2022/23 Matchweek 9 Review
What a massive week in the National Futsal Premier League! A dramatic draw in Minnesota, an emphatic message sent to cross-city rivals in Chicago, movement at the top of the Great Lakes Conference, and goals, goals, goals!
Get all the details and goal highlights from Matchweek 9 below!
Futsal Indy 2-5 Columbus Futsal
The Columbus Futsal Women's side secured their first win of the season in Matchweek 9 with a 2-5 win over the Ladies of Futsal Indy. It's been a tough season for Futsal Indy and despite going toe-to-toe with Columbus for much of the match, they couldn't find enough decisive moments in front of goal to get the result.
Futsal Indy would take the lead about 15 minutes into the game after a botched Columbus corner kick left Gibson-Zweifel in a horrible position at half-court. Emma Johnson danced around her and fired into the empty net to take a 1-goal advantage.
A quick turnaround before the halftime break showed Columbus's gritty character. A nice pass from Loren Gormley found Erin Boulanger with too much space and just the goalie to beat, and her low left-footed shot into the corner tied the game. Boulanger got her second of the night with 90 seconds left in the half, with Gormley's cutting pass finding her at the back post to fire across the goalie and in.
Both goalkeepers were busy in the first half, and the opening minutes of the second half was no different. Futsal Indy would tie it up at 2-2 with a goal of real quality. Jade Westerfield's crunching tackle in her own half got the ball loose, and Johnson's quick feet got her beyond her defender and the goalkeeper before squaring back to Westerfield to tap it in at the back post.
The next goal from Columbus would be the eventual game-winner. Gormley trapped the ball and played a neat give-and-go with Mariah Carroll before slotting past the Indy goalkeeper from close range. As time ticked beneath the 7-minute mark, Futsal Indy committed players forward in hopes of tying the game.
With 4:33 left to play, a Columbus corner kick sealed the win for the visitors, with the rebound coming out to Steber who fired a nice left-footed strike into the corner from the top of the penalty area. The goal capped off a great night for the Ladies of Columbus Futsal getting their first win of the season on the road.
FUTSAL INDY 4-12 COLUMBUS FUTSAL
A win in Indianapolis has sent Columbus Futsal top of the Great Lakes Conference, while Futsal Indy continue searching for a complete performance this season. They've had good stretches in games but haven't been able to put it all together for 40 minutes, whereas Columbus Futsal will be feeling great about their chances of securing a playoff spot in April.
The game started perfectly for the visitors, with Matias Barinas collecting a loose pass and drilling a shot low and hard past the goalkeeper with less than 10 seconds played! A dismal start for Futsal Indy would stretch into a 4-1 lead for the visitors by halftime.
Although the next several minutes were fought fairly evenly between the sides, a poor giveaway near midcourt from Futsal Indy would result in a Columbus free kick. Williams Palma stepped up to take from at least 25 yards and hammered his shot into the corner - a brilliant free kick for the visitors with about 14 minutes to play.
The two-goal lead became a three-goal lead as Columbus built from the back and cut open the Indy defense in two passes, with Palma finding Hamza Belasri to tap in from 1 yard out. Three became four as Columbus completed a devastating counterattack with Donald Lopez finding Barinas unmarked at the far post to unleash a great first-time finish into the top corner.
Futsal Indy's lone goal of the half came on their own counterattack, led by Joao Couto - his shot crashed off the post and Myles Mitchem's hustle was rewarded as he bundled the ball over the line from close range.
After the halftime break, an early Columbus Futsal goal from Gui Karaoglan was quickly canceled out by a Futsal Indy counterattack, with Ujasiri Sikabwe's excellent midcourt Maradona providing the space before getting on the end of a give-and-go with Joao Couto to tap into the empty net. 5-3 was about as close as it would get for Indy.
A card reduced their men on the court for a short time and Columbus was able to quickly capitalize through an own goal.
Lopez's left-footed finish into the corner from the top of the penalty area was canceled immediately off the kickoff with a goal from Tarrin Baker-Deyoung to bring the game to 7-4. Five unanswered Columbus goals in the final 7 minutes of the game would secure them all 3 points on the road.
A towering Karaoglan header found Barinas alone at the back post for a finish that earned him his hat trick. Shortly afterward, a Columbus corner kick routine got Jesus Alcauter the ball - his perfect first touch was complimented with a perfect shot low and into the bottom right corner. Alcauter scored a second a few minutes later, completing a counterattack with an almost identical shot into the corner.
Two goals in the final two minutes would put the icing on the cake for the visitors. Gaston Kruskevich's fizzing pass across goal found Diego Bernal alone at the back post to slide the ball into the net. Kruskevich would get his goal to end the rout, poking in past the stranded goalkeeper to put an end to a dreadful night for the home side and a very welcome 6-point weekend for Columbus Futsal.
Joy Athletic 12-12 Ginga fS
Ginga FS opened the scoring after a well-worked free-kick routine ended with TJ Manning tucking a nice finish past the Joy Athletic goalkeeper from a tight angle. However, a brilliant turn and low finish a few minutes later by Si Friesen canceled out Ginga's early lead. Barry Boubacar's fierce drive from near midcourt would give the visitors the lead a few minutes after that. This back-and-forth, free-scoring flow to the game would be typical of this incredible game of high-level futsal.
Moments later, Joy tied the game - a quick free kick from Bennett Kouame found Griffin Price alone at the back post to tap in as Ginga FS fell asleep defending. Price got his second of the night just a few minutes later, firing low and hard from the top of the penalty area beyond the goalkeeper.
Kouame's powerful left-footed shot into the corner would give the home side a 4-2 lead. Friesen's quick feet and excellent strike extended the lead to 3 goals for Joy Athletic moments later, and Evan Moreno gave Joy a 4-goal advantage, collecting a Kouame rebound and scoring from close range with just under 7 minutes to play in the first half.
With 2 and a half minutes remaining in the first half, Jaie Pelletier squeezed a nice finish past the goalkeeper after a quick counterattack gave the visitors space on the wing. The first half would end with Joy Athletic hanging on to a 6-3 lead with fans getting the chance to reflect on what they had just witnessed.
The second half was, in a word, bonkers - 15 goals scored between the two teams that led to what felt like a fair result for both.
Manning's precision cross-court pass would find Jorge Guinovart at the back post, and his first-time finish sneaked past the Joy goalkeeper to make it 6-4. Kouame answered by collecting his own rebounded free kick and displaying quick feet to score from close range. Boubacar's tough but fair midcourt challenge gave him a breakaway with just the keeper to beat, and his goal for Ginga FS brought the score to 7-5.
At just under 15 minutes to play, Ace Ezirike's driven shot would rip through the Ginga goalkeeper's hands to make it 8-5 for the home team. Guinovart would answer less than 5 seconds later off the kickoff, sending one in off the near post. Ginga would bring the score to 8-7 through Manning and Guinovart - a deadly turn gave Manning the space to drill a ball to the far post where Guinovart nonchalantly tapped it in. Timeout, Joy Athletic, and a moment for us to catch our breath.
Manning's fantastic free kick sniped into the far corner would tie the game 8-8 just a few moments after the timeout.
Friesen's smashed toe poke into the corner would make it a 1-goal game. Back and forth the two teams went, with Guinovart tying it back up, doing well to make space for himself along the sideline before sending an arrow into the far corner. Griffin Price's low drive into the far corner would regain the 1-goal advantage for the home side with under 9 to play.
Guinovart would tie the game at 10-10, right after Joy Athletic smashed one against the post. His heel flick to himself turned his defender inside-out, before a left-footed half-volley into the corner with just over 3 minutes to play.
The last minute did not disappoint. The two teams would trade two more goals into the final minute, with Kevin Sliva and Barry Boubacar scoring for Joy Athletic and Ginga FS, respectively. As the two entered the final stages of the game, none of the fans knew what to expect - both teams had hit the woodwork on several occasions and had a plethora of unfinished chances while also putting in 11 goals each.
Manning's brilliant left-footed hammer with 4 seconds seemed like it would take the win for the visitors! However, Kouame wasn't done - with one second left on the clock, his left-footed thunderbolt into the top corner tied the game at 12! Absolute bedlam in St. Paul for the home side as they rescued a point and the two teams shared the spoils. Handshakes all around at the final whistle showed the respect the two teams have for each other after a grueling, thrilling encounter in Minnesota.
FC Tryzub 8-0 Cadence SFC
When they welcomed Cadence SFC to their neck of the woods, FC Tryzub made no mistake with an 8-0 drubbing, showing that there can be only one ruling futsal club in Chicago, and everyone knows who it is.
The home team opened the scoring through Mikhailo Ryabui's line-breaking ball forward finding Igor Bych with his back to goal - a great first touch and turn gave him the space to slot into the corner from close range just a few minutes into the game.
Denis Reveachin got the second of the night when he finished off a typically brilliant Tryzub team goal. Bych got his second of the night and his ninth of the season, finishing into the roof of the net after being found alone at the back post by Dmytro Zbuzhovyy on a fast break from the best counterattacking team in the league. Although Cadence SFC had fashioned some chances, they'd go into the halftime break with a 3-0 deficit.
The second half started brightly for the visitors, getting several shots on target, but none were able to beat Pejovic. With such a strong start, the fourth goal for the home team was a backbreaker for Cadence. Reveachin was found alone to tap in at the back post by Zbuzhovyy off a nice out-of-bounds routine for the home team.
A Cadence counterattack was stifled with an intercepted pass, and the following Tryzub counterattack was chipped beyond the keeper by Taras Kobliuk to make the score 5-0. The 6th came through John Perez, again alone at the back post from a cross by Bych.
Tryzub's possession was too much for the visitors, with defense from the top forcing a turnover and incisive, short passes finding Kobliuk running free in behind to poke in from close range. Perez would get the final goal for Tryzub, an easy tap-in from Andrii Sadovksyi's pass.
FC Tryzub continue to be incredibly effective in possession, with highly technical players, great fitness and strength, and a ruthlessness in front of goal that seems destined to send them into the playoffs.
New Mexico Flagship FC 11-3 San Diego Voyagers
New Mexico Flagship FC opened up their NFPL account with a win on their home debut, taking down the visiting San Diego Voyagers 11-3 in Matchweek 9. The win propels NMFS to second in the Southwestern Conference.
After the two teams grappled without meaningful results for the first several minutes, the home team drew first blood with some lovely interplay between Pedro Torres and Isai Rivas, with a backheel assist making its way to Alexander Romero who buried the ball into the bottom corner. It was a lovely first NFPL goal at home for Flagship.
San Diego would tie the game shortly afterward as Benjamin Wilson collected a nice cross-court pass from Christian Ramirez and finished through two sets of legs. The tides turned on the Voyagers after that, with Torres sending a screamer beyond the goalkeeper from 20 yards to take the lead.
Flagship's pass-and-move style was in full flow as composed possession at the back allowed runners to get forward, with Alejandro Garcia receiving a ball behind the defense from Rivas and beating the keeper with the sole of his boot before poking into the net for a 3-1 lead.
Their 3-goal lead became a 4-goal lead after sustained pressure won them a corner. Jesus Araque's quick thinking found Nestor Ramirez in front of the goal to stab in from close range and take a 4-1 lead into the halftime break.
The second half began with more pressure from the home side. A foul just 74 seconds into the second half didn't help the visitors, and Rivas made no mistake, dispatching the penalty expertly into the top corner.
With the score at 5-1, the Voyager's goalkeeper made some great saves to prevent Flagship from running away with it, but the pressure paid off eventually for the home side. They were granted too much time and freedom with the ball and allowed to dictate play at their own pace and the subsequent openings tore the visiting team apart. A mistake at the back resulted in Rivas cleaning up a rebound from close range for his second of the night.
The visitor's second goal was a nice finish into the top of the goal from Rubem Miranda, but it was canceled out almost immediately by Flagship with Carlos Gutierrez touching Torres's cross into the net from close range.
More mistakes at the back plagued the Voyagers, and a giveaway near midcourt presented Rivas with a breakaway, with the subsequent rebound rifled in by Romero to make the score 8-2. Rivas would score his next opportunity, breaking away from the visitors camped in his own half to sprint the length of the court and deftly chip over the goalkeeper with about 4:30 left to play.
Torres then found Garcia unmarked in front of goal for a free shot on net, and he put the chance away with ease.
Overall, it was a brilliant home debut for Flagship. On the other hand, the Voyagers will be disappointed by the way they collapsed in the early part of the second half which put the game out of reach.