Defending champions Auckland hold a one point advantage over last season’s defeated finalists Mainland after another action-packed series in the ASB Futsal National League.
The hosts were stunned on their home ASB Stadium court in their opening match falling 2-0 at the hands of Mainland.
Auckland then suffered another 1-0 loss to South after a Carlos Hermann moment of magic in the final seconds. The result was later voided and the three points awarded in Auckland’s favour after a ruling that the southerners had used a suspended player.
Last season’s champions seemed to be missing the attacking flair of injured Futsal White Dylan Manickum, and could only muster a single goal in their three matches on day one before finding their scoring touch on day two and hitting the back of the net 11 times in two matches.
Joint leaders after series one, South lost their opening two matches 2-1 to Central Hawke’s Bay and 1-0 to Capital, but recovered on day two to win both their matches and remain in the top four.
Mainland were among the big movers climbing from fourth to second after lodging four wins from their five matches. Their only loss was 3-0 to Capital, who finished a successful weekend unbeaten from their five matches and up from fifth into third.
Northern suffered their first loss for the season in their second match of day one, and also dropped points on day two to their rivals from across the Harbour Bridge and South – who they trail by a point in fifth place.
The two sides from the Central Federation– Hawke’s Bay and Manawatu – endured indifferent form at ASB Stadium. Hawke’s Bay picked up two wins and a draw and their two losses were both by a single goal. The Bay did earn bragging rights over their federation rivals defeating Manawatu 6-5 in a thrilling encounter.
Manawatu scored a solitary win came over newcomers WaiBOP and conceded 23 goals in the weekend, although they lost their two goalkeepers through injury at various stages of the ASB Futsal National League. WaiBOP are yet to claim their first win, but have not lost a match by more than two goals so far, they did record a creditable draw against a red-hot Capital side.
Carlos Hermann still leads the golden boot race with 13 goals. The ASB National Futsal League concludes in Wellington at the ASB Sports Centre in Kilbirnie on March 23 and 24 and will be the highlight of a festival of futsal in the capital with the national secondary school futsal championships held at the same venue two days prior.