NFPL Matchweek 3 Review
FUTSAL INDY 6-20 FUTSAL FACTORY ACADEMY
In inauspicious start to the season for Futsal Indy was compounded in Matchweek 3 as the women lost their season opener to Futsal Factory Academy by a scoreline of 6-20. Directly afterwards, the Men's team would drop their third out of three games this season with a 4-9 scoreline. More on that later.
Some early technical difficulties were ironed out in Indianapolis as online viewers missed the opening few minutes of the game. However, it was clear from the jump that Futsal Factory were better positioned to take all three points. Early goals from Chloe Ricketts and MacKenzie Dollison gave the visitors a quick 2 goal in the opening minutes, followed up by goals from Niomi Grimaldo and Jasmyn Goldsmith to build a 4-0 lead in the first 5 minutes.
Futsal Indy would respond with an unassisted goal by Jana Novaes. A quick give and go and smart finish for Novaes into the far corner would double the Indy tally and bring the score to 4-2 in favor of the visitors.
However, a well-worked corner for Grimaldo's second goal of the night with 6 minutes to play followed by a Cadi Murphy goal would cement a 6-2 lead.
After the halftime break, things went from bad to worse for the home side. A mistake at the back led to a Charlie Bleu tap in just 15 seconds into the half, and while that was answered by Novaes' third of the evening just 30 seconds later, Bleu would score two more in the next two minutes after excellent target play. All 3 of her goals in a 3 minute span came within 3 yards of the goal.
With a 9-3 lead as a foundation, it was one-way traffic for the visitors. With a 9-3 lead, it was one way traffic from there. It would take another 3 goals from MiCayla Johnson, Grimaldo, and Ricketts before Futsal Indy had an answer through Megan Perry's goal. FFA spread the goals around from that point, with everybody getting on the scoresheet. Johnson would end the game with 4 goals and 1 assist, Ricketts with 3 goals and 3 assists, Bleu with 4 goals and 1 assist as Futsal Factory dominated Futsal Indy on the road.
COLUMBUS FUTSAL 2-5 FC TRYZUB
However, fans were treated to a great game nonetheless. It was physical, skillful, and played at breakneck pace. The opening minutes were characterized by some careful probing by both teams, as well as some hard tactical fouls that set the tone for the rest of the match.
FC Tryzub would take the lead through none other than Bohdan Ruchka. Coming off a Player of the Week performance in Matchweek 2, it was Ruchka's tough tackle at midcourt and composed finish into the bottom right corner that opened the scoring after 4 minutes of play.
Columbus didn't collapse and continued to work the FC Tryzub goalkeeper and defense. A misplaced pass off a corner resulted in a 2v0 counterattack for FC Tryzub, with Risveachin slotting home after a square pass across Oliveira's net. FC Tryzub would take that 2-0 lead going into the halftime break.
The opening 3 minutes of the second half would break Columbus hearts. Ruchka was again the instigator, wiggling his way through two tackles before firing through the goalkeeper's legs for to take a 3-goal lead with 17:50 left in the second half. Less than a minute later it was 4 for the visitors. A pass from out of bounds was taken quickly and the home defense fell asleep, allowing a 30 yard pass to go across the court to find Koriluk open at the bag post to tap in.
The game continued with both goalkeepers being tested and despite the scoreline Columbus never gave up, staying dangerous and not allowing the visitors to rest on their lead. With under 7 minutes to play, a Tryzub counterattack put the nail in the coffin. Koriluk's one-time pass across the net found Ruchka alone at the back post for his hat trick: 5-0 to the visitors.
Columbus would pull back two goals from two PKs in the final two minutes, with Matos and Palma dispatching their opportunities from the spot. The home side will be disappointed not to score from open play and to drop the 3 points on their home opener. FC Tryzub have proved their mettle against at one of the league's toughest venues. Both teams still have everything to play for!
FUTSAL INDY 4-9 FUTSAL FACTORY ACADEMY
The Men of Futsal Indy remain looking for their first win of the season after a tough opening 3 games have left them bottom of their division and bottom of the league, having scored 12 and conceded 38. The holiday break could not come at a better time as they will look to regroup with a young team that needs to find their footing in the league this season.
The visitors opened the scoring after just a minute played. Khal Suleiman flew into a hard but clean challenge, forcing a giveaway just a few yards from their net which was finished calmly by Abdisa Kabeto. More high pressure resulted in a second goal, this one slammed into the bottom right corner by Thomas Dono.
Futsal Factory would score again, this time on the wrong net as Futsal Indy got on the scoreboard after Maverick McCoy cut in from the right and his shot took a heavy deflection before rolling past Damron.
The high press continued to cause problems for the home side. Futsal Factory Academy Captain Drew Ducker won a tackle just ahead of mid court, with Kabeto pouncing on the loose ball before squaring to Mike Caldwell to slot home and take a 3-1 lead.
The home team stuck with it - a counterattack with a nice pass across the net found Vlasis Trocadis open at the back post, and another counterattack that ended with Johnny Gourley with a nice finish over the FFA goalkeeper's shoulder into the far corner would send the teams into the halftime break tied at 3-3, capping a disastrous few minutes to end the first half for the visiting team.
After the break, it briefly looked like it might be Futsal Indy's day. A misplaced pass from FFA fell to Joao Couto, who launched a counterattack with a quick outlet to McCoy and then to Abdoukhaleo Samatar whose first-tie, outside of the foot finish past Damron showed exactly what Futsal Indy can do when they're at their best.
Unfortunately for the home side, that would be it. At 4-3, they would go on to lose 4-9. A foul on Ducker resulted in a training ground free kick routine that Dono blasted into the top right corner to tie the game. Moments later they would take the lead for good, with a nice backheel from Caldwell setting Dono free down the right to find a Kabeto back post tap in.
Blink and you miss it: Ducker's 40-yard pass across the court cut cleanly through the Futsal Indy squad, finding Lucas Tessayan who squared for NFPL debutant Josh Jasinkicwz's first goal of his career. Less than 20 seconds later, Dono pounced on a loose pass in front of the Indy goal and blasted past the Indy goalkeeper to take a 7-4 lead.
Although a 3-goal lead is not unassailable in futsal, the ball was no longer bouncing Indy's way. FFA were winning tackles, had too much time on the ball, and were finding space too easily, exemplified when Suleiman was given all the time in the world to calmly walk the ball past half court and line up an arrow into the bottom right corner from 25 yards.
Ducker would put the exclamation point on the night for Futsal Factory with a 9th goal with under a minute to go. The high press which allowed the visitors from Michigan so much authority on the night causing a giveaway that put Ducker 1-on-1 with the goalkeeper. His quick feet beat the goalkeeper and sent two Indy defenders to the floor before poking a cheeky finish into the top corner.