Southwest Semifinal Review: Colorado Futsal Academy Clinch Championship Spot


Southwest Semifinals Review:
Colorado Futsal Academy Heading To The Ship!

A truly insane game in Denver, Colorado resulted in the home side winning in penalties to clinch a berth in the NFPL 2023/24 Championship game! 

Colorado Futsal Academy opened the scoring but it was the visiting Santa Fe Gloom that dominated the early proceedings, going up big and forcing a heroic comeback from the home team. 

Beckan Ovalles continued his immense season, scoring on an early free kick on the edge of the goalie area. However, they were under pressure moments later, with Jean Carlos Caro in goal making a ridiculous save to clear off his own line and maintain the lead. 

Peter Torres put a slow roller just past the post a minute later until finally Julian Bustamante capitalized for the visitors, spinning past his defender and poking in at the near post to tie the game. 

They took the lead shortly after with a long-range blast from goalkeeper Hector Castañeda. With just under 10 to play, Hector beat his defender to open up space for Torres to find Bustamante in front of the net for his second and Santa Fe went up 3-1. 

Two minutes later, Bustamante secured his first-half hat trick, drilling an unstoppable finish into the top corner after collecting the rebound from his own free kick! 

It wasn't long until The Gloom made it 5-1, this time through Isai Rivas. He launched an absolute missile into the bottom corner from 20 meters, a completely unstoppable finish that is must-watch futsal

Down 5-1 at home, Colorado needed a lifeline, badly, and it came from an unexpected source. Jean Carlos Caro, beaten moments ago by an unstoppable drive detonated a bomb of his own, crushing the ball off the post and in from 20 meters. Another insane goal and we hadn't even reached halftime! 

The halftime team talk must have done the trick, or maybe it was switching to the white kits, because Colorado came out on fire and immediately put Santa Fe under pressure, moving the ball quickly and smashing a shot against the post. A dangerous passinto the center was deflected by a Santa Fe defender and Jorge Castellanos was quickest to react, burying the ball into the bottom corner to make it 5-3

A mistake at the back gifted Jim Guzman a goal for The Gloom with about 11 minutes to play, but Castellanos was there to restore balance. His quick reaction and late run were tough to defend and his unerring finish kept the deficit at 2 goals. 

With 7 minutes to play, Nicolas Lasso stepped up, displaying incredibly fast feet to make space for a shot that went beyond the keeper and into the side netting to make the score 6-5. 

As the under-5 came and went, Rivas was there again to smash a ball from long range into the net and take a 2-goal advantage for The Gloom. 

Despite a great save from Hector Castañeda in goal from a 10-meter kick, Colorado would not quit! Down by two goals with just a few minutes to play, they continued to chip away at it and got their reward as Ovalles had an open look at goal and he smashed the ball through the keeper's legs for his second goal of the evening.

Colorado finally got their game-tying goal through Deivis Leal. Castañeda made an incredible save from the spot followed by an even better save on the rebound, but couldn't keep out Leal with the follow-up. That made the game tied at 7-7 with about 2 minutes to play as the Colorado crowd went crazy!

Unbelievably, the two teams would trade another gaol before the end of regulation! Nicolas Lasso hit an insane long-range strike after catching Castañeda out of his goal and with less than a minute to play Bustamante grabbed his 4th goal of the night from the 10-meter spot.

We went into penalties, and then extra penalties and, unfortunately, had to determine a winner and a loser. Fans rushed the court when Jean Carlos Caro's save on Peter Torres's penalty ended the match. 

The Santa Fe Gloom, who enjoyed an amazing first season in the NFPL, go home empty-handed while Colorado moves on to the Championship game at the end of the month!


These two teams are no strangers to one another, having played against each other for years. Grand Rapids OLé have been the big brother as of late, until this season when Futsal Factory Academy finally broke through and got a big win at home. 

Futsal Factory Academy endured a torrid start to the season, starting with a 0-3 loss at the hands of Grand Rapids OLé en route to an 0-3 start. It all turned around after a massive victory at home over Grand Rapids, winning 6-4 and launching Futsal Factory into a 6-game winning streak to make the playoffs.

  • Futsal Factory Academy 6 - 4 Grand Rapids OLé (February 10)
  • Grand Rapids OLé 8 - 7 Futsal Factory Academy (January 27)
  • Futsal Factory Academy 0 - 3 Grand Rapids OLé (December 9)

The two teams end the regular season with remarkably similar stats: Grand Rapids OLé with a +21 goal differential, with 70 scored and 49 allowed. Futsal Factory Academy are at +22, with 67 scored and 45 against. 

Coaches Drew Ducker and Fabian Rodriguez will be familiar with each club's players, tactics, styles, and tendencies. This should be a tight game - Futsal Factory Academy have a well-balanced squad with threats from numerous sources, but they'll have their hands full trying to keep OLé's league-leading attackers quiet.


Grand Rapids OLé:

Futsal Factory Academy:


Where Things Stand:

Who will Colorado Futsal Academy meet in the Championship game? We'll find out on Sunday, April 21st!


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