca HFC 5 Goals
- A. Caro PVFC 5 Goals
Round 2 Wednesday May 11
- 6:30 CF Brunswick v Albert Park FC 3 – 9
- 7:15 FC Balwyn v Fitzroy FC 2 – 5
- 8:00 FC Essendon v Nth Melbourne FC 4 – 14
- 8:45 Ashburton FC v Pascoe Vale FC 2 – 8
- 9:30 FC Prahran v Hume FC 4 – 7
- 10:15 FC Melbourne v Metropolitan FC 4 – 5
Round 3 Wednesday May 18
- 6:30 FC Melbourne v Albert Park FC
- 7:15 FC Essendon v Ashburton FC
- 8:00 FC Prahran v Nth Melbourne FC
- 8:45 CF Brunswick v Pascoe Vale FC
- 9:30 FC Balwyn v Metropolitan FC
- 10:15 Fitzroy FC v Hume FC
Go to futsaloz.tv to see video highlights of all the matches.