Pascoe Vale had won four straight going into their game against Western Wolves, but they were all against teams lower than them on the table, so this clash was going to be a real indicator of where they’re at; meanwhile, Brunswick had an opportunity to go nine points clear of seventh placed Balwyn when the two teams faced off.
Andre Caro stands up in his 300th game
In Pascoe Vale’s most important match of the season, it was only fitting that club captain and 300 gamer Andre Caro would step up and score five goals in the do-or-die clash against the Western Wolves on Friday night.
Caro also got an assist, meaning he was directly involved with six of Pascoe Vale’s seven goals, including a last minute equaliser to take the game to penalties.
Only the fourth player to reach the 300 game milestone, Andre Caro has added the achievement to his already jam-packed list of accolades, which will no doubt see him go down as one of the greats of V-League/Series Futsal Victoria (SFV).
Rugby takes off in the match of the season
In a fitting tribute to Muhammed Kuzucu, who once belonged to both clubs, the Wolves and Pascoe Vale played one of the greatest matches ever witnessed in SFV.
The match was played with raw emotion in front of a packed house at the Futsal Oz Thomastown Stadium with both teams having it all to play for.
There was end-to-end action with throw-ins, ferocious tackles and spectacular goals that had the crowd in raptures, and when Caro scored the last minute equaliser, rumour has it that the Mill Park police station had to get involved due to noise complaints.
Pascoe Vale ultimately walked away with the the three points after their goalkeeper Dianoosh Rasoulzadeh managed to score his own 10-metre penalty before seeing his opposite number Bilal Atik put his penalty wide.
The win put Pascoe Vale well and truly in the title race, moving level on points with the Wolves in third.
The comeback kings
Brunswick found themselves 3-2 down at half-time in their all important clash against Balwyn in what was a tight first half.
However Brunswick have made a habit of coming from behind in recent weeks, having coming from behind the previous week against Hume after finding themselves 4-1 down at the break, while also coming back from behind to take out three points against Fitzroy in the catch-up round two weeks before that.
The Chiefs dominated the second half, scoring five unanswered goals to walk away comfortable 7-3 victors against their relegation rivals.
It seems as though Brunswicks plan B is a lot better than their plan A, and if they continue this sort of form they may well find themselves in a rare FOz cup placing, a position they’re currently in after they moved out of the relegation zone with their win.
Hume drop into the play-off zone
In one of the most unpredictable seasons in recent memory, Hume have dropped into the relegation zone after going down to defending champions Carlton Heart.
Hume have won only one of their last seven games, and that was against fellow relegation battlers Balwyn.
It is a far fall from grace who only one year ago were runners-up in Series Futsal Australia and FOz Cup Champions.
Hume are capable of bouncing back, however Frano Saric’s injury is a massive blow to the Black Army, who have been heavily reliant on ‘The Forcefield’ to keep them in games of late, and the job will only get tougher with their number one shot-stopper missing.
Carlton bounce back
After two losses on the trot, and coming up against a side that had beaten them in their last two encounters, Carlton needed to hit back against Hume to find form.
After watching Fitzroy dispatch of Moreland earlier in the night, the Heart temporarily lost their place at the top of the table for the first time since their return to the top flight.
The Heart answered their critics in the best way possible, scoring the first six goals of the match.
Hume mounted a mini fightback to get within three goals of Carlton in the second half, but the Heart gathered themselves to score the next three to ensure they were back on the winners list.
Goal-difference to play a big role
At both ends of the table, teams are battling and scrapping for any advantage they can muster.
At the bottom, Hume are 16 goals better off that than Brunswick, a goal-difference which has Hume in good position to escape the relegation zone providing they can go level on points with Brunswick.
At the other end, Carlton are 12 goals better off than Fitzroy, who sit second on the ladder with equal points, setting up what’s set to be a photo-finish at the end of the season.
Now more than ever,teams will need to dig deep and play each game to the final whistle to ensure that their goal difference is better than their rivals.
A touching tribute to Muhummad Kuzucu
We have already touched on the match of the night, which was the most fitting tribute to a man that was loved and respected by all around Futsal Oz.
Kuzucu was a part of Futsal Oz for as long as anyone can remember, whether it was a referee, keen social league player or elite keeper.
Kuzucu’s passing shook the league, and every team, along with the referees and Series Futsal staff banded together for a moment’s silence before every game to pay tribute and respect to the former Pascoe Vale keeper.
His passing is a reminder to all that life is short and while we may compete and battle with each other on the court, having respect, compassion and love for one another is not to be taken for granted. Cherish every moment and every breath with all your loved ones because you never know what awaits you around the corner.
Rest in peace Muhammad Kuzucu, gone but not forgotten.
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