ASB Futsal National League: Northern claim maiden title (NZ)

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NZ Football Futsal

Northern Football Futsal celebrate (NZF Futsal)

Northern Football Futsal celebrate (NZF Futsal)

AUCKLAND – Northern Football Futsal claimed the 2012/13 ASB Futsal National League in dramatic fashion in Wellington on Sunday with a 2-1 extra time win over Capital Futsal in the final.

Hicham Kamri was the hero scoring the winner after the side were locked 1-1 at the end of the regulation 40 minutes.  Shady Osman scored for Northern in the first two minutes only for Futsal Whites target Micky Malivuk to equalise.

Northern had only scraped into the semi finals in fourth place on goal difference after their 5-1 final round win over Mainland Futsal was enough to take them through to the knockout stages.

Northern tackled Harbour Bridge rivals and defending champions Auckland in the semi finals at the ASB Sports Centre in Kilbirnie.  Kamri scored early and the underdogs defended well throughout the match before Futsal White Jan Fischer scored a second to record a magnificent 2-0 win over Auckland and advance to the final where they would meet Capital.  Fischer sustained an injury in scoring the goal and was unable to play in the final as a result.

Hosts Capital were in fine form in the run in to the semi finals, finishing with three wins from three matches over Northern, Central Manawatu, and Auckland on Saturday and a goalless draw with South on Sunday before the two teams met again in the semi finals.

Capital defeated South 2-0 in the semi final to set up their second ASB Futsal National League final appearance in three seasons.  Both sides provided the three players that won the individual awards for the ASB Futsal National League season.

South’s Brazilian target Carlos Hermann scooped the golden boot award with 14 goals across the three series, while his countryman and teammate Daniel Bocatios won the golden glove award for best goalkeeper.  Capital’s Kareem Osman was named most valuable player for the season despite carrying a serious rib injury.

The ASB Futsal National League is played over three weekends during the summer months. This season began at Dunedin’s Edgar Centre in December, moved to Auckland’s ASB Stadium for series two in February before concluding in Wellington.

New Zealand Football’s Futsal Development Manager Dave Payne was full of praise for Northern, who only joined the ASB National Futsal League last season.

“From last (in 2011/12) to first is a remarkable achievement and the players and management should be commended on their hard work.  Northern have blended youth and experience in their squad and that has paid off,” said Payne.

Futsal Whites coach Scott Gilligan, who was present at all three ASB Futsal National League series, said the standard had risen from previous editions.

“The level has improved across the board especially at the defensive end of the court, which has created a more even competition.”

Gilligan will confirm a Futsal Whites squad to travel to Tahiti for a three match international series later this week.

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