Pascoe Vale have come from behind in the dying stages to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in remarkable circumstances against Western Wolves, in what will go down as one of the games of the year.
The intensity was immense throughout the game, with the crowd reaching unimaginable noise levels, and the two sides seemed to feed off the atmosphere.
The Wolves and the Lions were at each other’s throats from the get-go, in the figurative sense, and the key players for the two sides Sofiane Soufi and Andre Caro stepped up to the occasion, both hitting the back of the net in what was a tense and tight first half.
The Wolves had a 3-2 lead going into the dying seconds of the opening period, but a sixth Wolves foul meant Pascoe Vale went to the ten-metre penalty spot and Lucas Vaz stepped up to take the spot-kick after the buzzer.
But Vaz failed to convert the penalty kick and the Wolves took a slender lead into the break.
The second half was even more intense than the first – the Wolves got out to a 5-3 lead, but they were pegged back by Pascoe Vale, led by their captain Andre Caro who was putting on a masterclass in his 300th Series Futsal Victoria game.
The scores were 7-6 in favour of the Wolves with one minute to play, and just when it looked like the result was going to go their way, Captain Caro arrived late in the box to meet a Joao Da Silva kick-in to spoil the Wolves’ party.
The game went to penalties and the spot-kicks were as entertaining as they were inaccurate as neither set of players seemed to remember how to put the ball in the back of the net.
A combination of nerves and superb goalkeeping saw only one spot-kick out of the first seven converted by either side.
It was the longest shootout in the men’s league since the penalty rule was introduced two seasons ago, and it got to a point where the goalkeepers of each side needed to step up to take one kick each in the sudden-death stage.
In what was a truly bizarre turn of events, Pascoe Vale keeper Dianoosh Rasoulzadeh saw his penalty kick come off the bottom of the crossbar, only to hit his opposing goalkeeper Bilal Atik on the back and rebound into the goal.
Atik, who was carrying a quad injury and was hobbling throughout the game, stepped up to take his penalty knowing that a miss would mean his side would go home with nothing.
Unfortunately for Atik and the Wolves, the goalkeeper put his spot-kick wide and that was that, Pascoe Vale emerged victorious in a game that could only be described as simply unforgettable.
Andre Caro put in one of the best one-man performances you’re ever likely to see, scoring four out of Pascoe Vale’s five second half goals to drag his side back into the game when the race looked to be run and won.
It was a cruel way to lose for the Wolves who can walk away from the game with their pride very much intact and their reputation heightened after a brave and extraordinary performance.
Westen Wolves FC 7 – 8 Pascoe Vale FC
Man of the Match: Andre Caro (Pascoe Vale FC)
Carlton Heart have held on to secure a crucial win despite a second half resurgence from Hume.
Carlton started the game like a house on fire and got out to a 5-0 lead at the half-time break.
They scored their sixth unanswered goal early in the second half, but Hume managed to up their intensity two-fold and managed to half the deficit as they scored three unanswered goals of their own.
But Carlton managed to stead the ship and scored another three goals to put the result beyond doubt.
Hume FC 3 – 9 FC Carlton
Man of the Match: Ernie Simsek (FC Carlton Heart)
Brunswick have come from behind to beat Balwyn in what was a crucial win in the context of the relegation battle.
The win moves Brunswick three points clear of Hume, with the Black Army set to face defending champions Carlton Heart in the next match.
Both teams came out looking like they meant business, but Balwyn started the faster of the two sides, and they got out to a tight three-two lead at half-time.
Brunswick turned the game on its head in the second half, equalising early in the half before scoring three quick goals mid-way through the second period.
Brunswick scored their seventh goal into an open goal when Balwyn unsuccessfully attempted to deploy the fifth-man tactic.
Balwyn FC 3 – 7 CF Brunswick
Man of the Match: Josh Pulvarenti (CF Brunswick)
Fitzroy have temporarily moved to the top of the table with a win over a resurgent Moreland side that showed good signs of progression despite the defeat.
The game got off to a ridiculous start with three goals in the opening two minutes when Llewelyn Stone opened the scoring for Fitzroy, before Jason Barrientos equalised for Moreland, followed by another Fitzroy goal, this time from Kui Mu.
After the fast start, the pace of the game became less frantic, before Fitzroy managed to twice find a way past Moreland’s high press and get in behind to score two quick goals.
Fitzroy scored a fifth goal before the break to give themselves some breathing room.
Moreland showed a lot of spirit in the second half to get within two goals of Fitzroy, but Fitzroy were too strong overall, regaining their three goal buffer and securing a crucial win that continues their impressive run of form.
Moreland FC 5 – 8 Fitzroy FC more…
Man of the Match: Kui Mu (Fitzroy FC)
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