Five unanswered second half goals saw North Canberra Fire turn over a three-goal deficit to claim the title of Men’s Capital Futsal League Grand Final winners with a sensational 5-3 victory over South Canberra Swift.
Two goals from Player of the Match Luca Florez, a double from Golden Boot winner Maxx Green, and a late poacher’s effort from Elie Darwich completed a remarkable turnaround.
A quite brilliant first-half performance from the League Champions saw them patiently take their time and ride out a series of early North Canberra Fire raids before catching the Fire with their trademark counterattacking brilliance.
Sebastian Ospina was in top form throughout the opening twenty minutes, and he deservedly netted the first goal of the contest in the 11th minute, manufacturing space for himself before arrowing a low drive beyond the reach of Wilson Howden in the North Canberra Fire goal.
Six minutes later, the Swift doubled their lead. Jackson Paesler found Phakedi Manda and, whilst his strike wasn’t the cleanest, on the outside of the foot, it had enough pace to crawl past Howden and into the net.
With the Fire seeking a way back, South Canberra struck a third as a square ball from Nick Dahl found Ospina free in front of goal and the Colombian made no mistake in slotting the ball under Howden to put his team 3-0 to the good as the teams retreated to the changing rooms.
The Fire needed to score first and did, Green battering a ferocious low effort from close to half-way to ignite hope in the 25th minute, and less than sixty seconds later Florez clipped an astute finish into the top corner for 3-2.
The Fire were suddenly a different team, dominating the match and Green levelled matters with a superb flick in front of goal to send the Fire supporters barmy and, when Florez scored again to complete the turnaround, the roof almost came off Daramalan College.
A late fifth, Darwich prodding home from close range after Florez had rattled the underside of the crossbar, secured the most astonishing victory.
Sunday 12 February
Men’s Grand Final
South Canberra Swift 3 (Ospina 11’, 20’, Manda 17’) North Canberra Fire 5 (Green 25’, 30’, Florez 26’, 33’, Darwich 38’)
South Canberra Swift: 1. Joshua FREEMAN, 8. Van NGUYEN, 9. Sebastian OSPINA, 10. Phakedi MANDA, 11. Jackson PAESLER, 13. Edward MCCARTHY, 16. Lucas ALCAZAR-STEVENS, 17. Nic DAHL, 21. Nico ALCAZAR, 23. Alen JAMES, 30. James BENIVENTO
North Canberra Fire: 1 Wilson HOWDEN, 3. Brad MALONE, 4. Riley BROWN, 5. Elie DARWICH, 6. Maxx GREEN, 8. Robert MCKAY, 10. Samuel THOMSON, 11. Brandon HAWKER, 12. Nicholas MIDDLETON, 15. Luca FLOREZ, 19. Alistair DAVIS
Player of the Match: Luca FLOREZ (North Canberra Fire)
Golden Boot Winner: Maxx GREEN (North Canberra Fire), 22 goals
25 Maxx GREEN (Fire)
16 Juan Sebastian OSPINA (Swift)
15 Alen JAMES (Swift), Jackson PAESLER (Swift)
14 Luca FLOREZ (Fire), Edward MCCARTHY (Swift), Luke STEVENS (Apex)
12 Lucas ALCAZAR-STEVENS (Swift), Samuel THOMSON (Fire)
10 Riley BROWN (Fire), Daniel FULTON (Lightning)
9 Jayde JAMES-WARD (Stars), Patrick SHORE (Apex), Nicholas SUBASIC (Lightning)
8 Jake FITZGERALD (Apex)
7 Johnny HAJDU (Stars), Blaise VLAZLOVSKI (Apex), Own GOALS
6 Hassan ALNUWAYSIR (Power), Michael ADAMS (Swift), Jenno CERUTI (Apex), Elie DARWICH (Fire), Alistair DAVIS (Fire), Marco GAYER (Power), Brandon HAWKER (Fire), Phakedi MANDA (Swift), Brad MALONE (Fire), Bailey SORENSON (Fire), Kai THORNTON (Apex)
5 Ashley BLOUNT (Lightning), Vinnie BRASIL (Stars), Brett FORWARD (Lightning), Sherab GUO (Stars), Clyde HOLO (Stars), Bruno MELO (Apex),Michael NOLAN (Lightning), Michael SYDNEY (Lightning)
4 Braulio MELO (Apex), Michael MOSCARITOLO (Stars), Daniel ROBERTS (Swift), James WILSON (Power)
3 Ben BASSER-SILK (Lightning), Arnold CHOI (Power), Jason FARRELL (Lighting), David JENKINS (Power), Marko RATHOUSKI (Stars), Michael RINAUDO (Stars), Will SHEPPARD (Lightning)
2 Andrew AITCHISON (Stars), Julian BRITTON (Apex), Sam CARTERS (Lightning), Caleb CULLEN-RUA (Power), Ryan DE VRIES (Apex), Connor FALUSI (Stars), Geordie FREEMAN (Power), Lachlan HARRINGTON (Stars), Hamed JADEER (Stars), Vanh NGUYEN (Swift), Sam ROESTBAKKEN (Power)
1 Michael CAHILL (Power), Nic DAHL (Swift), Grant DAVOREN (Lightning), Daniel FELIZZI (Power), Marco GAYER (Power), Mahmoud HALAWANI (Power), Joe MERMINGIS (Apex), Robert MCKAY (Fire), Zach PRITCHARD (Stars), Martin SANTOS (Power), Jordan SELEMS (Power), Robert TKATCHENKO (Swift), Herbert YEUNG (Apex)