Western Wolves have kept their title hopes alive with a crucial win against the ladder-leaders Carlton Heart.
The Wolves went into the game knowing that anything short of a win would see the Heart crowned champions for a second consecutive season, and the intensity of their play in the opening exchanges reflected the desire that they would need to display to push the defending champions for another week.
The Wolves opened the scoring through Elvis Kamsoba, before the Heart hit back through Atay Ibrahim,.
Tiema Couliabaly put the Wolves back in front, but Ibrahim was on hand once again to level proceedings.
The teams could not be separated at the half-time break, but the hungry Wolves continued to hunt down the defending champions in the second half, and goals from Hayden Kanjo then Tiema Couliabaly gave them a two goal buffer for the first time in the match.
The Heart were not willing to take the loss lying down though, and Abdirahman Ahmed scored to get his side back into the contest.
But the Wolves were determined to keep the title race alive for at least another week, with Matthew Essay scoring their fifth goal of the game to seal the three points.
The Wolves are now three points behind Carlton, with a +1 goal-difference in comparison with the ladder-leaders with two rounds to play.
WOLVES 5 – 3 HEART
Man of the Match: Elvis Kambosa (Western Wolves FC)
Brunswick have handed Fitzroy their fifth consecutive loss, beating the Series Futsal Australia champions on penalties after a tight contest.
Fitzroy opened the scoring through Cosimo Russo in the early stages of the first half, but a resurgent Brunswick fought back and turned the deficit around, taking a 2-1 lead into the half-time break, courtesy of goals from Ruz Roslan and Syamih Sarip.
Fitzroy equalised mid-way through the second half through Scott Rogan, but their celebrations were short-lived as Roslan scored his second of the game to help Brunswick regain the lead.
Fitzroy successfully deployed the fifth-man tactic in the latter stages of the second half when Jackson Shaw drew them level.
The Tigers persisted with the fifth-man tactic in an attempt to score a winner, but the deadlock could not be broken and the game went to penalties.
With Brunswick 2-1 up in the shootout, Rogan needed to score his penalty to keep Fitzroy in it, but he did not manage to convert his spot-kick and Brunswick walked away with all three points.
CHIEFS 4 – 3 TIGERS
Man of the Match: Ruz Roslan (CF Brunswick)
Hume have continued their good run of games with a third straight win, this time over relegation-battlers Balwyn.
Both sides came into the game on the back of impressive wins against Pascoe Vale (Hume) and Fitzroy (Balwyn) respectively, and it was Balwyn who started the stronger of the two in-form teams, with Michele Salvi scoring a goal that gave them a 1-0 lead at the half-time break.
Hume managed to turn the game around in their favour with two quick goals, but Balwyn managed to stem the tide with a goal of their own, again from their talisman Salvi.
Hume were able to regain the momentum though, with goals from Resit Culculoglu and Mario Petrovic giving them a 4-2 lead that was never penetrated by the Bulls.
The win confirms Hume’s qualification for the FOz Cup at the end of the season.
BULLS 3 – 4 ARMY
Man of the Match: Resit Culculoglu (Hume FC)
Moreland have claimed a massive win against Pascoe Vale in the context of their relegation-battle.
The Blues started the night level on points with Balwyn, and after they lost to Hume, Moreland knew they had the opportunity to go three points clear of the relegation battle.
Moreland came out of the blocks firing, speeding to a 3-0 lead midway through the first half courtesy of goals from Adam Cooper, Jason Barrientos and Josh Allen.
Pascoe Vale managed to get one goal back before the half-time break through Joao Da Silva.
The second half was a much closer affair, but with less than ten minutes to play Moreland still found themselves ahead by the two goal buffer they had at half-time with 5-3 the score.
Pascoe Vale scored with less than five minutes to play to make for a nervy ending, but Moreland managed to hold on for a tight win that sees them go three points clear of the automatic drop with two games to play.
LIONS 4 – 5 BLUES
Man of the Match: Adam Cooper (Moreland FC)