MATCHWEEK 2 REVIEW:
OLÉ off to a 2-0 Start TO THe NFPL Season
Matchweek 2 provided an immediate rivalry match between Grand Rapids OLé and Futsal Factory Academy. A loud crowd of youth players attended and provided a great atmosphere for a competitive game that was scrappy and tightly contested until two late goals from the visitors secured all 3 points.
Futsal Factory Academy 0-3 Grand Rapids OLè
Looking to start the season with a big, statement win at home over the league leaders, Futsal Factory Academy fell short and Grand Rapids took all 3 points on the road to extend their lead at the top of the table.
In front of a hundred youth futsal fans, both teams started with the kind of intensity you'd expect in this rivalry game. OLè had the majority of the ball, displaying patience in possession through an experienced starting five that included Sammy Esquivel, Johan Vasquez, and Urbano Romero. The home team was put under pressure early, with goalkeeper Robert Damron coming up big with a few saves to keep the game tied.
Grand Rapids broke the deadlock with just under 11 minutes left in the first half. Yahir Real was a handful all night, stripping Abdisa Kabeto near the halfway line before driving towards the corner and firing off a shot. Marcos Real's excellent supporting run put him in the right place at the right time to poke home the rebound and gain the 1-0 lead for the visitors.
Futsal Factory grew into the game, with Damron and Mendoza busy in the nets for both sides until the halftime break.
Following halftime, the home side's adjustments looked to be having a positive effect. Lucas Carvalho was beginning to impose himself deep in the OLè half and had the ball in the net before the referees called it back for a foul in the buildup. Pritchard began to see more of the ball, but the decisive moment eluded them.
As they began to push Damron further up the court, they rode their luck a bit. Esquivel hit the post and another shot flew just over an empty net. A few chances at the back post went begging for Futsal Factory and eventually Grand Rapids made them pay for their wastefulness.
With under 7 to play, Grand Rapids scored twice to effectively put the game away. First, a lightning-quick counterattack began with Yahir Real's tackle, the loose ball was pounced on by Cesar Martinez who found Aaron Gomez across the court to toe-poke beneath the onrushing Damron.
A minute later, Yahir Real go the goal his game deserved. A careless pass was intercepted and he drove the ball into the Futsal Factory court, dancing past two defenders before drilling a precise finish into the far post.
Timeout, Futsal Factory. They pushed for the equalizer before the end but to no avail, the Grand Rapids OLè defense stood firm and earned a shutout win on the road that extended their lead at the top of the table in the Midwest.
A LOOK AT THE TABLE AFTER MATCHWEEK 2:
Two weeks in and Grand Rapids OLé sit at the top of the table. Matchweek 3 sees our first glimpse of the Southwest Conference!
THE NFPL RETURNS...
With 1 game in Matchweek 3! Find the full schedule here.
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