Lions rue missed chances in Macedonian derby

RMIT PlayFutsal Bundoora Division 1, Round 2 (Autumn)

Metalurg Lions FC 4–5 The Fury
(HT: Metalurg Lions FC 1–3 The Fury)

Venue: RMIT Bundoora Futsal Stadium
Attendance: 32

In what looked like to be another late comeback from the Lions, the Fury grabbed all 3 points in an intense Macedonian derby.

The Fury started off in incredible fashion by pounding 3 unanswered goals to open the game.

The less said about the first half for the Lions, the better. In what was described by onlookers ‘as if the team had not played football before’, it was exactly that. An uninspiring and standstill performance, with the Fury dominating proceedings leaving a positioning nightmare in the Lions hands to deal with. Jankoski was impressive for the hosts, often breaking down play and the same must be said for the rest of their squad who played in a fluent and swift manner throughout the half. The three goals a symbol of their dominance and it should have been more, if not for some fine saves by Petrovski in goals for the lions. Daniel Paunkoski managed to net one back in the half to bring it to 3–1 leading into half time.

The performance within the first 8 minutes of the game was enough to send coach Tomce Paunkoski into the stands who was replaced by caretaker Steve Stankovski.

Metalurg Lions tried to come back into the game by creating enough chances to put the game away in the second half, but it just didn’t seem to be. Bringing back the lead to a solitary goal twice in the game, the Fury grabbed another to extend their lead to 5–3. Michael ‘Xovski’ was impressive for the hosts, dribbling past 3 Metalurg players only for Petrovski to deny him at the last second in what would have been an early contender for goal of the season. Goran Stojanovski was again back to his defensive heroics, intercepting and blocking most of the opponents build up play and transitioning into attack. Soon after, some great buildup play involving every player on the pitch and the Lions pinched another to bring the score back to 5–4 — was an equaliser on the cards?

Just like the Grand Final defeat, the opposing goalkeeper had the game of their life. In the last moments of the game and with the Lions trailing by one goal, Stojanovski scrambled a stretched pass to D. Paunkoski who couldn’t get onto the ball, met with a clearance by a Fury defender. With 6 seconds to go Daniel Paunkoski took the side ball quickly, delivering a ball to Nikoloski. The striker took a touch and attempted to smash it home, but was once again denied by the heroics of the Fury goalkeeper from point blank range who miraculously managed to tip the ball over the crossbar, signalling full time.

The match ending in spectacular fashion, with full credit going towards the Fury who prevailed in a thriller heading into the long weekend break — greatly needed for the Lions as they look to regroup after a disappointing loss.

Hапред Металург!

Round 2 Starting Line-Up:

33. Alexandar PETROVSKI (GK) 
9. Aleksandar NIKOLOSKI
10. Daniel PAUNKOSKI

Interchange Substitutes: 
11. Lubie TODEVSKI

2— Daniel Paunkoski
1 — A. Nikoloski
1 — L. Todevski


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