FTZ: A. Dunlop 2, J. Monteleone
HME: M. Vragovski, S. Rashidi, A. Azzam
The first game to kick off the final Round of the 2013/14 season saw Fitzroy who couldn’t lose second position on the ladder go up against Hume. Without a recognised keeper, it was no wonder that Fitzroy found themselves facing a 1-0 deficit at half time courtesy of a Matty Vragovski strike. The second half started off with an equaliser from Fitzroy captain Alistair Dunlop, but their joy was short lived as well taken goals from Hume’s Shayan Rashidi and Ahmed Azzam put the Army back into the lead at 3-1. Fitzroy may have been missing a first choice keeper, but that didn’t mean their outfield players were any slouches, boasting the likes of Fernando, Joao Silveria and Mark Burton. With names like these on the Fitzroy team sheet it was only a matter of time until they battered down the sturdy Hume defence as Fitzroy youngsters in Dunlop and Joe Monteleone levelled late in the half to seal a well deserved draw.
Man of the Match: Joao Silveria (Fitzroy)
Fitzroy, who only had one sub on the bench were made to work tirelessly throughout the entire match and no one’s work rate was higher than Joao Silveria’s. One of the most improved players in the league, Silveria proved just how valuable he is to his sides fortunes with a standout performance. Splitting open the Hume defence with precision passes, brining his team mates into play, Silveria was also called upon to play the fly keeper role late in the game in which he set up numerous counters and pulled off a couple of daring saves to keep his side in the game.
A special mention must also be given to Fitzroy’s Ben Monteleone who played almost the entire game as the stand in keeper. Ben who is in red hot form in front of goal at present was asked to sacrifice his position in the outfield and he didn’t let his side down with a very strong showing in goals.
VV: Jas. Barrientos 4, Jon. Barrientos 2, M. Barrigos 2
MICK: M. Lunt 2, B. Tawfic 2, H. Hassanikhoo
The second game on the Round 21 card saw the newly crowned league champions in the Vic Vipers take on Mickleham who are destined for the relegation playoffs. After a hard fought first half, it was the Vipers who took a slender lead into the break as goals from Johnny Barrientos and Jason Barrientos calncelled out Hamid Hassanikhoo’s solitary strike for Mickleham. The opening stages of the second half saw the Vipers add on four unanswered goals through Jason Barrientos – who added two to his match tally – Johnny Barrientos and Miguel Barrigos. With time ticking away and the three point seemingly wrapped up, the Vipers began to take their foot off the pedal ever so slightly which opened the door for an unlikely Mickleham comeback. Inspired by some creative build up play from Hamid Hassanikhoo, four quick goals were added by debutant Bilial Tawfic and Miroslav Lunt – both scored doubles – reduced the deficit to a mere goal with less than five minutes on the clock. But like all champion sides, the Vipers never panicked and bounced back with the expected response as Barrigos completed his double and Jason Barrientos added his fourth to cap off what was an impressive and consistent league campaign displayed by Milton Sakkos’ lads.
Man of the Match: Jason Barrientos (Vipers)
One of the more unsung heroes of the NIKE V-League Premiership, Vipers striker Jason Barrientos has bailed his side out of a tough game not for the first time this season. With four match winning goals, Jason was the clear man of the match and finished the 2013/14 season as his sides top scorer. It is an effort not to go unnoticed, especially win a title winning campaign. Hopefully for the Vipers’ sake he can carry his league form into the upcoming FOz Cup.
Photo: The Vipers’ top scorer for the season, Jason Barrientos is closely marked by Mickleham’s Miroslav Lunt (R) but that didn’t stop the Viper from claiming four majors.
APK: Q. Nghiem
PV: A. Caro 2, L. Kruel 2, B. Polatti, M. Rocca, A. Battaia, S. Soufi
The next game on the card saw Pascoe Vale who had wrapped up the third and final FAFL Cup spot, take on Albert Park whose poor 2013/14 season was finally coming to an end. To open the first half, it was no surprise that Pascoe took a comfortable 3-1 lead into the break as Andre Caro, Matteo Rocca and Alex Battaia all managed singles to cancel out Quyen Nghiem solitary strike. The second half really saw Pascoe take the game by the scruff of the neck as they piled on five unanswered goals. Andre Caro capped off a fine performance with a double along with fellow defender Lucas Kruel, while Brenno Polatti and Sofiane Soufi both added singles. Going up against the leagues bottom side, Pascoe were able to give some of their squad players more minutes on the park as Pedro Ventania, James Szabo, Luiz Fernando and 15 year old Cossimo Russo all contributed with their cameo appearances in the seven goal win.
Man of the Match: Andre Caro (Pascoe Vale)
It was a welcome return to form for the Pascoe Vale skipper who capped off a fine performance with two high quality goals. With so many fresh faces taking to the pitch at one time – mainly Cossi Russo, Luis Fernando and James Szabo – Caro was able to take a leading role to help bring them into the game. If Pascoe are going to be any chance of lifting the upcoming FOz Cup, Caro will be one man in Pascoe Vale colours that will have to have an outstanding tournament.
Photo: Pascoe Vale captain Andre Caro had a stand out game for his side claiming a double.
ASH: R. Castro 2, M. Alghorabi
MET: E. Simsek 4, A. Redzepovic, D. Redzepovic
The final game for the 2013/14 season saw Metropolitan take on Ashburton who if the ‘Green Machine’ were to win would finish in fifth position overtaking Hume. In the first half, it all went according to plan for Ben Gearboc’s Ashburton as Ricky Castro bagged a double – thus claiming the golden boot for the 2013/14 season – and captain Moe Alghorabi’s single overcame strikes from Metro’s Alija Redzepovic and Ernie Simsek. In stark contrast to the first period, Metro bounced back and broke Ashburton down in the second to score four unanswered goals. The stand out performer for the Royal Blues was clearly Ernie Simsek who managed a hat trick while Alija Redzepovic added the cherry on top with a single. It was the perfect way to cap off the season for Metro who would be disappointed with a fourth placed finish, but with the FOz cup next on the agenda, this is one team who is in with a big shout for their first piece of silverware. Ashburton on the other hand, led by golden boot winner Ricky Castro will enter the cup as the Dark Horses, not a side to underestimated, they will be looking to repeat their heroics of 2012/13 when they lifted the cup.
Man of the Match: Ernie Simsek (Metropolitan)
In his first season in the Royal Blue of Metropolitan, it’s fair to say that the recruitment of former Pascoe Vale player Ernie Simsek has been a success. One of the most consistent players and hardest workers in the league, Simsek lived up to his reputation in tonights game by adding a match winning total of four goals. Simsek really does star on the big stage and will relish the chance toi get his hands on the FOz Cup, just as he did a number of times for Pascoe Vale.
Photo: Metropolitan’s man of the match, Ernie Simsek, who was virtually unplayable is pictured on his way to converting his fourth goal of the game.