The thrilling conclusion to the Futsal Premier League season reached a peak, as the penultimate weekend delivered a sensational match, one which will live long in the memories of those who witnessed it.
With Dural Warriors already in the showpiece event, Inner West Magic faced off against Campbelltown Quake for the remaining spot in the Grand Final and both sides showed utter desperation to try and get there.
Inner West Magic need extra time to vanquish brave Campbelltown Quake
As it turned out, it was Inner West Magic who progressed to the Grand Final at the expense of Campbelltown Quake, the match reaching a rollicking conclusion towards the end of extra time, where Aaron Cimitile was the hero, scoring a late goal to send Magic through.
Quake had been resurgent towards the end of the regular season, after a less than impressive start. They proved their quality during the run-in, and did so again in a match they were desperately unlucky to lose.
Indeed, they took the lead in the 32nd minute when Mark Symington, a stand-out for them this season, opened the scoring.
Ediz Alpkaya found an equaliser for Inner West immediately and the score was level at 1-1 at half time.
The outstanding Marino Musumeci gave Inner West the lead ten minutes after the interval, his goal adding to what has been a fantastic season for the Magic player.
Symington equalised for Quake, giving them renewed hope as the match entered its final throes.
Andrew Paine popped up for Magic, scoring with four minutes remaining to give his side a 3-2 lead. Magic knew not to rest on their laurels though and they were unable to hold on as Symington completed his hat trick just a minute later, levelling the scores at 3-3.
The match headed into extra time delicately poised, with neither side willing to give in to the other.
Quake, with the momentum of Symington’s equaliser pushing them on, scored first in extra time, thanks to another stand out in Dean Lockhardt. His 55th minute goal put Quake in front, but in keeping with the match so far, they weren’t ahead for long.
Alpkaya scored his second for Magic just two minutes later, in the 57th minute, bring the match level at 4-4 in what had become an all-time classic.
The match was destined for penalties, but Cimitile had other ideas, striking late to send Magic to the Grand Final and to leave Quake contemplating what might have been.