THE Southern Strikers have shown why they will be the team to beat in the inaugural Ballarat Futsal Centre premier league season, dominating Eureka FC in the final game of the opening round on Monday night.
Prized top draft pick Alex Antonelli booted five goals in a true captains performance as the Strikers recorded a 9-4 victory over the other early season favourites.
The Strikers kicked four goals in the opening four minutes of the match and romped to a 6-1 half-time lead before Eureka, lead by coach Michael Busija and star signing Sean Harding, tightened the defensive screws to break even in the second-half.
The opening game of the night saw a young Northern Fusion squad draw 4-4 with the Central Scorchers after dominating for large periods of the match.
Fusion took a 4-3 lead with four minutes to play before Justin Robson scored a hat-trick to even the match back up with a blistering left foot strike that sent the ball into the bottom corner of the net.
The second game of the night saw Lucas Inter, led playing coach Matt Jamieson, score a 4-1 win over the Eastern City Razorbacks.
Next round will see the Scorchers take on Lucas at 7pm, while the Strikers will take on the Fusion at 8pm in the game of the round, and Eureka and Eastern City will square off as the early season cellar dwellers at 9pm.
Strikers 9 (A Antonelli 5, J Mirabella, M Trigger, J Antonelli, B Baker) d Eureka FC 4 (S Harding 3, J Cartledge)
Scorchers 4 (J Robson 3, S Gray) drew with Fusion (M Lockyer 3, P Angeli)
Lucas 4 (M Jamieson 2, P Odour, J McClounan) d Razorbacks 1 (M Radojevic).