Maccabi Futsal club played in Series One of the inaugural New Zealand Football Futsal National League held across Saturday and Sunday at South West Stadium, Wellington.
Game one had Maccabi playing series hosts Capital City Futsal (Wellington). Maccabi started the better of the two teams and mounted serious amounts of pressure but could not find a way past Capital City keeper David Plowright. Slava Platkov and Daniel Fulton both had great chances but could not find the back of the net. The second half was a different story with Capital City coming out all guns blazing and with Lucas Silva and Enrico Meirelles beginning to fire it was a match that could go either way. Capital City was extremely unlucky not to take the lead when Silva found himself one-on-one with Maccabi keeper John Myers only for Myers to make a fine save. Matheus Decmop the Capital City Target was also unlucky not to give his team the lead after a good turn and shot was tipped by Myers onto the cross bar. Neither team was able to trouble the scores but this was a entertaining start to New Zealand Football Futsal National League.
In Maccabi’s second game they took on Christchurch Futsal (Christchurch) and Maccabi hit the court running and they skipped away to a 4 goal lead within the first ten minutes of the half. Christchurch could not match Maccabi’s ball movement and the combinations were a joy to watch as Maccabi kept the ball for long periods. Jarrod Basger bagged five goals for Maccabi as they got to double figures running out 15-2 winners.
Maccabi’s last game on Saturday was against Red Sox Manawatu. Maccabi coming off big victory in their previous outing coach Gareth Naar stressed that it was important to get off to a good start and that is exactly what Maccabi did when Daniel Fulton tapped in at the back post in the opening minutes. Denny Dutra also found his way onto the score sheet with a well taken right foot strike. Dutra could have a second after a he rounded the keeper at the top of the “D” but a good run from Nic Fisher across the goal saw him get the final touch to extend Maccabi’s lead. Red Sox then got on the score sheet when a long range effort beat Dale Levin at the back post. Maccabi Ran out 7-1 winner to be sitting top of the table after day one.
Sunday meant it was game four and Maccabi were up against surprise packets of the NZF National League, Football South Futsal (Otago). Football South Futsal had young Rahan Ali in their starting lineup and at 13 years of age defiantly looks like a big prospect for the New Zealand National Team. This was a tough encounter with both teams creating a number of early chances with both keepers making some tremendous saves to keep the scores level. This was a game in which Jordan Mundell showed his class as he lifted his Maccabi team mates and fired Maccabi into the lead. Maccabi were then rocked when inspirational leader Doron Pozniak was issued a red card mid way through the half. Blundell and Dutra then got Maccabi’s passing game back and it was a pleasure to watch. Jarrod Basger extended Maccabi’s lead with a tremendous strike through traffic which found the bottom right hand corner. Mundell got his second and Maccabi third before Denny Dutra rounded out the scoring for the McDonalds Super League leaders.
The last game for series one was to be the match of the series with East City Futsal (Auckland) with East City boasting a number of Futsal All Whites in their side it was going to be tough for Maccabi to remain undefeated. Denny Dutra opening the scoring with a well worked passing move with Slava Platkov, Dutra’s shot gave the New Zealand number one Elias Billeh no chance in the East City goal. Slava Platkov then extended Maccabi’s lead and his joy was for all to see during the celebration and was booked for lifting his shirt over his head. Maccabi took the lead into the half time interval. The second half was full of drama and East City star Miro Major passing game was starting to become a factor and the movement of young flanker Dylan Manickum it was only a matter of time before East City would be on the score sheet. Manickum did claw one back for East City when Slava Plakov failed to track the run of Manickum and he tapped Major’s though ball at the back post. Maccabi custodian John Myers then got his finger tips to a Major free kick to keep his side in the lead. Maccabi then made it 3-1 when Lev Lewis was brought down inside the “D” by Billeh. Jarrod Basger stepped up and slammed the ball into the bottom right corner. This lifted East City and within a matter of minutes they were level with Manickum scoring a hat-trick with sloppy Maccabi defending allowing the youngster to sneak into the back post for all three of his efforts. Just when the game looked set to end in a draw, and 19 seconds to go Maccabi Flanker Basger was brought down for a six foul penalty from the 10 meter spot. Up stepped the calm Dutra and he blasted a shot past the helpless Billeh to give Maccabi a dramatic winner and leave Maccabi top of the table after series one.
Day One – Saturday
Maccabi Hakoah 0 Capital City Futsal 0
East City 3 Red Sox 0
Football South Futsal 6 Christchurch Futsal 0
Capital City Futsal 4 East City 2
Christchurch Futsal 2 Maccabi Hakoah 15
Red Sox 1 Football South Futsal 3
Christchurch 1 Capital City Futsal 7
Football South Futsal 4 East City 4
Maccabi Hakoah 7 Red Sox1
Day Two – Sunday
East City Futsal 4 Christchurch Futsal 1
Maccabi 4 Football South Futsal 0
Capital City Futsal 3 Red Sox Manawatu 0
East City Futsal 3 Maccabi 4
Capital City Futsal 2 Football South Futsal 0
Red Sox Manawatu 5 Christchurch Futsal 1
Standings after Series One
|Capital City Futsal||5||4||1||0||16||3||+13||13|
|Football South Futsal||5||2||1||2||13||11||+2||7|
|Red Sox Manawatu||5||1||0||4||7||17||-10||3|