Matchweek 18 Review: Futsal Factory Academy and Santa Fe Gloom Punch Tickets


Futsal Factory and Santa Fe Gloom Punch Their Ticket

Futsal Factory Academy and Santa Fe Gloom recorded big home wins to lock in their postseason position as the 2023/24 NFPL regular season came to a close. 

FUTSAL Factory Academy 9-5 Detroit Imperial Futsal

Both teams needed a win to get into the playoffs and Futsal Factory Academy prevailed, ending an excellent debut season for Detroit Imperial Futsal. 

Cole Russell put his stamp on the game and was at the heart of everything positive for Futsal Factory Academy. His pass found Charlie Lacy to open the scoring after just 2:25 for the home side, side-footing a ball that deflected past Aiden Hanchett in goal for the visitors. 

They doubled their lead with 13 to play in the first half as Russell started the move with a give-and-go that eventually found Abdisa Kabeto at the back post to tap home. The third goal was moments later, with Russell latching onto a loose ball and finding Thomas Dono alone in front of the net to fire into the roof of the net, his 11th goal of the season. 

The 3-0 lead stood for several minutes and they almost had a 4th, but Futsal Factory overplayed it barely 5 feet from the goal. The pass was intercepted by Abdullah Esaleh and his pinpoint through-ball found Davide Di Poce on the break to slot past Robert Damron in goal

With less than 30 seconds to play in the half, Futsal Factory took advantage of the 3-1 scoreline as Detroit Imperial committed players forward. A bit of a scramble resulted in Cole Russell 1-on-1 with Hanchett and his calm dink over the onrushing goalkeeper gave the home side a 3-goal lead going into halftime. 

Cole wasn't done - nearly his first touch of the second half was his third assist of the night, a perfectly weighted first-time pass from Robert Damron's throw that found Gui Ramos behind the defense to go to goal alone and he made no mistake to take a commanding 5-1 lead. 

The 6th goal was just a few minutes later, and yep, it was Russell again. A quickly-taken free kick caught the defense sleeping and he was alert enough to follow the play and get on the end of a pass into the middle to slot into the far corner.

6 goals for Futsal Factory, 3 assists and 2 goals for Cole Russel - a dominant performance. 

Detroit Imperial did fight back, though. They scored the next two goals and captain Davide Di Poce also put his stamp on the game. His assist found Manuel Conte for a nice flick beyond the Futsal Factory goalkeeper and Di Poce scored the next one, a sliding finish from a Costa Wells pass on a lightning-quick counter to reduce the deficit to 3

However, they wouldn't get much closer than that as the home side parked it to defend their lead. An unassisted goal by Vitor Roque opened up a 4 goal advantage as time slid by. 

The teams traded goals around the 5-minute mark before a PK taken by Lucas Carvalho with 4:32 to play effectively ended it. A final consultation goal from Denin Oglecevac was too little, too late as Detroit's season came to a close.

The win sends Futsal Factory Academy into a playoff matchup against Grand Rapids OLé!

Cadence SFC 7-9 Grand Rapids OLé

Elsewhere in the Midwest, Grand Rapids OLé traveled to Chicago to take on Cadence SFC, needing only a draw to secure a first-place finish in the division. 

The division leaders have had tough matchups this season against the bottom team of the Midwest, but despite their challenges, they have always prevailed and it was no different in Matchweek 18. 

Cadence SFC scored first and went into halftime with a 5-3 lead, but couldn't sustain it. Gabe Villagomez terrorized Cadence for the second time this season, scoring 5 goals while Aaron Gamez and Boris Lalic added 2 each. 

Andres Mochada ended his season on a hot streak for Cadence SFC, scoring numerous goals against Detroit Imperial in Matchweek 17 and adding 4 to his season tally against OLé. 

The win caps off a great regular season for Grand Rapids OLé, topping the division with a division-best 70 goals and a record of 7-2-0. They'll host Futsal Factory Academy in the NFPL Semifinals with a chance at returning to the Championship game in pursuit of lifting the trophy this year. 

Santa Fe Gloom 10-5 BRUSA Futsal Club

A win for Santa Fe Gloom would guarantee their second-place finish and a playoff berth in their debut NFPL season, whereas a loss would condemn them to hoping results elsewhere went their way.

They didn't have to worry about results elsewhere as they took care of business on their home court, defeating BRUSA FC by the score of 10-5. 

The visitors jumped out to an early lead, going up 1-0 but it wouldn't last long. The home side quickly tied it up, then took the lead and never looked back, going up 2-1 and peppering the visitor's goal in an excellent attacking performance. 

A 10-meter kick made it 4-1 before Micah Vasey, leading scorer for BRUSA FC this season, pulled one back for the visitors and they would go into halftime at 4-2. 

The Gloom pounced early in the second half, scoring from a corner kick and then finding a 6th through Peter Torres for his 9th goal of the season as BRUSA went down a man. 

Kaue Martins did brilliantly to turn his defender and score, attempting to breathe life into his team but his goal was quickly canceled out at the other end despite a fantastic save from the BRUSA goalkeeper on the first attempt.

Nice hold-up play and a clever backheel gave The Gloom their 8th and that was basically a wrap other than a few garbage-time goals from both sides as the game got stretched in its waning minutes. 

Overall, a great performance from Santa Fe and over the course of the season it's fair to say that they earned their playoff berth in their first season in the National Futsal Premier League!

Colorado Futsal Academy 4-4 New Mexico Flagship FC

In the final game of the season, Colorado Futsal Academy needed only a draw to secure first place in the division and they got it, courtesy of a 4-4 tie with visiting New Mexico Flagship FC

The victory puts Colorado at the top of the division, a year after missing out on playoffs entirely. To go from 2-2-2 in 2022/23 to 5-2-1 this season is a huge improvement and the staff at Colorado Futsal Academy deserve a lot of credit. 

They've had consistent big performances from big players in Beckan Ovalles, Diego Galan, and Deivis Leal and they'll be facing off against Santa Fe Gloom in the Southwest Semifinals.


With the end of the regular season, we have officially entered the postseason! Check out the updated 2023/24 NFPL Playoffs bracket! 


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