NFPL Matchweek 12 Review
A busy 5-game weekend in the National Futsal Premier League provided some fireworks and excitement around the Midwest! After all the dust has settled, Grand Rapids OLé are going to be pleased with two big wins over the weekend, while Cadence SFC make moves at the expense of Futsal Indy. But first, what happened in Detroit on Saturday evening?
FUTSAL FACTORY ACADEMY 5-9 GRAND RAPIDS OLÉ
THE MICHIGAN DERBY PT. II
The buildup to the second fixture of the Michigan Derby was frenetic. Grand Rapids OLé, who find themselves in first place in the NFPL, needed to win a big game to maintain that position against the chasing pack. On the other hand, Futsal Factory Academy were desperately looking to prove that they belonged in the big games against the top of the table teams.
Grand Rapids would start out much quicker, with a goal coming in the opening 30 seconds after #15 Jonny Zamudio capitalized on a reckless pass by Futsal Factory in front of their own net. In just a few minutes, they'd opened the scoring to 3-0 behind two goals by #8 Cole Russell, the first coming after he cleaned up a deflection just in front of goal and the second after rifling in a ferocious finish at the near post past FFA GK Robert Damron. It was just the start that Grand Rapids were looking for.
A period of intense, scoreless play followed, with both goalkeepers coming up big with breakaway saves and clearances off the line. Futsal Factory would spark a comeback attempt by scoring with under 9 minutes to play after #9 Ahmed Zaky found #10 Miki Djerisilo open at the back post to make the score 3-1. However, the comeback attempt was shortlived.
A timeout from Grand Rapids with under 5 to play in the first half would prove decisive for the visitors as manager Fabian Rodriguez pushed his team to close out the half with 3 more goals. Russell would get his first half hat-trick after blasting a left-footed shot past the goalkeeper's shoulder to go in off the post. A fifth goal was added with two minutes to play after a brilliant piece of play in which a long ball played toward the far corner was expertly sent across the net by #22 Sammy Esquivel to find 17-year old NFPL debutant #19 Cesar Martinez open at the back post to volley home. With a mountain to climb, FFA continued to dig their own grave as Martinez added his second of the night on an empty net to make it 6-1 at halftime.
At 6-1, Grand Rapids knew they just had to contain and prevent any attempt at a comeback. FFA's Zaky would score after slotting past the keeper to make it 2-6. Another well-used timeout from Grand Rapids with 13:30 to play would again prove decisive as they scored beautifully in transition with Cesar finding Adrian Diaz open at the back post. Grand Rapids would see the game out without letting Futsal Factory come too close, despite additional goals by Djerisilo, Zaky, and Djokic. Cesar would get his hat-trick in an impressive NFPL debut as Grand Rapids took all 3 points on the road.
Columbus Futsal 4-2 Futsal Indy
A tightly-contested affair in Ohio saw Columbus Futsal see off Futsal Indy in a battle of the lower half of the standings. Coming off a big win over Futsal Factory, Futsal Indy were looking to build on the positivity and fight for home-court advantage as playoffs approach.
Columbus controlled this game from start to finish. #10 Yul Illidge was back to his old ways as the pivo opened the scoring for Columbus after 7 minutes, chasing down a loose ball and nutmegging the defender expertly before slotting past the keeper. It was a fantastic goal and the home fans were duly impressed. Futsal Indy would equalize just a minute later through #3 Joao Cuoto to tie the score at 1-1.
The tie wouldn't last long. With 8 minutes left in the first half, #15 Caleb Saldivar would get his first goal for the club, firing into the top corner on a PK and #6 Donald Lopez would find the back of the net in the following minute to take us into halftime with Columbus leading 3-1.
The second half was nervy for a long time as a second goal from Futsal Indy's Joao Cuoto would make the game 3-2 after just 3 minutes. However, with about 8 minutes left on the clock, #33 Juliano Castilhos found the dagger for Columbus, firing past the Indy keeper to make it 4-2 and put the game out of reach for the visitors from Indianapolis.
Joy Athletic 10-3 Cadence SFC
The two youngest rosters in the NFPL met in Minnesota on Saturday night as Cadence SFC traveled up to play Joy Athletic. With playoff seeding in the picture for Cadence and the opportunity for Joy Athletic to capitalize on any slip-up by Grand Rapids, both teams knew how important every game is.
A tight, scoreless first half was broken by Joy Athletic's Siddiq Madson-Keita, giving the home team a 1-0 lead after a nice finish with just 3:18 left in the first half. Cadence would respond less than 30 seconds later through a goal by #5 Mattew Maciulis, and it looked like we would go into halftime all square. However, the Minnesotan club was just getting started. Rapidfire goals from #29 Diego Paulin and #20 Jorge Padilla in the final two minutes left the game at 3-1 as the teams headed into the break.
Unfortunately for the visitors, much of the second half was one-way traffic as the home side piled on the goals. An early finish by Joy Athletic #10 Bennett Kouame was equalized shortly afterward by a goal from Cadence's #8 Giovanni Nicolas, but that would just about do it for the Illinois futsal club.
2 unanswered goals by #11 Johnny Ryan and #17 Denilson Ramos gave the home team breathing room, pushing the scoreline to 6-2. With just 6 minutes left and a lot left to do, #12 Gui Nunes pulled one back for the visitors, but they couldn't hold back the Minnesotan juggernaut any longer.
#21 Simeon Friesen, #29 Diego Paulin, #2 Lioul Minas, and #3 Marco Duran all scored in the final 5 minutes for Joy Athletic as they spread the goals around the team, locking up all three points. Friesen finished with 2 goals and 2 assists.
Grand Rapids OLé 18-1 Ginga FS
It's safe to say that this game did not go the way we expected or wanted it to. A dream for Grand Rapids OLé was the stuff of nightmares for Ginga FS as they were blown away 18-1 in Michigan. OLé continued their red-hot form in pursuit of a first-placed seed in the playoffs and a regular season NFPL championship, while Ginga FS were brought back to a stone cold reality by OLé's unstoppable offense and unbreakable defense.
OLé started similarly to how they began their previous game against Futsal Factory Academy, scoring 3 goals in the opening 5 minutes to show the opposition they meant business. #4 Daniel Diaz, #13 Jonathan Stout, and #9 Adrian Diaz were the scorers.
By halftime, OLé had amassed an 7-goal cushion. Further strikes from #8 Cole Russell, #11 TJ Ifaturi, and GK #69 Miguel Cervantes gave them a comfortable lead.
Ginga FS wouldn't score until 9 minutes into the second half as TJ Manning got the visitors on the scoreboard. However, at that point OLé had already scored 10, sharing the goals around as #88 Lito Esquivel got on the scoreboard and others marked their second or third goals of the evening. #6 Jeo Garcia got in on the act in the 31st minute as the Cincinnati futsal club were swept away.
#4 Daniel Diaz would end the evening with 4 goals, #9 Adrian Diaz with 3, #8 Russell with 2, #88 Esquivel with 3, and #13 Stout with 2.
Cadence SFC 7-1 Futsal Indy
Tired legs and a short sub bench will hurt you in the NFPL, regardless of age or experience, and this was proven once again as Cadence SFC defended home court with a 7-1 victory over Futsal Indy on Sunday.
Futsal Indy held onto a 1-1 score after the first half but couldn't maintain the pace or pressure as the young guns from Illinois outstripped the visitors, scoring 6 unanswered in the second half.
Futsal Indy would open the scoring in the first minute with a goal from #10 Pedro Vallardo before #20 Mattew Maciulis evened the scores for Cadence SFC. A scoreless remaining first half left everything to play for, and Futsal Indy maintained a stout defense until past the midway point of the second half. However, when things slid out of the control, they continued to slide. A goal from #10 Guial De Almid broke the deadlock in favor of Cadence SFC in the 12th minute of the second half, and #7 Jose Rex added another a minute later. Maciulis and De Almid both added a second to their individual tallies as they stretched the lead to 5-1. In the final two minutes of play, #9 Gui Munes and #8 Giovanni Nicolas would get on the scoreboard as the game slipped out of reach for Futsal Indy.
The result propelled Cadence into 5th place in the NFPL standings as Futsal Indy slid into 7th.
A LOOK AT THE CURRENT LEAGUE TABLE...
THE NFPL RESUMES...
Matchweek 13 gives us three games and a Saturday night double-header for futsal fans around the Midwest!
Saturday, April 2nd
- Columbus Futsal take on Futsal Factory Academy at 7:00PM EST at Westwood Fieldhouse. Get tickets here.
- Futsal Indy host Cadence SFC in an immediate rematch of this week's match at 8:00PM EST at Irsay Family YMCA at CityWay. Get tickets at the door.
Sunday, April 3rd
- Grand Rapids OLé play in front of their home fans against Cadence SFC at 5:00PM EST MSA Sports Spot. Get tickets at the door.
Follow along and stay tuned here and on the National Futsal Premier League social platforms for our Matchweek 12 preview and more!