AUCKLAND – AFF Futsal reclaimed the title of ASB National Futsal League champions on Sunday, taking a 3-1 win over Capital Futsal in the Grand Final at Pettigrew Arena in Napier.
Two goals from player/coach Nathan Robertson secured the title for the Auckland side as goalkeeper Elias Billeh also netted while his side were defending a flying ‘keeper period of pressure from Capital.
Capital got on the board during the second half courtesy of an Auckland own goal.
Auckland and Futsal White skipper Marvin Eakins – who was named as the New Zealand Futsal Player of the Year after the final – said the playoffs saw the team get the results they needed by playing in a variety of ways.
“The final was a good game and Capital were definitely up for it,” Eakins said.
“They controlled big parts of the game with a lot of possession and we defended a lot.
“In the semi-final win over Central Hawke’s Bay we were in control and it was probably the best we’ve played. It was a complete performance.”
After dominating the 2011-2012 competition in winning every match, Eakins said it was satisfying for the Auckland side – which began Series Three outside the top four – to triumph by following a new path this time around.
“This one is almost better because the teams have lifted the standard so much,” Eakins said.
“There were no easy beats so to win this one with all the teams playing at their best is a pretty awesome feeling.”
Earlier on Sunday, Auckland advanced to the Grand Final following a 3-1 win over Central Futsal Hawke’s Bay as Myron Manickum, Gerome Powell and Stephen Ashby-Peckham were on target.
Capital progressed courtesy of their 7-5 victory over defending champions Northern. Capital’s Futsal White Miroslav Malivuk netted three times in the match, boosting his league-best golden boot tally to 21 in the process.
Beginning the weekend outside the top four, Auckland stormed to the head of the table, winning all four of their matches starting with Friday’s key 5-4 victory over Northern and followed by victories over Futsal South, Central Manawatu and Waikato Bay of Plenty.
Meanwhile, competition leaders after Series Two; Futsal South fell out of the playoff race in Napier, losing all four matches on Friday and Saturday while neither Mainland nor Central Manawatu could mount a charge into the top four.
ASB National Futsal League 2013
Series Three – Pettigrew Arena, Napier (Nov 29-Dec 1)
Auckland 3 (Nathan Robertson 2, Elias Billeh) Capital 1 (OG)
Auckland 3 (Myron Manickum, Gerome Powell, Stephen Ashby-Peckham) Central Hawke’s Bay 1 (Josh Stevenson)
Capital 7 (Miroslav Malivuk 3, Lucas da Silva 2, Stephen Heron, Marcos Antonia Gomes Jnr) Northern 5 (Bakr Al-Saudi 2, Charl Compaan, Nikola Velkovski, Ouadhah Ragued
Most Valuable Player: Daniel Burns (Mainland)
Golden Glove: Jacques Cuccurullo (Capital)
- 21 – Miroslav Malivuk (Capital)
- 15 – Bakr Al-Saudi (Northern), Cameron Emerson (Central Hawke’s Bay)
- 14 – Nathan Cooksley (Central Manawatu), Lucas da Silva (Capital)
- 13 – Carlos Herrmann (Futsal South)
- 12 – Marvin Eakins (Auckland), Josh Stevenson (Central Hawke’s Bay)
- 11 – Hicham Kamri (Northern)
- 10 – Daniel Burns (Mainland), Kaiea Karrenang (Mainland)
Click here for the final competition standings – http://www.nzfootball.co.nz/index.php?id=1228