ASH: R. Castro 2, D. Acovissi 2, R. Ferguson, G. McHeileh, R. Covarrubias, J. Berrios
MICK: I. Filipovic 3, E. Huynh 2, D. Kusturic, L. Holian
The first game to kick off Round 4 of the men’s 2013/14 league season saw Ashburton look to continue winning ways agains pointless Mickleham. Considered underdogs, Mickleham took their opposition by surprise and earned a 3-2 lead as Iggy Filipovic starred with a double while Davor Kusturic added the other single. Ashburton fought their way back with goals from George McHeilieh and Ricky Castro. If not for Mickleham keeper Steve Castvan making a short and long penalty save, the green machine would have been in front. The second half saw a lot more dram unfold as Ashburton went into an early lead scoring the first four goals, only for Mickleham to fight their way back. The chance for Mickleham to cause a dramatic upset took a dive as keeper Steve Castvan received a second yellow card. To their credit, Vlado Zoric’s side never gave up and had a chance to level the scores with a far-spot penalty after the whistle but Iggy filipovic succumbed to the pressure and hit it wide. Ashburton held on for a narrow 8-7 win.
Man of the Match: Davide Acovissi (Ashburton)
The Italian has come along way since his debut mid way through last season, really finding his feet in this Ashburton side. When they looked in trouble in the first half, Acovissi came on to steady the ship. In the second, Acovissi added two crucial goals which gave his side some breathing space over the determined Mickleham.
VV: M. Avram, Jon. Barrientos, Jas. Barrientos, J. Da Silva (OG)
PV: J. Da Silva 2, S. Soufi
The next game on the card was an absolute blockbuster on paper as the ‘El Clasico’ as it’s known, packed out the futsal Oz Stadium. Both Pascoe Vale and the Vic Vipers both undefeated, the stage was set for an epic encounter – even though Futsalroo Adam Cooper was absent for the Vipers. The first half was – as expected – played in cautious circumstances as it ended 1-1 with Soufi scored for Pascoe Vale and an own goal from Joao Da Silva kept the Vipers in the contest. To open the second half action both sides traded goals with Maxi Avram and Da Silva scoring for the Vipers and Pascoe respectively. The next few minutes to follow were the most bizzare to witnessed in recent times as Pascoe keeper Lorenzo De Paris and the Vipers Miguel Barrigos were both sent off. The Vipers were put in front thanks to a Johnny Barrientos penalty, but their slender lead didn’t last as Da Silva got his second for the game to level at 3-3. In similar fashion in last Friday nights clash against Metropolitan, Jason Barrientos bobbed up for a late match winner with less than 30 seconds on the clock! It really was an amazing clash, reminiscent of the Pascoe/Vipers clashes from seasons past with vocal crowds and two fit, firing and talented squads going head to head. As the Vipers go top of the table, their historic win over their fierce rivals opens up the 2013/14 title race. The Vipers of old are back in a big way!
Man of the Match: Maxi Avram (Vipers)
The Vipers target man had spent a lengthy amount of time on the sidelines last season and had been a bit out of sorts towards the end of 2013. But today, the Maxi that we all know and love had returned. He was vocal, energetic, encouraging, put his body in the line and he was a menace in front of goal. Besides scoring a ripper free kick, Avram’s presence in defence when Barrigos was sent off – and the Vipers were a player down – was immense. No doubt manager Milton Sakkos would be proud of his efforts today.
FTZ: B. Monteleone, I. Altuntas, J. Ortiz, A. Granollers
MET: E. Simsek 2, T. Grgic
The next game on the card saw two tile hopefuls go head to head in Fitzroy and Metropolitan. Fresh off a last minute defeat to the Vipers on Friday, the Royal Blues were looking to bounce back quickly and there task got a little easier as Fernando wasn’t lining up against them. In the first half, both sides could not be split as it ended in a 1-1 stalemate with Ilhan Altuntas converting for Fitzroy and Tomo Grgic for Metro. The second half opened with a bang as Ben Monteleone and Alejandro Granollers both scored to put Fitzroy into a commanding 3-1 lead. Ernie Simsek continued his fine form in a Royal Blue shirt as he pulled one back for Metro, but a thumping strike from Jeremy Ortiz wrapped up the win for the ‘Roys’. It was a morale lifting win for Todd Miles’ side who have defeated a quality opposition without arguably the best player in the league. As for Metro, they will have to go back to the drawing board and reload for their assault on the title.
Man of the Match: Jimmy Brennan (Fitzroy)
For the past few seasons, Metro have easily been the highest scoring side. Boasting the likes of Tomo Grgic, Ernie Simsek along with Alija and Dino Redzepovic, Brennan did a quality job in keeping the normally free scoring Metro at bay. In the final seconds of the game with only a solitary goal the margin, Brennan came out and made a crucial save to maintain his sides slender lead. With quality keepers quite hard to come by these days – most sides having two on a team sheet – brennan could be one of the signings of the season as they have added the final piece of the puzzle to chase down some silverware.
HME: V. Mazurskiy 7, N. Sahin 3, M. Vragovski, J. Michaelis, A. Alicevic, C. Cicekdag
AP: H. Bui 3, E. Mutabazi
The final game for Round 4 saw two winless sides in Hume and Albert Park go head to head. With a full strength squad, Hume were quite confident of taking all three points against one of the weaker sides in the league. The first half went all according to plan for the Army as Vadim Mazurskiy returned to top form bagging four goals while Nejdett Sahin added three and singles were added by Adem Alicevic and Cesur Cicekdag. Albert Park’s silky defender Huang Bui slotted two for Albert Park to cap off the 9-2 half time score line. The second half saw Hume inflict more pain on their hapless opponents as Mazurskiy scored another three – taking his match tally to seven – just as Matty Vragovski and Jordan Michaelis added singles. Stand in captain Elisee Mutabazi added Albert Park’s third and Huang Bui was the only shining light in Michael Lam’s side with a hat trick. It was a welcome return to form for Hume who achieved their first win of the season. Albert Park on the other hand, it looks to be a long, long season if changes aren’t made.
Man of the Match: Vadim Mazurskiy (Hume)
What a return to league action by the Russian striker. After missing majority of last season through injury, Mazurskiy is slowly, slowly returning to full fitness and scoring seven goals on one leg just shows us how dangerous he can be! Hopefully he can return to the Hume line up sooner rather than later to boost the Army’s chances of silverware in 2013/14.