Midwest Semifinal Review: OLé Win When It Matters


Grand Rapids OLé Get The Last Laugh over Futsal Factory

Despite starting a 6-game winning streak with a win over Grand Rapids, Futsal Factory Academy came up short on Saturday night as they fell to Grand Rapids OLé on the road by a score of 4-2. 

The two Michigan-based futsal clubs played an incredibly tight match with thin margins. Futsal Factory Academy did well to keep the league's leading scorer (Gabe Villagomez) from scoring, but a heroic second-half performance from Andres Montes in net prevented the comeback.

It was the home side that started off stronger, dominating possession and creating a few early chances. However, a giveaway at the back about midway through the half gave Futsal Factory the opening goal as Gui Ramos played a quick give-and-go with Ben Pritchard to tap in from close range for his 10th goal of the season. 

A combination of poor finishing from Grand Rapids and excellent keeping from FFA captain Robert Damron in goal kept the home team out for much of the first half. The breakthrough eventually came as Mose Crawford chipped over Damron, hitting the crossbar and rebounding off the helpless Thomas Dono for an own goal to tie the game at 1-1 going into the break.

The second half was intense! OLé took the lead after just 30 seconds - Cesar Martinez read a pass well to intercept and stop a Futsal Factory counterattack and then lead one for OLé, eventually getting on the end to pass the ball into the net from inside 5 meters.

From then on, it was basically the Andres Montes show. The young OLé goalkeeper, playing only the second half, stopped every shot, smothered every breakaway, and stifled every opportunity for the visitors. His dominance at the back gave OLé the platform to build on their lead, and about midway through the second half they did.

A lovely through ball from Sammy Esquivel found Gabe Villagomez and his square pass found Aaron Gamez, whose finish was bundled over the line to take a commanding 3-1 lead

As the clock ticked toward zero, accumulated fouls gave Futsal Factory a lifeline with a 10-meter kick, but Montes was equal to it in goal and denied Vitor Castro from the spot. 

With a minute to play, accumulated fouls gave Lito Esquivel the chance to seal the game from the spot and he made no mistake, tucking the ball past Damron into the bottom corner to clinch a third-straight NFPL Championship appearance for Grand Rapids OLé.

Futsal Factory finally found the breakthrough against Montes and the Red Wall of Grand Rapids OLé, but it was in the final 10 seconds and the damage was done.

Grand Rapids OLé move on to the 2023/24 NFPL Championship game against Colorado Futsal Academy, to be played at High Velocity Sports in Canton, MI on Saturday, April 27th at 7:00 PM EST. Find the details here and stay tuned for a deeper match preview in the coming days! 


Every game, every goal, every week - stream every game on the NFPL YouTube channel and follow along on our social media platforms to find highlights, league news, and more.