A superb second-half performance from North Canberra Fire ensured that they would get their hands on the inaugural Men’s U23 Capital Futsal League Grand Final with a blistering 7-1 win over West Canberra Lightning at Daramalan College.
A close, and even first-half, saw the Fire dominant the early stages forcing Lightning goalkeeper Jackson White-Brettell the busier of the two custodians, saving brilliantly from Brad Malone.
Malone then fired wide from a presentable chance and the Fire were made to pay as Lightning struck the opening blow. A quickfire break saw Damian McKellar find Angelo Nguyen and the latter side-footed an accurate finish low into the bottom corner of the goal.
The lead lasted barely twenty seconds however as Fire equalised through a stunning strike from Elliot Alberto, the Fire player finding space on the right flank to thrash home a shot off the inside of the far post for his sixth goal of the season, and what proved to be parity at the half-time interval.
The first-half showed little indication of what was to follow as Fire suddenly burst into life and ripped the heart out of Lightning with a succession of goals in rapid succession. Leon Thomson-Senanayake kick-started it with a thumping drive into the bottom corner past substitute ‘keeper Beau Babyack.
Shortly afterwards a brilliant training ground free-kick allowed Bradley Malone to increase the lead and, when Alex Powell drilled in a fourth following a Lightning mistake, it was game over. Tom Rush added a fifth, Tendo Katabazi buried a sensational sixth, and fittingly MVP Powell rounded it off with a super individual goal as Lightning played fly goalkeeper.
West Canberra Lightning 1 (Nguyen 9’) North Canberra Fire 7 (Alberto 9’, Thomson-Senanayake 22’, Malone 26’, Powell 26’, 38’, Rush 29’, Katabazi 29’)