Victoria 2 (Melissa Missailidis 18’, Liesl Woods 24’) ACT 4 (Ashleigh Palombi 5’, Erin Clout 14’, Hayley Buckingham 33’, Becky Roche 38’)
Defending Women’s Open Champions the ACT got off to a flier in their first match of the 2014 FFA National Futsal Championships by defeating Victoria 4-2 at the AIS Arena. In what was a replay of last year’s epic Grand Final, the ACT held a 2-0 lead, were pegged back to 2-2 before ultimately triumphing in an end-to-end match that kept the crowd entertained throughout. The hosts had a dream start to the competition, taking the lead after five minutes through Ashleigh Palombi who raced away from her marker before showing quick feet to slip around Elizabeth Sarcevic in the Victorian goal for a superb opener. And the lead was doubled nine minutes later as Erin Clout hit a low shot that cannoned into the net off the base of the goalkeeper’s right hand post. Victoria reduced the deficit six minutes before the interval however as Melissa Missailadis tapped in from close range. The Victorians came out for the second half in an up-tempo mood and were soon level, Leisl Woods sweeping home to complete a fast-paced slick counter-attack. At 2-2 it was anyone’s game but it was the ACT who struck next as Hayley Buckingham found the space to blast home from mid-range. With Victoria pushing for an equaliser the Act killed off the contest, and secured the three points, when Becky Roche made it four, two minutes from the full time whistle.
NSW Lightning 3 (Dominique Caridad 17’, Ceyda Cambaz 30’, 37’) South Australia 1 (Jamilla Hull 3’)
NSW Lightning came from 0-1 down to win their opening match of the FFA National Futsal Championships thanks to a brace of goals from Ceyda Cambaz. Cambaz struck twice within seven second half minutes to turn the match on its head and give Lightning the three points. It was South Australia that started the brightest, on the offensive from the off and peppering the NSW Lightning goal with a number of early shots. From one of these, in the third minute, they took the lead. Moving the ball swiftly across court the South Australians created a gap wide on the right hand side and Jamilla Hull did the rest, belting a drive across the reach of Sarah Easthope and high into the roof of the net for a sublime goal. Lightning should have levelled in the 16th minute after excellent approach work by Dominique Caridad but Cambaz struck the underside of the bar from her delicious square ball. It mattered little however as within sixty seconds the same combination, in reverse, allowed Caridad to restore parity. Jessica Elliott forced South Australian custodian Leah Trebilcock into a smart save early in the second half as Lightning came out with high intensity. But the ‘keeper could do nothing to prevent a brilliantly taken goal by Ceyda Cambaz with ten minutes remaining, a dink over the advancing stopper put NSW ahead. And Cambaz put the icing on the cake with time running out, getting on the end of the counter attack to stab her second and NSW’s third past Trebilcock.
2 Ceyda CAMBAZ (NSW Lightning)
1 Hayley BUCKINGHAM, Erin CLOUT, Ashleigh PALOMBI, Becky ROCHE (ACT), Dominique CARIDAD (NSW Lightning), Jamilla HULL (South Australia), Melissa MISSAILIDIS, Liesl WOODS (Victoria)