NSW Thunder 2 (Mark Symington 13’, Miles Downie 19’) South Australia 1 (Jonathan Fusco 35’)
NSW Thunder squeezed into the FFA National Futsal Championships Open Men’s Grand Final with a 2-1 win over a gallant South Australia at the AIS Arena. The Thunder carried more menace throughout as befits the side that ended the round-robin on top of the ladder and who had beaten SA 4-0 in their opening encounter of the week. Jarrod Basger was a constant threat and had the first real shot in anger in the seventh minute, forcing SA custodian Simon Ortlepp to clutch a fiercely hit drive in his mid-rift. Eventually though the NSW Thunder goal-threat told and Mark Symington was perfectly placed to convert smartly with a back-heel flick from inside the area. South Australia replied with some long-range shooting that Andrew Haim needed to be alert to before Basger hit the post for Thunder after skipping round the prostrate Ortlepp. Ortlepp was enjoying a fine game in goals but he could nothing to prevent Thunder from increasing their lead before the break as Miles Downie prodded a shot underneath the ‘keeper’s body from close in. SA weren’t without their chances, Max Nightingale forced into a superb save from a Jake La Scala header, whilst Alexander Payne, on at half-time in the SA goal saved magnificently from Symington. Jonathan Fusco gave SA a glimmer of hope, slamming home a loose ball with five minutes to play but NSW survived the late onslaught to progress.
ACT 5 (Robbie Cattanach 28’, 45’, Ryan Keir 31’, Stephen Domenici 36’, Callum Smith 49’) Victoria 3 (Fernando De Moraes 4’, Jonathan Barrientos 20’, Jason Barrientos 30’) – after extra time
The ACT will have the chance to defend their crown after winning an epic semi-final 5-3 against Victoria after extra-time. goals from Robbie Cattanach and Callum Smith in extra-time sealing the result. Victoria opened the scoring with a piece of brilliance from Fernando. The Futsalroo skipped past two challenges, cut inside and steadied himself before calmly side-footing past international team-mate Angelo Konstantinou in the ACT goal to register one of the best goals scored this week. Miguel Barrigos then hit the outside of the left-hand upright whilst Christos Apostalakis in the Victorian goal denied Trent Flanigan, Callum Smith and Cattanach with his feet. Crucially Victoria was able to go further ahead on the stroke of the half-time whistle turning over possession deep inside the ACT half and freeing Jonathan Barrientos to slot past Konstantinou. The ACT turned up the heat in the second half and Apostalakis had to stand firm to block twice from Stephen Domenici before the dismissal of ACT star Daniel Fulton for a second yellow card hampered the home town team even though Cattanach pulled a goal back straight away. Fernando was to the fore again on the half hour creating an opening for Jason Barrientos to make it 3-1 but the reigning champions hit back within twenty seconds as Ryan Keir rounded off a smart team move with nine minutes left. And the champions weren’t done, drawing level minutes later as Cattanach squared for Domenici to pick his spot and send the match into extra-time.
Friday 17th January
18:00 – NSW Thunder v ACT
8 Robbie CATTANACH (ACT)
5 Jordan GUERREIRO, Jordan MUNDELL (NSW Thunder)
4 Daniel BENNETT, Trent FLANIGAN, Ryan KEIR (ACT), Jarrod BASGER (NSW Thunder)
3 Callum SMITH (ACT), Sam PERRE (NSW Thunder), Maxim AVRAM (Victoria)
2 Stephen DOMENICI, Michael REEVE (ACT), Clayton MUSUMECI, Mark SYMINGTON (NSW Thunder), Jake LA SCALA (South Australia), Jason BARRIENTOS, Miguel BARRIGOS, FERNANDO De Moraes (Victoria), own GOAL
1 Daniel FULTON, Angelo KONSTANTINOU (ACT), Miles DOWNIE, Jonathan KONTALIS, Lev LEWIS (NSW Thunder), Brendan COBB, Brian QUAN (Queensland), Jonathan FUSCO, Aaron NOBLE, Andres OBIELGO (South Australia), Jonathan BARRIENTOS, Adam COOPER, Reuben LANGERAK, Konrad MACHOY, Matthew VRAGOVSKI (Victoria)