Round 12 of the 2016/17 Football NSW Select NSW Premier League saw Dural pip leaders Inner West 2-1, Enfield defeat UTS Northside 4-1, Mountain Majik hold off South Coast 4-2 and Boomerangs beat Mascot 4-1.
The results narrowed the gap at the top with Inner West (28 points) just in front of Dural (25) and Enfield (22), Boomerangs (16) and Majik (16) both jumping UTS (14) into fourth place, and Mascot (10) need a mathematical miracle to figure in the post-season (Vipers play Dural and Enfield in the final two rounds).
A lowly 19 weekend goals is the joint second-lowest round total in premier league history – 19 were scored in the opening round of the 2013/14 season, while last year’s final-round tally of 15 remains the lowest (although that included a no-result fixture between Campbelltown and Inner West).
Mountain man Jordan Guerreiro scooted ahead in the Golden Boot race with a hat-trick against South Coast taking him to 16 for the summer – Dural’s Vic Koutsoufis (13) and Enfield’s Michael Kouta (13) his closest challengers.
Magic can wrap up another club championship against Rovers this weekend as they strengthened their position over Vipers.
Mountain Majik (Chris Barbera, Jordan Guerreiro 3) South Coast Taipans (Douglas Woodiwiss, Matt Mazevski)
UTS Northside 1 (Marty Judge) Enfield Rovers 4 (Dominic Cox 2, Giacomo Di Mento, Michael Kouta)
Boomerangs FS 4 (Michael Reeve, Ben Basser-Silk, Nicholas Rathjen, Michael Rinaudo) Mascot Vipers 1 (Shu Torihara)
Inner West Magic 1 (Jonathan Barzel) Dural Warriors 2 (Bruno Pivato 2)
Mountain down Coast
Mountain Majik held off a spirited South Coast Taipans to win 4-1 at Blacktown Leisure Centre and join Boomerangs in joint-fourth place on the ladder.
Majik raced to a 4-1 halftime lead on the back of a Jordan Guerreiro hat-trick but bottom-placed South Coast refused to lie down with a galvanised second half that saw them fall two goals short in the end.
Chris Barbera and Guerreiro goals in the opening three minutes got the home side off to a flyer, the latter adding another five minutes later to make it a cosy 3-0 scoreline.
Douglas Woodiwiss put Taipans on the board on the quarter-hour but the visitors still trailed by three at the break when Guerreiro completed his hat-trick minutes before halftime.
South Coast showed true character to pull a goal back through Matt Mazevski straight after the restart and keep themselves in the contest, but they couldn’t make any further dents on a 4-2 deficit and Majik claimed an important victory ahead of this weekend’s crunch-match against Boomerangs.
Despite a breakthrough season for the club Majik coach Babak Menati still refused to buy into any post-season commentary.
“It was a good game. We win the first half and tried to control the game in the second half and at the end the result was 4-2; but I am not happy with my team performance – they were not at the level I expect, but mentally we were ready to get the three points which we were successful,” he said.
“Both teams played an equal game; just Jordon [Guerreiro] was the difference with his outstanding performance again.”
“We have a plan game-by-game, and yesterday the game finished and from today we are thinking and analysing for next week. I don’t put pressure to get to the finals – it wasn’t our plan and still not our plan,” Menati said.
“My aim for my young team is just to develop their Futsal methodology with a professional attitude, to work on their Futsal understanding and make sure they understand Futsal is a distance sport.
“We have an important game next week versus Canberra who play a very good team game and understand each other very well. It is not going to be easy for us but we will make sure we are ready for it.”
It was Guerreiro’s third hat-trick of the summer, a feat only achieved by four other players. Shervin Adeli pocketed four for Enfield in the 2014/15 and 2013/14 seasons, while Mitchell Stamatellis (2013/14) Daniel Fulton (2011/12) and Mark Symington (2012/13) grabbed three each for Mascot, Boomerangs and Campbelltown respectively.
The three-goal haul also catapulted Guerreiro to the top of this season’s scoring charts with 16 – an eye-popping 11 of them coming in his last five runs for Majik, a remarkable achievement considering he’s missed several games through injury.
On the flipside, Taipans have endured a challenging season and it’s clear where their deficiency lies. Somewhat surprisingly they’ve tallied the most number of individual scorers of any side this summer with a healthy dozen different players contributing, but only four of them have gone onto score more than one goal, the lowest number from any team.
Enfield take Northside
Enfield Rovers downed UTS Northside 4-1 at Sydney Boys High School to seal a playoff berth with their first win in four league outings.
A Dominic Cox double and Jacob Di Mento and Michael Kouta strikes helped Enfield turn a 2-0 halftime advantage into a solid three-goal win and set up an enthralling contest against under-siege competition leaders Inner West this weekend.
Incidentally, Rovers duo Cox and Kouta have both bobbed up on the scoresheet for the third consecutive time against UTS.
Despite dropping to sixth place on the points table Northside captain-coach Grant Lynch said his team will never give up on a hopeful post-season dance.
“We still have two games left (against South Coast and Inner West) to get maximum points and make a final push for the finals,” he said.
“Unfortunately we now have to rely on other results, but we’ll take each game as it comes and see where that puts us at the end of the year.”
Boomerangs defeat Vipers
Boomerangs FS beat Mascot Vipers 4-1 at the AIS Training Halls to move into fourth place on goal-difference over Mountain Majik.
Boomerangs started briskly and Nicholas Rathjen powered in the opener in just the third minute, Mascot responding through Shu Torihara five minutes later, but the home side grabbed a 3-1 halftime ascendancy via Ben Basser-Silk and Michael Rinaudo goals before the break.
Vipers battled away in an even second term but Boomerangs sealed the 4-1 result when Michael Reeve scored five minutes from the end.
Reeve certainly loves a good run against Mascot having scored seven goals in the last four fixtures between the clubs, while Rinaudo penned his name on the scoresheet for a sixth successive game (the second-longest streak of any player this summer, Jordan Guerreiro has scored in Majik’s last seven outings).
After registering just six points in the opening seven rounds the Territorians have roared back into life with 10 points claimed in their last five games (a tight 2-1 loss to Inner West their only recent blemish) that moved them into equal-fourth with this week’s opponents Mountain Majik.
Boomerangs coach Kristian Collins is a very proud man at the moment, regardless of the club’s relegation position.
“It was a fast start from the boys again, but frustrating to cop a poor goal after dominating the early periods,” he said. “Once we got our third goal it looked like we would go on and pile them on, but we struggled to finalise. That said our defensive effort was good again, and that shows in having the third best defensive record this season.”
“I’m happy to have back-to-back wins for the first time this season, but next week (against Majik) is pivotal – whoever wins that will probably go through to the finals.
“We are looking to build on our recent run and finish the season with wins so that there is no doubt we deserve to be there, and it would be nice going into semi on the back of four straight wins.”
On the flipside, Vipers boast just one win from their last seven league outings and look unlikely to build on last season’s successful summer sitting six points off fourth place with games against top-three Dural and Enfield remaining.
Dural edge Inner West
Dural Warriors came from a goal down to beat Inner West Magic 2-1 in a cracker of a match at Valentine Sports Park that piled the pressure on the competition leaders.
The up-tempo game was evenly matched in the first half and Magic’s Jonathan Barzel opened the scoring after latching onto a neat Chris Zeballos pass as Inner West led 1-0 at the changeover.
Dural were back on level terms straight after the restart when a set-piece play saw former Magic player Bruno Pivato tap-in at the far post and set up a tense and enthralling contest; and with the game headed for an exciting draw it was that man again Pivato who finished off some excellent work from Blake Rosier to tap in at the back post and hand Warriors a 2-1 victory.
Dural’s fourth straight win moved them three points behind Inner West, and with a better goal-difference. Should Magic fail next week in a pivotal match-up against Rovers, it would leave the door wide open for Warriors to snatch a premiership title that seemed unlikely throughout the entire season.
Dural coach Rob Varela was very happy with his side’s performance. “Our defence was tight and we used the ball quite well at times,” he said.
“Despite having the better of the possession and creating some good chances we trailed at halftime as we conceded a goal on a cheap turnover. We equalised within a minute of the restart and kept the ball well and defended strongly for most of the second half… once again we created some great chances only to be denied by very good goalkeeping.”
“We know that where we finish on the table is beyond our control, but we are happy to start showing some consistent form.”
Inner West club manager Matteo Maiorana heralded the contest as a league highlight. “It was one of the best games in the history of the competition,” he said. “Both teams lived up to the pre-game hype with seven current Futsalroos in the match and 14 players who had represented the Futsalroos in the past 18 months.”
“We dominated the majority of the game but in typical Dural fashion they defended resolutely and got us in the last few minutes. It was a heart-breaking loss as it was probably one of our best performances of the season [and] the boys are disappointed because they know they played extremely well and deserved more than they got.”
Warriors may have claimed 13 of the last 18 Magic encounters but, interestingly, their last five successes have been tight one-goal victories and a penalty shootout win in the 2014/15 grand final – Inner West beat Dural 7-2 and 5-1 in the same eight-game period, plus a 1-1 draw. The battlelines have clearly shifted.
“We’ve definitely closed the gap on Dural and do not fear them. We know we can match them and beat them, but until we begin to finalise the majority of the chances we create, it’s going to remain tough to win these close games,” Maiorana said.
“Dural are still are a very good side, there is no doubt. We know we will play them in the major semi, but before that we know we have two ‘grand finals’ to secure the premiership, and they won’t be easy.
“Enfield always come out all guns blazing in the derby and next weekend will be no different [but] the reality of the matter is the premiership is still in our hands, not Dural’s,” he said.
“We know if we get four points we win it. If we don’t finish first it’s because we don’t deserve to and we will have no-one to blame but ourselves. The table doesn’t lie when you talk about a premiership.”
Pivato’s brace against his former club showed up the playmaker’s worth as he moved to 13th on the all-time scorers list with 37 goals.
Next week’s games
Football NSW Select Futsal Premier League round 13 Saturday night features Mountain Majik versus Boomerangs FS at neutral Blacktown Leisure Centre (4.40pm), UTS Northside tackle South Coast Taipans at neutral Marrickville PCYC (6.40pm), Inner West Magic face Enfield Rovers at neutral Valentine Sports Park (7.40pm), while Mascot Vipers host Dural Warriors at All Sorts Indoor Sports Centre (8.50pm). Visit the Football NSW website (Futsal tab) for full details.
-By Dan De Nardi