Mainland, East City lay early claims (NZ)

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Otago Daily Times

Mainland and East City claimed the early honours as the national league opened at Dunedin’s Edgar Centre at the weekend.

Both teams had four wins and finished the weekend on 12 points.

East City was a perfect four from four, with a formidable record of 25 goals for and four against, while Mainland was four from five, with a more moderate goal difference of plus-five.

Futsal South enjoyed playing on its home court, winning three of its four games to sit third on nine points.

Mainland edged powerful Capital Futsal 4-3 to start the tournament, while East City thumped Massey 8-2 and Central Hawkes Bay 12-1.

Futsal South pipped Central Hawkes Bay 4-3 and Central Manawatu 2-1, before being beaten 5-2 by Mainland.

Yesterday, Futsal South thrashed Massey 6-0, while the weekend finished with East City beating Mainland 3-0 in the top-of-the-table clash.

New Zealand Football futsal development manager Dave Payne was delighted with the opening round of the league.

“The level of futsal has really improved dramatically from last year,” Payne said. “We’re also getting some television coverage, which is going to be fantastic for the profile of the sport.”

The second stage of the league is to be held in Auckland in February, with finals in Wellington in March.

A New Zealand team will then be selected to play in the Oceania tournament in July.

Futsal South's Gabriel Coster-Ruiz steals the ball from Central Hawkes Bay's Patrick Pilz during the national futsal league match at the Edgar Centre on Saturday. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.

Futsal South's Gabriel Coster-Ruiz steals the ball from Central Hawkes Bay's Patrick Pilz during the national futsal league match at the Edgar Centre on Saturday. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.

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