NFPL Matchweek 6 Review
5 games, movement at the top and bottom of the league, and NFPL SW debutants - Matchweek 6 was a banger!
- 5 games
- 42 goals
- 3 home team victories
Get all the details and highlights on the games below.
Grand Rapids OLé 5-3 Futsal Factory Academy
A top of the table matchup for in-state rivals Grand Rapids OLé and Futsal Factory Academy was always going to be a great game, and the ladies didn't disappoint. After winning the first matchup in thrilling come-from-behind fashion, the FFA Ladies knew they'd have their work cut out for them, and the OLé ladies were looking for revenge.
After a cagey opening few minutes, the two teams traded initial goals. A lost ball in midfield gifted Brianna Rose an opportunity to nudge the ball past Harding, and a minute later a similar giveaway resulted in Beanie Harshe smashing a volley into the top corner over Scholten's shoulder.
With just under ten to play, an OLé free kick at the top of the box presented an opportunity for the home side. Both the men's and women's side are well known for being extraordinarily clinical from set piece chances, and they took full advantage with a disguised pass allowing Shelly Vargas to rifle into the top right corner.
Less than a minute later, OLé doubled their lead, with Vargas being the provider this time. After winning a tackle in the opponent's half, she found Haley Dehaan open at the back post to tap in.
Both goalkeepers remained busy for the rest of the half, but with 18 seconds in the half a tough foul gave Harshe a penalty. Scholten saved well, but the clearance came out to Harding who expertly found Micayla Johnson to score her first of the night.
With the score 3-2 at the halftime break, there was plenty to play for. Less than two minutes into the second half, the home side again extended their lead. A series of nice passes led to the team storming down the court and Dehaan scoring her second of the night.
Time continued to tick down and Futsal Factory grew into the game, fashioning chances that were well saved by goalkeeper Mia Quintana. With under 7 to play, it was 4-3: Johnson beat her defender and finished calmly into the corner. However, it would be the OLé goalkeeper that had the last laugh.
As FFA flew the keeper in search of a winner, a nice save from a corner gave Quintana an opportunity to score from her own box, an astonishing full-field goal that's worth watching again. That would be enough to seal the game and all 3 points for the home team.
Columbus Futsal 3-3 GInga FUTSAL
The Battle for Ohio Pt II didn't disappoint as a packed house at Westwood Fieldhouse outside Columbus were treated to an exciting back-and-forth game. Both teams may look at it as a missed opportunity to get 3 vital points in the hunt for a playoff spot, given how the game played out.
The opening ten minutes was exciting but scoreless until TJ Manning blasted in his first goal of the night off a corner assist from Erik Hegerty for the visiting Ginga Futsal.
Chants from the home crowd didn't die off, but it was Ginga that struck next, with an excellent team goal that resulted in Hegerty finishing from close range after a Sydney Musoni back heel.
Just before halftime, the visitors made it 3 - a TJ Manning free kick from close range was deflected in to give the visitors a great position going into the second half.
The second half began with one of the most exciting, or depressing, depending on which team you supported, few minutes of NFPL action ever. Columbus scored 3 goals to tie the game in just over a minute of play.
First it was Marcelo Matos finishing into the top shelf after a VinÍCius GalvÃO interception. Moments later, Matos got his second of the night unassisted after winning the ball in the opponent's half. The crowd was lit after this, but the third made the place explode less than a minute later.
This time it was Matos providing the assist, latching onto a loose ball before an excellent pass found Tiago Ramos open at the back post.
Both teams didn't look like they wanted to settle for the draw and they went for it, keeping both goalkeepers busy but with no end product. The Battle for Ohio Pt II was indeed a battle, but ended in a draw.
Grand Rapids OLé 9-1 Futsal Factory Academy
Saturday night's doubleheader in Grand Rapids didn't end well for the visiting Futsal Factory Academy. A brutal 9-1 loss gave Grand Rapids OLé a commanding position in the NFPL Great Lakes and bragging rights in Michigan after they took all 6 points from the two fixtures this season.
Despite the scoreline, the first half was very evenly played. 8 scoreless opening minutes were shattered with a classic OLé set piece goal, with Daniel Diaz blocking, Adrian Diaz passing, and Jeo Garcia finishing past Damron in goal for the 1-0 lead. Moments later, the lead was doubled. The OLé high press resulted in a giveaway that Adrian Diaz finished calmly past Damron.
With under 6 to play, FFA would get their first. A corner kick from Gustavo Lira was trapped and turned brilliantly by Thomas Dono to finish from close range. Unfortunately for the visitors, the production ended there and it was 2-1 at the half in favor of Grand Rapids OLé.
Johan Vazquez got on the scoreboard early in the second half after a bad turnover. A Damron injury stopped play for several minutes in the 13th minute and unfortunately it was the catalyst that turned the game for the visitors.
Although they had a field player in goal, it's unclear whether Damron could have stopped a goal-of-the-month contender from Sammy Esquivel. He deleted his defender before smashing magnificently into the top right corner with his left foot to take a 4-1 lead.
The fifth goal put FFA heads down for good as Adrian Diaz scored his second of the night from close range. As FFA flew the keeper to try to get back into it, Alexis Mendez took advantage of the empty net and scored to make it 6-1. Moments later, FFA got caught subbing their keeper and Jeo Garcia got his second of the night, scooping it in from half field on an empty goal.
Esquivel was played in behind and his first volley was well-saved before he cleaned up the rebound to make it 8 before a counterattack with under a minute to play found Gabe Villagomez alone at the near post to finish calmly.
All-in-all, a horrible night for Futsal Factory Academy and a fantastic night for Grand Rapids OLé.
Cadence SFC 12-2 Futsal Indy
With both teams sitting winless and bottom of the NFPL Midwest, some goals and 3 points were in desperate need. Unfortunately for Futsal Indy, they found themselves under pressure from the jump to a young, deep Cadence SFC lineup that looked ready to play.
The home side jumped out to an early 1-0 lead, with Edrick Padilla scoring unassisted. Futsal Indy didn't roll over immediately and the first half was a busy, competitive affair. However, an Ignacio Ciotta goal assisted by Matthew Szklarz after the 9 minute mark set the tone for a long night ahead. A few minutes later, it was 3-0, with Padilla again scoring unassisted.
Cadence would take a 4-0 lead into the half with a Fitzgerald tap in at the back post on a counterattack assisted by Almeida. With a 4-0 lead going into halftime, all was not lost for Futsal Indy but they hadn't done enough to make it seem like it could become a game again.
3 goals in the opening 5 minutes of the second half really sealed the game. A giveaway three feet from their own goal presented Fernandes with an easy goal to go up 5-0. Fernandes would get a second goal moments later, running the length of the court before finishing past the Indy goalkeeper. Finally, a 2-on-0 attack gave Ciotta his second of the night with a back post tap-in.
Futsal Indy would get on the scoreboard through a set piece: Denis Sikabwe found Ujasiri Sikabwe open for a nice left-footed finish into the far corner. It wouldn't stop the Cadence rhythm though, as they found two quick goals just minutes later.
Padilla scored his third of the night off a dreadful giveaway from the Futsal Indy keeper, assisted by Fernandes, and then Padilla assisted Aguilar with an easy tap in open at the back post for goal number 9.
Padilla would score two more to bring his tally to 5 goals on the night, with assists coming from Ciotta and Ignotta. Fitzgerald would add the 12th goal before Samsoni Sikabwe scored a second goal with a few minutes remaining for Futsal Indy, a nice left-footed finish into the roof of the net.
For Cadence, it's good to finally get off the mark - for Futsal Indy, this horrorshow of a season has reached it's midway point and things look grim.
Colorado Futsal Academy 2-2 Brusa FC
Colorado Futsal Academy hosted Brusa FC in the debut game of the NFPL Southwest Conference. After a scoreless opening few minutes, it was the visitors that would break the deadlock, with Christian Lima scoring the first goal in NFPL Southwest history!
The 1-0 lead at halftime showed how tightly contested this game was. It was competitive, physical, and scrappy at times, with neither side willing to budge. However, the second half was fantastic. CFA evened the game up after nearly 7 minutes played, with Diego Galan scoring the first Colorado Futsal Academy goal in the NFPL.
The tight game continued until with under 5 minutes to play Jorge Castellanos scored for the home side, taking a 2-1 lead! It looked like they just might hold on to all 3 points, but Lima scored his second of the night with 9 seconds left in the clock!
It ended 2-2, with both teams deservedly taking a point from the match.
A LOOK AT THE TABLE AFTER MATCHWEEK 6:
A busy weekend in the NFPL results in Grand Rapids OLé extending their lead at the top of the NFPL Great Lakes Conference and closing the gap in the Women's Division.
THE NFPL RETURNS...
With 4 games on Saturday, February 4th! 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.