Semi final results from the FFA Futsal National Championships in Canberra.
2014 FFA FUTSAL NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS MEDIA RELEASE Thursday 16th January 2014 MEN - SEMI-FINALS
NSW Thunder 2 (Mark Symington 13-, Miles Downie 19-) South Australia 1 (Jonathan Fusco 35-)
NSW Thunder squeezed into the FFA National Futsal Championships Open Men-s Grand Final with a 2-1 win over a gallant South Australia at the AIS Arena.
The Thunder carried more menace throughout as befits the side that ended the round-robin on top of the ladder and who had beaten SA 4-0 in their opening encounter of the week.
Jarrod Basger was a constant threat and had the first real shot in anger in the seventh minute, forcing SA custodian Simon Ortlepp to clutch a fiercely hit drive in his mid-rift.
Eventually though the NSW Thunder goal-threat told and Mark Symington was perfectly placed to convert smartly with a back-heel flick from inside the area.
South Australia replied with some long-range shooting that Andrew Haim needed to be alert to before Basger hit the post for Thunder after skipping round the prostrate Ortlepp.
Ortlepp was enjoying a fine game in goals but he could nothing to prevent Thunder from increasing their lead before the break as Miles Downie prodded a shot underneath the ‘keeper-s body from close in.
SA weren-t without their chances, Max Nightingale forced into a superb save from a Jake La Scala header, whilst Alexander Payne, on at half-time in the SA goal saved magnificently from Symington.
Jonathan Fusco gave SA a glimmer of hope, slamming home a loose ball with five minutes to play but NSW survived the late onslaught to progress.
ACT 5 (Robbie Cattanach 28-, 45-, Ryan Keir 31-, Stephen Domenici 36-, Callum Smith 49-) Victoria 3 (Fernando De Moraes 4-, Jonathan Barrientos 20-, Jason Barrientos 30-) - after extra time
The ACT will have the chance to defend their crown after winning an epic semi-final 5-3 against Victoria after extra-time with goals from Robbie Cattanach and Callum Smith in extra-time sealing the result.
Victoria opened the scoring with a piece of brilliance from Fernando.
The Futsalroo skipped past two challenges, cut inside and steadied himself before calmly side-footing past international team-mate Angelo Konstantinou in the ACT goal to register one of the best goals scored this week.
Miguel Barrigos then hit the outside of the left-hand upright whilst Christos Apostalakis in the Victorian goal denied Trent Flanigan, Callum Smith and Cattanach with his feet.
Crucially Victoria was able to go further ahead on the stroke of the half-time whistle turning over possession deep inside the ACT half and freeing Jonathan Barrientos to slot past Konstantinou.
The ACT turned up the heat in the second half and Apostalakis had to stand firm to block twice from Stephen Domenici before the dismissal of ACT star Daniel Fulton for a second yellow card hampered the home town team even though Cattanach pulled a goal back straight away.
Fernando was to the fore again on the half hour creating an opening for Jason Barrientos to make it 3-1 but the reigning champions hit back within twenty seconds as Ryan Keir rounded off a smart team move with nine minutes left.
And the champions weren-t done, drawing level minutes later as Cattanach squared for Domenici to pick his spot and send the match into extra-time.
GRAND FINAL Friday 17th January (AIS Arena) 18:00 - NSW Thunder v ACT
LEADING SCORERS 8 Robbie CATTANACH (ACT) 5 Jordan GUERREIRO, Jordan MUNDELL (NSW Thunder) 4 Daniel BENNETT, Trent FLANIGAN, Ryan KEIR (ACT), Jarrod BASGER (NSW Thunder) 3 Callum SMITH (ACT), Sam PERRE (NSW Thunder), Maxim AVRAM (Victoria) 2 Stephen DOMENICI, Michael REEVE (ACT), Clayton MUSUMECI, Mark SYMINGTON (NSW Thunder), Jake LA SCALA (South Australia), Jason BARRIENTOS, Miguel BARRIGOS, FERNANDO De Moraes (Victoria), own GOAL 1 Daniel FULTON, Angelo KONSTANTINOU (ACT), Miles DOWNIE, Jonathan KONTALIS, Lev LEWIS (NSW Thunder), Brendan COBB, Brian QUAN (Queensland), Jonathan FUSCO, Aaron NOBLE, Andres OBIELGO (South Australia), Jonathan BARRIENTOS, Adam COOPER, Reuben LANGERAK, Konrad MACHOY, Matthew VRAGOVSKI (Victoria)
WOMEN - SEMI-FINALS
NSW Lightning 1 (Michiru Awazu 24-) Victoria 0
NSW Lightning made it to the Grand Final of the Open Women-s competition at the FFA National Futsal Championships after narrowly seeing off Victoria 1-0 in an enthralling semi-final played at the AIS Arena in front of an appreciative crowd.
There was very little to choose between the teams in the opening half as the two teams sized each other up with the pressure of the occasion perhaps causing a stifling of play from both parties.
Set-pieces seemed the most likely way to goal with Lightning going close in only the fourth minute when Dominique Caridad saw her free-kick cleared off the line by Sienna Fogarty.
At the other end a howitzer from Madelaine Richardson was palmed to safety by Sarah Easthope as the intensity rose but half-time arrived with the score-line still blank.
When the deadlock was broken the goal came in unfortunate circumstances.
Elizabeth Sarcevic in the Victorian goal attempted to clear only for the ball to ricochet off her own player and roll towards goal where Michiru Awazu couldn-t miss, tapping in from one metre to give Lightning the lead.
Victoria fought valiantly to find a way back and only a brave sliding stop by Dana Buttigieg denied Richardson an equaliser.
Victoria thought they had got it in the 36th minute when Buttigieg, under pressure, saw the ball come out of her hands and be bundled in but the officials called a foul on the Lightning stopper.
ACT 0 NSW Thunder 2 (Sarah Yatim 13-, Rachel Perrins 35-)
NSW Thunder booked a place in the Grand Final against their NSW Lightning peers after ending the ACT-s reign as Champions with a 2-0 victory in the second semi-final at the AIS Arena.
Goals from Sarah Yatim and Rachel Perrins were enough to seal the win. With a place in the Grand Final against NSW Lightning at stake, and with these two teams used to success, something had to give and in an appropriately tense encounter no quarter was given.
Laura Donnelly was her usual energetic self for Thunder, buzzing around the court and prompting attacks with incisive passing whilst Ashleigh Palombi provide the ACT-s main attacking spark.
It was Thunder who struck the decisive blow of the first half as Yatim was left unmarked mid-court and hammered a drive at goal that beat the dive of Luisa Marzotto and flew into the back of the net.
That strike gave the Thunder a slender half-time lead. ACT roared onto the offensive after the break and Tani Rosekelly was called upon to make an excellent save from Hayley Buckingham.
With six minutes to play the ACT moved to the fifth player ploy putting Palombi into the goalkeeper jersey in an attempt to break down the solid Thunder defence.
But the ploy back-fired as Thunder won the ball on half-way and Perrins was left with an open goal and the simple task of rolling it home.
GRAND FINAL Friday 17th January (AIS Arena) 17:00: NSW Lightning v NSW Thunder
3 Erin CLOUT, Ashleigh PALOMBI (ACT), Claire WALSH (NSW Thunder)
2 Hayley BUCKINGHAM, Becky ROCHE (ACT), Dominique CARIDAD, Ceyda CAMBAZ (NSW Lightning), Doris OSMAN, Rachel PERRINS (NSW Thunder), Rhiannon EGLINTON, Jamilla HULL, Renae PANTELIS (South Australia), Marijana RAJCIC, Kristin STENSHOLT (Victoria)
1 Michelle AUROUSSEAU, Maja BLASCH, Michaela DAY, Nikola ORGILL (ACT), Michiru AWAZU, Logan GARARD, Kathryn MLADINEO (NSW Lightning), Laura DONNELLY, Jo-Anne SALIBA, Sarah YATIM (NSW Thunder), Shannon ADAMS, Susan BASSETT, Amelia PACILLO (South Australia), Sienna FOGARTY, Melissa MISSAILIDIS, Madelaine RICHARDSON, Liesl WOODS (Victoria), Own GOAL