Champions North Canberra Fire were defeated their first match in defence of the Capital Futsal League won in style last year as they succumbed to the UC Stars 5-4 in a thriller to kick-start the new season at Daramalan College.
The new-look stars got off to a flier in the second match played on Friday evening following the Women’s season opener and raced into a three-goal lead by only the sixth minute off the back of a trio of superbly worked goals.
It was skipper Jake Wilsener that put the Stars in front, bundling in from close range, before Jayde James-Ward classily made it two, and Luca Macor thundered in the third. Bailey Sorenson pulled one back for Fire, but goals from Nic Dahl and Nick Rathjen ensured the Stars had a healthy lead.
Importantly, Fire had reduced the deficit through Bradley Malone before the break and, with the dynamism of Sorenson and the silky skills of Elie Darwich to the fore, the Fire hit back in the second-half.
Sorenson reduced the gap to three, following a brilliant move by Darwich, before young gun Elliot Santos coolly rolled home a fourth. The Fire pushed for an equaliser but were unable to beat Jamie-Lee Guo in goals again, and the Stars recorded a big victory.
There was a cracking match to end the Round on Sunday evening as West Canberra Lightning began the season with a 10-5 victory over ANU Apex but were made to work hard for the victory by the University team.
A rip-roaring first-half ended all-square at 3-3 with Apex leading twice, initially going ahead when a clearance bounced off Ashley Blount and trickled past his own goalkeeper into the net off the base of the post.
Daniel Fulton swept in an immediate equaliser for Lightning before Johnny Hajdu found space where none existed to squeeze home the second Apex goal. Nathen Megic struck a glorious equaliser, swivelling after controlling on his chest, before Nik Popovich capped a superb move to clip home Lightning’s third.
There was another fortuitous goal for the Apex third, as Connor Falusi showed perseverance as he ran into challenge that ricocheted into the top corner past a stranded Benjamin Southam.
Lightning finally clicked into gear in the second stanza, netting four goals in three minutes through Popovich, Blount, Fulton and Basser-Silk, Fulton going on to claim four by the end of the evening as Apex ran out of steam against a stacked Lightning line-up.
The scheduled fixture between the Queanbeyan-Palerang Power and South Canberra Swift was postponed due to the unavailability of our Futsal specific match officials on Saturday afternoon/evening.
UC Stars 5 (Wilsener 3’, James-Ward 4’, Macor 6’, Dahl 14’, Rathjen 20’) North Canberra Fire 4 (Sorenson 7’, 21’, Malone 17’, Santos 23’)
ANU Apex 5 (Blount 2’ (og), Hajdu 5’, 22’, Falusi 18’, Fitzgerald 33’) West Canberra Lightning 10 (Fulton 2’, 25’, 29’, 31’, Megic 11’, Popovich 17’, 22’, Blount 24’, Basser-Silk 25’, Subasic 27’)
QP Power v South Canberra Swift – Match Postponed
|1||West Canberra Lightning||1||1||0||0||10||5||+5||3|
|3||South Canberra Swift||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|5||North Canberra Fire||1||0||0||1||4||5||-1||0|
4 Daniel FULTON (Lightning)
2 Johnny HAJDU (Apex), Nik POPOVICH (Lightning), Bailey SORENSON (Fire)
1 Ben BASSER-SILK (Lightning), Ashley BLOUNT (Lightning), Connor FALUSI (Apex), Nick FITZGERALD (Apex), Bradley MALONE (Fire), Elliot SANTOS (Fire), Nick DAHL (Stars), Jayde JAMES-WARD (Stars), Luca MACOR (Stars), Nathen MEGIC (Lightning), Nick RATHJEN (Stars), Nicholas SUBASIC (Lightning), Jake WILSENER (Stars), Own GOALS