FTZ: M. Burton 3, I. Altuntas, A. Dunlop, A. Fusca, A. Granollers
The first game to kick off the Round 3 action saw Albert Park look to claim their first points in the 2013/14 season against the fernando-less Fitzroy. After Friday night’s 11-2 thumping at the hands of the Vic Vipers, the Roy’s were looking to redeem themselves against the lowly Albert Park. With Fernando away on a training camp for the Futsalroos, it seemed that the Fitzroy lads were going to cruise to the three points as a hat trick from veteran defender Mark Burton gifted them a 3-0 lead at the break. Fitzroy’s fine first half form continued into the second period as Ilhan Altuntas further extended the lead. But three goals in quick succession for Albert Park from Jose Vasquez, Elisee Mutabazi and Thao Pham made sure that Fitzroy didn’t have everything their own way. With the game in the balance, emotion got the better of Albert Park manager Michael Lam as he seemed to abuse an official which saw him sent off the pitch. this worked heavily in Fitzroy’s favour as they reclaimed their stranglehold on the game to score three unanswered goals from Alistair Dunlop, Ange Fusca and Alejandro Granollers to record a well deserved 7-3 win. It was a good comeback by Fitzroy who did well to stem the momentum of Albert Park to get back to winning ways, and to do it without fernando will be a massive boost for manager Todd Miles. Albert Park on the other hand seem to be in a major spot of bother three rounds into the season and with other teams around them making quality signings to improve their squads, something needs to be done before it’s too late.
Man of the Match: Mark Burton (Fitzroy)
As mentioned before, Fitzroy were without star player Fernando De Moraes due to Futsalroo commitments. After Friday’s devastating loss to the Vipers, it was imperative that Fitzroy put in a strong performance to regain their confidence. Enter Mark Burton. the former New Zealand internationals three first half goals most certainly eased the nerves of the squad to set them up for a much needed win. Burton’s defensive efforts when Albert Park were making their comeback should also not go unnoticed.
Mickleham Futsal Club 4 – 11 Pascoe Vale Futsal Club
MICK: I. Filipovic 3, V. Zoric
PV: S. Soufi 3, L. Kruel 2, A. Caro, J. Da Silva, R. Armellini, M. Rocca, J. Tabarkiewicz, S. Castvan (OG)
The second game to take place for Round 3 was tipped to be a very one sided affair as top placed Pascoe Vale went up against bottom placed Mickleham. Pascoe, boasting a quality, full strength bench made their opponents look like a mere social league side as Vlado Zoric’s men could only manage the one substitute. The first half played out just as many had predicted, with Pascoe dictating terms to eventually earn a 4-1 half time lead. A double from Sofiane Soufi set the pace for Pascoe, while Lucas Kruel and an own goal from Steve Castvan made sure that Mickleham captain, Vlado Zoric’s solitary strike remained a consolation goal. The second half saw the title favourites really flex their muscles as they boasted seven individual scorers in Soufi, Kruel, Andre Caro, Joao Da Silva, Robbie Armellini, Matteo Rocca and Johnny Tabarkiewicz. Mickleham had a better showing on the scoreboard in the second period as midfield engine Iggy Filipovic bagged a hat trick, but it was nowhere near good enough as Pascoe took out the win by a comfortable seven goal margin. Although Mickleham are just a shadow of the side they were last season, Pascoe Vale put in a flawless and effortless display to put them in good stead for claiming their fourth title in a row. There is a massive chance that this side could make it through the entire season without dropping a point. Mickleham on the other hand, well…. it looks to be a very, very, very long season for Vlado and the boys.
Man of the Match: Sofiane Soufi (Pascoe Vale)
With every member of the Pascoe vale squad putting in a solid performance, the man of the match award has to got to go to striker Sofiane Soufi, who was clinical with his finishing in front of goal. The Frenchman will go a long, long way in the race for this seasons golden boot if he keeps up these dominating performances.
Hume Futsal Club 6 – 6 Ashburton Futsal Club
HME: N. Sahin 2, R. Culculoglu, M. Vragovski, J. Michaelis, R. Covarrubias (OG)
ASH: R. Castro 4, J. Jiminez, R. Covarrubias
The final game on the card for round 3 saw last seasons third and fourth placed teams in Hume and Ashburton take to the pitch. After two losses to open their 2013/14 account, Hume were desperate to keep pace with the top of the table, but standing in their way was a new-look Ashburton side with quality additions in Roddy Covarrubias and George McHeileh. With both sides desperately needing the win, it was no wonder they couldn’t be separated at half time, drawing level at 3 goals each. A double from Ricky Castro and a single from Joaquin Jiminez comleted the scoring for the green Machine while Hume’s contributors included Nejdett Sahin, Matty Vragovski and an own goal from Covarrubias. The second half was played out in similar circumstances to the first half as both Hume and Ashburton went goal for goal to open up the action as Resit Culcloglu and Ricky Castro converted for their respective sides. Midway through the half, Hume had worked their way into the biggest lead of the game as Jordan Michaelis and Sahin scored from close range to make it a commanding 6-4 lead. Refusing to give up, Ashburton continued to play their attacking brand of futsal and they were soon rewarded as Covarrubias scored with less than five minutes on the clock to make up for his own goal in the first half. There was yet more drama to follow. As the clock dwindled down to seconds, the ball was hoofed into the ‘D’ by Ashburton keeper Con Makris only for the red-hot Ricky Castro to score from an unbelievable bicycle kick to level the scores at 6-6. It was an amazing finish to an amazing game, a draw being a fair result in the end. One point after three games was probably not the ideal start to a season if you are planning to make a genuine run at the title, so manager Amin Keddad will have to revitalise and refocus his squad in the coming weeks to catch up to the ladder leaders. There are positive signs all around for Benny Geaboc and Ashburton who seem to have a new lease of life since their opening round one loss, with the signings of Covarrubias and McHeileh playing a big part in their change of fortune.
Man of the Match: Ricky Castro (Ashburton)
Castro, after tonights four goal haul now makes it two man of the match outings in a row after Saturday’s win against Albert Park. How can you go past Castro after not only scoring the winner in the dying seconds of the game, but setting up goals, applying crucial tackles and bringing a much needed positive energy into the squad when his team mates looked down and out. An all-round great performance by Castro and more than deserving of the Man of the Match award.