NFPL Matchweek 1 Review: Joy Athletic take down FFA, Ginga wins a thriller in Indy.
The National Futsal Premier League kicked off their opening games of the 2021/22 season this past weekend as Michigan-based Futsal Factory Academy FFA made the trip up to Minneapolis, while Ginga FS traveled from Cincinnati to Indianapolis to take on Futsal Indy.
The game in Minneapolis was the first to kick off and Joy Athletic Club, in their first season in the NFPL, grabbed hold of the game early on and never let go. Four teenagers in their first ever semi-professional futsal game led the way as Mika Folstad, Phil Caputo, Bennett Kouame, and goalkeeper Liam Donnegan dominated from start to finish.
Folstad recorded two goals and an assist, while Kouame added a goal and an assist for the Goats. Between the sticks, Donnegan, a junior at Como High School, held his own against the 2021 National Futsal Premier League champions of FFA. Donnegan recorded a shutout until late in the game when Futsal Factory Academy made the transition to five attackers to close the gap. At that point, it was too late and Joy Athletic held on for a 6-1 victory over the more experienced away side.
In Indianapolis, Ginga FS and Futsal Indy battled out a back-and-forth game to open up their 2021/22 NFPL season. Ginga FS began the game hotly with two goals in the opening five minutes by Nick Rumisek and Derek Smith, assisted by Bret Marshall and Erik Hegerty, respectively. Just before the end of the first half, TJ Manning scored an NFPL Goal of the Month contender when he lashed home a volley into the top of the net from a difficult angle on a cross-field loft from Jorge Guinovart.
Ginga FS built on their 3-1 halftime lead with another hot start to the second half, going up 5-1 quickly behind two goals from Jorge Guinovart. Futsal Indy clawed two goals back and the score went to 6-3, and then 8-4 as Futsal Indy switched to five attackers. The Indianapolis-based futsal club were able to get two more goals before the match ended 8-6 in favor of the visitors from Cincinnati.
The NFPL now enters a short winter break over the holiday period. With a goal differential of 5, Joy Athletic Club top the table going into the new year.