Fitzroy Tigers Futsal Club seal a sixth Series Futsal Victoria Championship
By Kosta Diamantopoulos
Moreland FC 2–4 Fitzroy FC
MOR: J. Filho & C. Russo
FIT: C. Sewell 2, J. Allen & F. De Moraes
This clash had been lodged in as the game of the season for months as it seemed almost inevitable that Moreland and Fitzroy would somehow find a way to leave it until the very end – until the very last game of their respective seasons to go head-to-head for the SFV Title.
The stadium was packed to the rafters with the whole futsal community keen to witness a monumental moment in SFV history and yet another mammoth affair between the Tigers and the Blues. The spectators surrounded the court, further adding to the ferocity of this clash with both sides giving it their all in an attempt to play the best futsal they have played all season.
It wouldn’t of been a display of SFV's top performers without a trademark toe-poke from Jose Filho as the little Brazilian broke the deadlock wide open with an early goal. The Blues worked the ball incredibly well to find the opportunity with Kevin Dos Santos and Cosimo Russo passing and moving to rattle the Tiger's structure, leading to what was simply 'one of those strikes' for Pepe as he struck into the bottom corner from distance to burst the scoring open.
The lead was emphatically doubled when Cosimo Russo met a loose ball with a finish into an open net, adding to the threat he was offering in the opening few minutes and throwing this match into an early whirlwind.
The early momentum was blatantly in the Blues' favour but the champions would once again prove their worth on the court with a reply just minutes after conceding as Corey Sewell fired high into the back of the net with a fantastic finish. It was a tackle from Josh Allen on Adam Cooper in the Moreland half that gave Fitzroy the counter-attacking opportunity that, although took a slight touch from Russo in the build-up, was ultimately capped off with a stunning strike from the man-inform Corey Sewell.
The momentum swing was once again in full effect, this time for the Tigers as Fernando De Moraes took to the court and took the lead with a stunning free kick from the left flank. His presence during his run-up was enough to crack the wall open just a few inches, which would suffice for 'The King' as he fired a high-and-mighty strike to bring his beloved Fitzroy level in the first half.
The quality affair became a cagey one as the last few minutes were seen out with no more goals scored, leaving little-to-no separation between these two behemoth sides.
MOR 2-2 FIT
The intensity was never going to settle with every member of the crowd either at the edge of their seat or standing on their toes as nobody was predicting who would get the edge in this one.
At so many moments it looked as if the tables were turning in the direction of either side, with both goalkeepers being forced to pull some quality saves and both sets of attackers failing to convert at the crucial moments.
Peter Tamburrino would have his time to shine when he saved Russo’s attempt from the middle of the penalty area, and although it seemed like luck and a solid defence may have been on his side, Tamburrino did his job perfectly in the second half as he didn’t concede a goal, whilst also throwing some dangerous balls to force his opponents to remain on their toes.
Eventually the second half deadlock would finally be broken when the man who demanded all of the attention of his opponents, Corey Sewell received the ball on the left flank, and instead of attempting to beat Atay Ibrahim down the line and get on his favoured left side, it was a simple dribble into the middle that allowed himself the space to fire on his right and put Fitzroy in the lead for the first time of the affair.
The fifth-man tactic was in full effect with Adam Cooper donning the goalkeeper jersey, but a last minute second yellow card for Kevin Dos Santos would taint his solid performance and now make the steep hill a seemingly impossible climb for the blues.
The Tigers would capitalise on the red card and extend the lead to two with mere seconds left on the clock as Josh Allen sealed the title with his pass into the back of the net from his own half.
It was a monumental affair between two of the most star-studded, talented teams Australia has to offer and despite the mutual respect that is always on display between these two clubs, once again a packed crowd was treated to an extremely intense, anxiety induced and blockbuster clash that saw Fitzroy claim yet another Series Futsal Victoria Championship.
Man of the Match: Corey Sewell (Fitzroy FC)