A goal with virtually the last kick of the contest earned ANU Apex a 4-4 draw against West Canberra Lightning in an epic encounter to round off a sensational weekend of Futsal action in the Capital Futsal League.
Blaise Vlazlovski slotted home from close range following an inch perfect pass from Luke Stevens to earn the Apex a point after Lightning appeared destined to be leaving with all three after Futsalroos international Daniel Fulton’s outstanding strike merely seconds before.
The draw was a fair result for both teams who provided some stunning entertainment at Daramalan College, with the Apex underlying their status as potential dark horses for the title with an assured performance.
A screamer from Patrick Shore had put them ahead and, when Julian Britton’s cute back-heel foxed Raymond Moon in the Lightning goal before the break, the Apex were in wonderful shape.
But the Lightning have a pod of seasoned veterans and Fulton and Michael Nolan managed to peg back the Apex twice before Nicholas Subasic weaved his way past a couple of challenges to score.
Lightning’s Michael Southam then became the first player dismissed in the CFL, seeing red for a reckless lunge when attempting to get the ball, allowing Shore to equalise against their short-handed opponents, setting up the scene nicely for the sensational denouement.
South Canberra Swift racked up a first win of their history when they heaped more misery on the Queanbeyan-Palerang Power with a convincing 13-1 victory on the Friday evening closer.
The Power, their ranks bolstered by the inclusion of new signings Caleb Cullen-Rua and Jordan Selems, were much improved from Round 1 and took the lead inside the opening minute as Selems contorted his body to superbly back-heel in the opener from a corner.
Defending resolutely, it took the Swift seven minutes to draw level, Ed McCarthy slotting home at the end of a fast-paced breakaway, and suddenly the momentum of the match switched as the Swift took control and began to pepper Mahmoud Halawani in the Power goal with a range of shots.
McCarthy ended the night with a hat-trick, including a stunning volley, but he was beaten to the honour of first Swift treble as Lucas Alcazar-Stevens netted a close-range treble. Juan Sebastian Ospina dazzled for Swift, scoring three sensational goals of his own and Alen James also thumped home a cracker.
The goal of the night however belonged to Jackson Paesler, the first of his double being a ferociously hot half-volley that flew into the top corner past a stranded Halawani, who also made a string of outstanding saves.
North Canberra Fire continue to lead the way after two rounds, once again sweeping aside their opposition in a blaze of goals as they dealt with the UC Stars 14-3.
Samuel Thomson led the way with a four-goal haul to move onto seven goals in two games whilst Maxx Green netted twice as he improved his goalscoring tally to eight with a double of his own in another consummate display by the orange-clad Fire.
They had started remarkably, leading 3-0 inside the opening four minutes thanks to a quickfire hat-trick from Bailey Sorenson, the energetic Sorenson appearing unable to miss as he finished everything that fell his way early on, even finding tome to create goals for his teammates in an outstanding performance.
Amongst the other goals, there were first goals at this level for Brad Malone, he helped himself to a treble of his own whilst Luca Florez and Alistair Davis helped to keep the scoreboard ticking over.
It was a much better display from the UC Stars after the break, they trailed 0-9 at the interval, finally finding their feet and drawing breath managing three goals of their own to make a real fist of it in the second stanza.
Clyde Holo placed a sublime finish into the bottom corner past Nicholas Middleton, who was forced to make a raft of brilliant stops to avoid the Stars reducing the deficit further, whilst Marko Rathouski scored the Stars’ second and Hamed Jadeer bundled in the third.
Friday 4 November
Queanbeyan-Palerang Power 1 (Selems 1’) South Canberra Swift 13 (McCarthy 8’, 11’, 36’, Ospina 13’, 30’, 37, Jenkins 13’ (og), Paesler 17’, 20’, James 20’, Alcazar-Stevens 22’, 23’, 33’)
Saturday 5 November
UC Stars 3 (Holo 25’, Rathouski 26’, Jadeer 32’) North Canberra Fire 14 (Sorenson 1’, 3’, 4’, Thomson 7’, 12’, 27’, 29’, Green 7’, 30’, Malone 15’, 16’, 34’, Florez 18’, Davis 23’)
Sunday 6 November’,
ANU Apex 4 (Shore 2’, 34’, Britton 12’, Vlazlovski 40’) West Canberra Lightning 4 (Fulton 11’, 40’, Nolan 27’, Subasic 30’)
8 Maxx GREEN (Fire)
7 Samuel THOMSON (Fire)
5 Luca FLOREZ (Fire)
4 Patrick SHORE (Apex), Bailey SORENSON (Fire), Own GOALS
3 Lucas ALCAZAR-STEVENS (Swift), Riley BROWN (Fire), Clyde HOLO (Stars), Brad MALONE (Fire), Edward MCCARTHY (Swift), Juan Sebastian OSPINA (Swift), Kai THORNTON (Apex), Blaise VLAZLOVSKI (Apex)
2 Julian BRITTON (Apex), Alistair DAVIS (Fire), Daniel FULTON (Lightning), Sherab GUO (Stars), Hamed JADEER (Stars), Jackson PAESLER (Swift), Luke STEVENS (Apex), Nicholas SUBASIC (Lightning)
1 Michael CAHILL (Power), Sam CARTERS (Lightning), Jenno CERUTI (Apex), Connor FALUSI (Stars), Jake FITZGERALD (Apex), Brett FORWARD (Lightning), Lachlan HARRINGTON (Stars), Alen JAMES (Swift), David JENKINS (Power), Robert MCKAY (Fire), Bruno MELO (Apex), Michael NOLAN (Lightning), Marko RATHOUSKI (Stars), Daniel ROBERTS (Swift), Jordan SELEMS (Power)