Fitzroy FC v Ashburton FC (10-3)
Once again, another Wednesday night was upon us to deliver six games of quality futsal in the prestigious NIKE V-league, and to kick off the nights preceding’s saw 4th placed Fitzroy up against a resurgent Ashburton side in 7th. Ashburton managed to keep together the side that had disposed of FC Prahran last week, only missing striker Simon La Manda. Fitzroy’s squad , as always, was at full strength, but they were to go into the game without manager Ali Rasoulzadeh. The first half could not have started any better for the Fitzroy boys as they raced to a 3-0 lead, with keeper Dianoosh opening the scoring with an absolute blinder from the half-way line. Ashburton’s Dima Nichiforenco kept his side in the contest with goal going between Rasoulzadeh’s legs, but there wasn’t enough defensive pressure from Ashburton as the half ended 5-1. The second half, like the first, saw Fitzroy dominate their opposition all over the pitch, as every player in yellow was desperate to receive the ball. Strikers Cameron Holmes and Samim Mehjeri relished their opportunity of getting more game time by running amok and getting into great scoring positions for both themselves and their team-mates, as Haider Noor, Hamid Hassanikhoo, Mehjeri and even keeper Dianoosh Rasoulzadeh scored a brace! Holmes and defender Shayan Rashidi contributed singles only. As the margin became too great for Ashburton to recover from, they seemed to give up. This is not a good sign from a team wanting to break into the top four. Some leadership was shown through star players Mark Burton and James Blackburn both scoring singles, but to become a real ‘threat’ they need players who play for the team and not for themselves.
FC Prahran v FC Essendon (11-3)
It was a season defining clash for the newly formed FC Prahran boys as they took on a confident FC Essendon in the second game of the night. Prahran, who were widely tipped as the side to challenge Pascoe Vale for the title, were without a win since defeating Balwyn in round 1 and were sitting in 9th position. The pressure was on to perform against an Essendon side who narrowly lost 5-7 to the champions last week. But it was Prahran who came out on all cylinders firing, as talisman, Maxi Avram scored a peach of a goal past Essendon’s keeper Ned Torbika almost immediately after kick-off. The Prahran boys also welcomed the return of playmaker Marcus Barbosa as he teed up Ernie Simsek for his sides second and then scored himself only minutes after. The score at half time was 3-1 as Essendon’s hardened defender, Igor Stevanovic pegged the score back. New Prahran keeper, Michael Chami who was brought in to replace the under-performing Jamie Tran, was a great inclusion as he commanded his defence and made his presence felt in the second half. As Essendon strikers Dusan Bosniak and Alexander Stevanovic peppered the Prahran goal, Chami stood firm. The absence of key players Ivan Pajic and Boza Lojanica really seemed to be too much of a loss for Essendon as Barbosa and Avram dominated possession on the way to scoring a hat-trick and a brace respectively. Well backed up by doubles from Ben Armstrong, Adam Husseini and Ernie Simsek, Prahran romped to a much needed 11-3 win. Essendon’s lack of speed was well exposed by the creative Prahran. Now 6th on the ladder, hopefully they can continue their good form against Pascoe Vale next week.
FC Melbourne v Pascoe Vale FC (0-4)
The third game of the night saw the champions of last seasons V-League, Pascoe Vale, pitted against the champions of last seasons State League FC Melbourne. It was always going to be an uphill battle for Melbourne, but the ‘dark blues’ have an amazing amount of self-belief in each other and have never backed down from taking on tough opposition (they lost 5-4 to Metro in round 2). The first half was as very close as Melbourne had opted for a man-on-man style of play to counter Pascoe Vale’s mobility, and to break the dead-lock, Pascoe Vale defender Ahmed Azzam stepped up to slot a perfectly positioned strike past Ralph Ruz, off the post and into the back of the net. Not long after, Pascoe Vale’s ever-present striker, Joao Da Silva doubled their lead. Melbourne, despite being 2-0 down were content with their performance as they went into the second half within striking distance of the champs. New recruit for Melbourne, Fabiano De Britto, showed plenty of flair in his NIKE V-League debut as he provided plenty of run and got often got towards the ‘vales’ goal, but was unable to trouble their keeper Greg Lascaris. In fact, Melbourne hardly troubled Lascaris’s goal at all, as the dark blues were so focused on shutting Pascoe Vale down it seemed that they forgot to score! Towards the end of the second half, it was evident how valuable Andre Caro is to the Pascoe Vale line-up as his run, passing, creating and especially scoring were missed. But his absence – through a red card suspension – allowed other players such as Richie Ferguson, Vadim Mazurskiy and Ahmed Azzam to step up, and step up they did as Ferguson provided run, Vadim converted a penalty and Azzam scored his second just before the full-time whistle. It was a solid defensive performance from Melbourne, but not being able to get shots on goal hurt them in the end. Pascoe Vale are still the team to beat and Melbourne can take in a lot of confidence going into next weeks massive game against Balwyn.
Metropolitan FC v North Melbourne FC (3-10)
It is one of the most eagerly anticipated matches on the NIKE V-League fixture when two of the most talented and organised squads in Metropolitan and North Melbourne lock horns. There was a lot riding on the outcome of this match, as both teams were undefeated and both have shown their clear intentions of capturing the inaugural NIKE V-League premiership, and it was the boys from North who dominated the first half flying to a 3-0 lead early on. Led by a Tiago Priore ‘goal of the week’, Jonathan Barrientos added two goals and a Tomo Grgic own goal rounded out the North goals. Metropolitan captain Alija Redzepovic chased and harassed but could only register one goal for his side. The second half saw North’s dominance continue as every player on their list scored. Jonathan Barrientos bagged a hat-trick, Alex Jankovic and Adam Cooper secured a brace each, which left ‘regular providers’ Mirza Pedic and Tiago Priori with singles. New inclusions for Metro, keeper Damir Salicn and Dino Redzepovic both didn’t settle in time to make an impact in the game. Redzepovic – who in his defence is coming off a knee injury – need time to settle back into the pace of the NIKE V-League. Ivan Zilic made a stunning return with two second half goals, but it was not enough to stay close to a rampaging North side. It didn’t help that regular scoring defenders, Tomo Grgic and Jusuf Avdic were held scoreless and un-able to get forward as often like they have in recent weeks, to ease scoring pressure on their strikers. Overall, it was a first-class performance by Milton Sakkos’s North Melbourne as they join Pascoe Vale in being undefeated after round 5 and have claimed outright second position on the ladder.
Hume FC v Albert Park FC (6-3)
When Hume and Albert Park lined up against each other for their 9:30 encounter, one would have thought that the ‘work-man’ like Hume could easily account for an Albert Park side with the bare minimum of players (5) to begin the match. But to their credit, Albert Park didn’t go down without a fight and showed the whole of the NIKE V-League what they were made of as they raced to a 3-0 lead in the first half with goals from regular scorers Josh Berrios, Jason Ioanidis and an own goal from Hume utility Fikri Bozdogan, it was enough to send a panic into the Hume squad. But after their slow start, it was a quick Moe Tankir double that settled their nerves as Hume went into half time with the momentum in their favour. The scores could have been level if Albert Park keeper Fadi Qunqar hadn’t saved Fikri Bozdogan’s penalty. Hume manager Amin Keddad revved up his troops during the interval to come out swinging after the break, and it was giant power forward Turhan Sumbol who answered his managers S.O.S with three thumping goals. One of them a free-kick which left Albert Park keeper Qunqar in awe of such power. With a limited squad, it’s no wonder Albert Park couldn’t add to their three goal tally after half-time, as they simply ran out of puff. Captain Jason Ioanidis should realise that he can’t expect to beat a quality side such as Hume with a squad of only five! If he wants to survive in the NIKE V-League, then he needs to build a squad that will be available week in week out. Well done to Hume for covering the loss of creative players in Diego Assaeda and Brukhan Koca with ‘hat-trick heroes’ Turhan Sumbol and Moe Tankir. Although, Hume manager, Keddad should re-call all of his squad back for next weeks blockbuster clash against CF Brunswick.
FC Balwyn v CF Brunswick (4-5)
The last encounter for the night of round 5 saw 5th placed CF Brunswick go up against an out of sorts FC Balwyn side languishing at the bottom of the ladder. Yet to register a point in the 2011 NIKE V-League season, FC Balwyn have battled in every game they have played, and to improve their squad, manager Matt Obeid recruited former Ashburton youngster Tolga Akturk and Marc Saric. Defender Tony Saric was also a welcome return for the whites. The boys of Brunswick were not as lucky in their selections as they were without three of their key players in Damir Marusic, Duke Duva and Futsalroo Danny Ngaluafe. The scene was set for an entertaining encounter, and thats exactly what the first half delivered as Brunswick raced to an astonishing 4-0 lead before half time, with goals from their in-form striker Ruz Roslan, an impressive double from captain Matthew Piga and an own goal from Balwyn defender Tony Saric. Balwyn looked down and out for the count, as the signs of a comeback weren’t visible by any stretch. But a quick goal in the second half by captain Tony Imeri seemed to give Balwyn the confidence they needed to get back into the match, as Jason Barrientos also scored to reduce the deficit to 2-4. New CF recruit, Michael Sharples steadied the ship when he scored his first in Brunswick colours. This didn’t deter Balwyn as Imeri and Barrientos completed their braces to really apply the pressure on the reds in the final minutes of the game. It was a lucky escape for Brunswick who were lucky to hold on for the win as momentum was going against them late into the match. It can also be a good sign to grind out a win against the odds! Balwyn manager Matty Obeid will also be satisfied of his sides impressive comeback as they prepare for their BIG chance to get their first win of the season when they take on 11th placed Melbourne next week.
V-League 2011 Top Goal Scorers
- A. Redzepovic Metro FC 12 Goals
- R. Roslan CFB 11 Goals
- M. Avram FCP 10 Goals
- M. Nyadzayo CFB 10 Goals
- A. Stevanovic FCE 10 Goals
Round 5 Wednesday June 1
- 6:30 Fitzroy FC v Ashburton FC 10-3
- 7:15 FC Prahran v FC Essendon 11-3
- 8:00 FC Melbourne v Pascoe Vale FC 0-4
- 8:45 Metropolitan FC v Nth Melbourne FC 3-10
- 9:30 Hume FC v Albert Park FC 6-3
- 10:15 FC Balwyn v CF Brunswick 4-5
Round 6 Wednesday June 8
- 6:30 Fitzroy FC v FC Essendon
- 7:15 Nth Melbourne FC v Albert Park FC
- 8:00 FC Prahran v Pascoe Vale FC
- 8:45 Metropolitan FC v Ashburton FC
- 9:30 Hume FC v CF Brunswick
- 10:15 FC Balwyn v FC Melbourne
Go to futsaloz.tv to see video highlights of all the matches.