NFPL Matchweek 4 Review
4 games, 52 goals, 1 red card, and a lot of fun
Matchweek 4 promised and delivered on the action, as six National Futsal Premier League teams kicked off simultaneously on Saturday night. Let's start in Michigan, with...
Michigan Futsal Factory Academy 7-2 Joy Athletic Club
In front of an exciting crowd of several hundred, both teams played a tight first half that concluded with a narrow 1-0 lead at the break thanks to a goal by Ahmed Zaky. As the second half began, Joy Athletic were on the front foot with a few high quality chances in the first few minutes. Futsal Factory goalkeeper Robert Damron came up with big saves and the rest of the team showed resilience in defense, something they did not do very well in the first match against Joy.
Joy were able to pull one back to make the score 2-1, but FFA pulled away as with goals from veteran Nik Djokic and NFPL newcomers Ben Pritchard, Ben Brummel, Artjoms Clifford, and Roddy Green Jr.
With a final score of 7-2, Futsal Factory were able to seal their home opener with a win that took them off the bottom of the table. They face the daunting task of playing against league-leading Grand Rapids OLé on February 4th.
Grand Rapids OLé 15-3 Columbus Futsal
From the opening kick, it was one way traffic as Grand Rapids tore apart Columbus. An impressive showing from numerous players in the gray and red, including the Diaz twins, Adrian and Daniel, Jonathan Stout, and Miguel Cervantes in goal.
Ginga FS 11-9 Futsal Indy
4 weeks ago in Matchweek 1, Futsal Indy and Ginga FS played a tightly-contested battle in Indianapolis that saw the Cincinnati futsal team leave with all 3 points.
Fast forward to Matchweek 4 and the two teams came together for another thriller. Ginga FS came out hot with many good chances to start the game. However, Futsal Indy defended stoutly and played effectively on the counter, creating an intense, fast-paced atmosphere from the opening whistle.
Futsal Indy found the first goal of the game off a corner kick, but quickly after the restart, TJ Manning's strike into the top of the net leveled things at 1 goal apiece. The goals didn't stop there - a quick goal from Jon Caldwell and another from TJ Manning gave Ginga FS the momentum as the game progressed.
Futsal Indy's Dudu Oliviera had a monster game, putting the team on his back in an unforgettable performance. Oliviera scored 8 of his team's 9 goals, with Tiago Ramos scoring the only other goal for the Indianapolis club.
Down 3-1, Dudu found the top the net once more to go into halftime with Ginga FS leading 3-2. The second half was, in short, mesmerizing. The teams would trade goals in a back-and-forth, high-paced transition game, with Futsal Indy taking the lead shortly after halftime, 4-3. However, goals from Erik Hegerty and TJ Manning fired Ginga FS back into the game and eventually the lead.
A pair of goals from Zack Leffler and Bret Marshall saw Ginga FS threatening to run away with it, winning 7 goals to 4. However, with Ginga conceding five fouls early on in the second half, Oliviera would get numerous opportunities from the penalty spot and he would bury them, scoring 4 more goals to take the lead, 8-7!
Ginga FS were not to be denied, with an additional goal coming from goal from Zack Leffler followed by three more from Erik Hegerty to bring his tally to 4 on the night. Futsal Indy scored one more to bring the game to 11-9 at the final whistle.
We hope to bring these two teams together again in the playoffs, because these matches are competitive, fast-paced, and filled with quality.
GRAND RAPIDS OLÉ 2-3 Joy Athletic
In the final game of the weekend, Grand Rapids OLé looked to continue their undefeated start to the season against a Joy Athletic team that hoped to bounce back following their loss against Michigan Futsal Factory Academy the night before.
A scoreless first half didn't tell the story as both teams had good chances, but due to a combination of great goalkeeping and profligate efficiency in front of the net, neither team had the lead going into the second half.
The second half began much like the first, tightly-contested and cagey. With just 8 and a half minutes to play, Mika Folstad scored the first goal of the game to give Joy Athletic a precious away lead. With just about 5 minutes left to play, Philip Caputo would double Joy's advantage. OLé wouldn't give up, though. Moments later they would pull one back to make it 1-2, and then TJ Ifaturoti scored another late in the game to tie it 2-2!
But Joy Athletic would not be denied. A second from Mika Folstad with barely any time left on the clock would give the Minnesota futsal team a stunning 3-2 victory over the NFPL league-leaders, splitting their Michigan road trip with 1 loss and 1 win on the weekend.
The NFPL Returns for Matchweek 5...
Catch us again this weekend! The futsal action doesn't stop as we have the Michigan derby with Futsal Factory Academy traveling to Grand Rapids OLé on Saturday Night and Ginga FS heading to Minnesota.
We also see Ginga FS take on Cadence SFC in their first match of the season after an extended training camp.
Saturday, February 5th:
- Grand Rapids OLé (H) vs. Futsal Factory Academy (A) at 8:00PM EST played at MSA Sports Spot
- Joy Athletic Club (H) vs. Ginga FS (A) at 7:00PM CST played at JOTP Woodbury
Sunday, February 6th
- Cadence SFC (H) vs. Ginga FS (A) at 5:00 PM CST played at Cadence Sports Center