2022/23 Matchweek 4 Review
GINGA FUTSAL 3 VS. GRAND RAPIDS OLÉ 10
Coming in to the game, Ginga Futsal was looking for the first win and Grand Rapids OLé were looking to continue their unbeaten start to the season. In short, the home side were able to stick with the visitors in the first half but the OLé firepower proved too much in the long run.
A scrappy opening few minutes resulted in a scrappy opening goal, with the visitors taking the lead through pivo #25 Cesar Martinez after he blocked and intercepted a pass before a deflected finish rolled past the Ginga goalkeeper.
The home side would tie the game just a few moments later. An excellent slide tackle from #7 Moses Lian launched the Ginga counterattack and 4 passes later the ball was in the back of the net after #8 Manu Krac nipped in front of the OLé goalkeeper to tie the score.
The game would stay tied for seven more minutes before the dam broke for OLé. A brilliant ball from #88 Lito Esquivel found #22 Samuel Esquivel open at the back post for a first-time finish. The 3-1 lead came a few minutes later: a ball over the top from #6 Jeo Garcia found #15 Johan Vazquez running unmarked in behind. He finished expertly with a first-time flick over the keeper's head.
Down 3-1 at the break, Ginga knew they would have to raise the level to get back in the game. However, it was OLé that would strike first out of the break, with Vazquez pouncing on a rebound less than a minute into the second half. Sloppy defending gave OLé captain Lito Esquivel his first goal of the night off a corner kick, poking home from close range with no defenders in sight to make the score 5-1.
With the game in danger of becoming a rout, Ginga's heads didn't go down. Despite the final scoreline of 10-3, it took a series of excellent saves from OLé #1 Alphonso Zavala to maintain the visitor's advantage throughout the second half.
Ginga pulled one back, with a nice team goal quickly coming together that undid the OLé defense. A long ball was nodded down by #10 Rashawn Lamar, with #16 TJ Manning's first touch going over the defender's head to #13 Sydney Musoni. His back heel put Ginga captain #19 Erik Hegerty into space, whose unerring first-time finish beat the OLé shotstopper. A goal of real quality from the home side.
Ginga continued to force great saves from Zavala, and as a result OLé began to run away with it. The captain Esquivel collected a loose ball, beat his defender with a few stepovers, and finished low and hard into the bottom left corner to make the score 6-2.
Similar to last season, OLé look to be one of the best-coached team in the league. Regardless of the amount of talent they have on the court, the number of chances they create and goals they score from set pieces make them incredibly dangerous to unsuspecting defenses. Their seventh goal of the day came from an out-of-bounds near the corner, with a pinpoint ball from Garcia finding Martinez to poke home from close range.
A scrappy 8th goal from Martinez was touched home after a heavy deflection put the ball into his path at the back post. With a 6-goal lead and under 8 minutes to play, the game was more or less done. Esquivel's second of the night came off another free kick, with the captain finding him in way too much space that allowed him to smash into the top right corner from 10 meters.
Hegerty pulled a third back in the final minute for Ginga, robbing the defender before beating the goalkeeper 1-on-1. However, it would be OLé getting the last laugh, scoring with less than seconds on the clock, with #7 Josof Abden chipping past the keeper after a 3-on-1 counterattack.
A LOOK AT THE TABLE AFTER MATCHWEEK 4:
We head into a short mid-season break, with no games coming up this weekend. However, hope is not lost! Matchweek 5 brings us 5 great games across both Divisions and both Conferences, with a double header on Saturday and a top-of-of-the-table clash between Joy Athletic and FC Tryzub.
THE NFPL RETURNS...
With 5 games on the weekend of January 21st! Find the full schedule here.
Follow along and stay tuned here and on the National Futsal Premier League social platforms for coverage, previews, highlights, and more.