Mainland crowned futsal champions

Monday, December 08, 2014
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Mainland Futsal are the 2014 Futsal National League champions after Sunday's dramatic 7-6 final win over Capital Futsal at the ASB Stadium in Kohimarama.

Wire-to-wire leaders of the competition, Mainland survived a late charge from the four-time runners-up in the closing stages of Sunday's final with Capital scoring twice in the last 15 seconds to give Ronan Naicker's team a scare but the leaders from Series 1 and 2 held firm to earn their first national title.

Naicker said the group were delighted to lead the competition from the outset, finishing top of the standings after each of the three series involved.

“It’s a great feeling really, Naicker said, “it’s a huge relief in many aspects because we started really well and we maintained it right through and it’s good that we could finish the job.

“Like I said to all the players, they answered every question that was asked of them and it’s been a long time coming for Mainland.”

After falling behind 3-1 in the early stages of Sunday’s final as league goalscoring machine Miroslav Malivuk made a hot start for Capital, Naicker said the team turned things around late in the first half to build the buffer they eventually needed to claim the title.

“Capital started really, really well and caught us on the back foot and they were dictating play and doing what we wanted to do.”

“We got the boys in 10 minutes into the first half, calmed them down and as it played it out we got back into it by halftime then after that we pretty much controlled the game for huge parts.

“At the end they were playing fifth man but we felt we had the game won. It was an exciting finish and I’m sure everyone enjoyed it.”

Earlier in the day, Mainland secured their final berth after seeing off the challenge of fourth-placed Futsal South with a 6-4 win in the first semi-final while Capital advanced after coming from 3-1 down late in their clash with defending champions Auckland Futsal Federation to record a 4-3 win.

Auckland’s Golden Glove winning goalkeeper Elias Billeh had to be stretchered off the court with a serious leg injury late the match.

Mainland’s Ezequiel Junior finished as the league Golden Boot while Northern’s Hicham Kamri was named overall Most Valuable Player.

Mainland goalkeeper Atta Elayyan scooped the award of NZF Futsal Player of the Year.

Futsal National League 2014 – Final
Sunday 7 December

Mainland Futsal 7-6 Capital Futsal (half: 3-3)
MF: Ryan Batty  13', Augusto Ebrahim 19, Ezequiel Junior 19', 28',  Daniel Burns 24', Andre Pestana 27’, Kaiea Karennang 37’
CF: Miroslav Malivuk 1', 9', 13', 35', 40', Matthew Edridge 40'

League awards
MVP: Hicham Kamri (Northern Futsal Federation)
Golden Boot: Ezequiel Junior (Mainland Futsal)
Golden Gloves: Elias Billeh (Auckland Futsal Federation
NZF Futsal Player of the Year: Atta Elayyan (Mainland Futsal)

© Mainland Football 2010