NFPL Playoffs Quarterfinal Review
The 2022 National Futsal Premier League Playoffs began this past weekend! 3 teams moved on and 3 teams were eliminated, and we now have our semifinalists! Catch up on all the details below.
COLUMBUS FUTSAL 7-2 GINGA FS
THE BATTLE FOR OHIO: PART III
We start in Ohio, where Columbus Futsal claimed a deserved win over in-state rivals Ginga FS. Columbus started brightly, with pivo #10 Yul Illidge opening the scoring after winning a tackle at mid-court and smashing the ball through the Ginga keeper's legs with his toe. Illidge has proven himself a master at going through the legs this season. Ginga FS would answer with a goal by #17 Bowi Uk, but that wouldn't stop the Columbus tide from rolling over them.
#5 Hamza Belasri nicked the ball off a Ginga defender and found himself one-on-one with just the goalkeeper to beat, slotting past him to make the score 2-1. Before the end of the half, #33 Zak Boggs got on the scoresheet after holding off his defender and drilling a shot low past the keeper's near post. It was an excellent finish and Columbus went into halftime with a 3-1 lead.
The second half was a tightly-contested affair. An early goal by #8 Sydney Musoni gave Columbus a 3-goal cushion after a lovely layoff from Illidge. Until the final few minutes of the game, the score stayed that way as Ginga FS stayed solid in defense. A goal with just under 4 minutes left by #4 Will Bencic brought the score to 4-2 and gave them hope, but Musoni was at it again for Columbus just 30 seconds later, dribbling past two defenders before finishing from close range.
With Ginga FS flying the keeper, Boggs lofted a 50-yard finish into an empty net with 2 minutes to play before a near carbon-copy goal came from #17 Nemanja Jandric.
All in all, Columbus Futsal will be happy with their performance and Ginga FS disappointed to end their season against local rivals. After a difficult start to the season, Columbus Futsal find themselves in the semifinals this weekend against the league leaders in Grand Rapids.
FUTSAL FACTORY ACADEMY 2-4 FUTSAL INDY
Futsal Indy made the trip to Michigan to take on Futsal Factory Academy and went home with the upset victory to keep their season alive. Despite the loss, Futsal Factory took the lead with #17 Ahmed Zaky opening the scoring with a lovely solo effort, beating a man 1-on-1 as he has so often done this season before forcing the keeper into a save and scoring off his own rebound. Indy would tie it up in with less than 3 minutes to play in the first half after captain #8 Diego Lemos was sent through by a great ball from #11 Luke Van de Water. Lemos showed quick feet to beat FFA GK Robert Damron and finish smoothly.
Lemos would double his tally and help Indy take a 2-1 halftime lead with 45 seconds left in the half. A pass from Lube-Vallardo set Lemos up with just Damron to beat. As the goalkeeper came out, Lemos flicked the ball up to himself before chipping the goalkeeper brilliantly. It was truly a goal deserving of the lead and halftime came, forcing Futsal Factory to dig deep.
Four minutes into the second half, it was 3-1 to Indy. #5 Joao Cuoto muscled his way through a Futsal Factory challenge before smashing the ball past the goalkeeper into the far corner from close range. Indy continued to have chances to close the game off, with Damron coming up big in between the posts for Futsal Factory.
With under 8 to play, Futsal Factory closed the gap. #5 Charlie Cobb volleyed brilliantly past the Indy goalkeeper after a long throw from Damron launched the transition. The comeback was on, and Futsal Factory pushed for a tying goal.
As the minutes ticked past and needing a goal, Futsal Factory gambled and flew the goalkeeper, but it was #3 Luis Soriano that would score an open-net goal to end the game.
Futsal Indy move on to play Joy Athletic in the NFPL semifinals!
JOY ATHLETIC 1-0 CADENCE SFC
Due to travel and roster constraints, Cadence SFC forfeited this match. Joy Athletic move on to the semifinals.
A LOOK AT THE Updated Playoff Bracket:
THE NFPL RESUMES...
The 2022 NFPL Playoff Semifinals are this weekend!
Saturday, April 23rd
- Columbus Futsal take on Grand Rapids OLé at 7:00PM EST at MSA Sports Spot.
- Joy Athletic host Futsal Indy at 7:00PM CST at JOTP Woodbury. Get tickets here.
Follow along and stay tuned here and on the National Futsal Premier League social platforms for our Playoff Semifinals preview and more!