Top spot confirmed for Futsal Navy Blues

Words: ACFC Media

Saturday 21 November 2020

Picture: Phototek

AUCKLAND, New Zealand - The Futsal Navy Blues have confirmed a top of the table finish to earn a favourable draw for the semi-finals after the latest round of action at the Men's Futsal SuperLeague National Series at Pulman Arena today.

The Futsal Navy Blues form hit a new level after they put Southern United to the sword in a pulsating encounter 6-3. They followed that up with a rather less straightforward 4-2 win over Canterbury United in a game that saw the Dragons fighting for their last chance to grab a playoff spot.

Coach Nic Downes was critical of his team's performance against Canterbury after they twice took the lead in a game that resembled more of a sudden death encounter than your average run-of-the-mill group stage encounter.

"We knew it was going to be a tough game because they were fighting to reach the semis. If they had won that there was still a chance for them so we knew what we were in for. It was disappointing because we were on top and so to concede early was a let down but we pulled it back and came away with a win.

AUDIO INTERVIEW - Nic Downes

Auckland City FC · Top spot welcome but hard work starts now - Downes

"Its always difficult when you are on top and you do concede so in the way we've come back and scored again is a positive. Its disappointing to concede again, we've come back and this time we've held it and scored again and again.

"They played well but we kept to our task and that was satisfying.

"We want to win every game so to finish top is a good achievement but now the next bit starts. We'll find out who we get tonight and then from there we'll figure out what our game plan. It gives us a better more favourable draw finishing top so that's the positive we'll take out of it," he said.

AUDIO INTERVIEW - Yousif Al-Kalisy

Auckland City FC · "Building momentum is crucial" - Al-Kalisy

In a milestone performance, Myron Manickum played his 100th career match in domestic Futsal to eaen further plaudits.

"Myron is a top quality Futsal player and everyone at Auckland City FC sends him our congratulations. To reach 100 games in any form of our code is a remarkable achievement and we hope its a sign of many more to come," Downes added.

Yousif Al-Kalisy, who has been in top form at both the Northern and National Series, was philosophical rather than ecstatic about the day's events as he looked ahead to the playoffs.

"It's always important to build momentum headed into the semi-finals. It was a tough game but the boys played really well, played the game our way and got the two results we were looking for.

"The best thing was how we stuck things out when the pressure was turning against us - we kept going and showed great resilience and character.

"Top seeding is good but the best approach now is for us to focus on ourselves, play our own game against whoever we play against," he told www.aucklandcityfc.com.

Ends

Men's Futsal SuperLeague - National Series

Match Result
Men's Futsal SuperLeague
Saturday 21 November, 2020
Auckland City FC 6 (Adam PAULSEN, Steve ASHBY-PECKHAM, Connor McCONCHIE, Sean McINTEE, Marvin EAKINS, Yousif AL-KALISY)
Southern United 3
HT: 4-2.

STARTERS: 1. Mike ANTAMANOV (GK), 4. Aalok PAUDEL, 7. Marvin EAKINS, 9. Steve ASHBY-PECKHAM (c), 15. Sean McINTEE.

BENCH: 2. Yousif AL-KALISY, 3. Myron MANICKUM, 4. Matthew LIESHOUT, 5. Jimmy BANKS, 6. Thomas PICKEN, 11. Hamish GREY, 12. Elias BILLEH (GK), 16. Adam PAULSEN, 17. Connor McCONCHIE.

COACH: Nic DOWNES.
ASSISTANT COACH: Jess VERDON.
MANAGER: Shivy ANTHONY.
PHYSIO: Aaron COLLIN.


Match Result
Men's Futsal SuperLeague
Saturday 21 November, 2020
Auckland City FC 4 (Jimmy BANKS, Yousif AL-KALISY, Thomas PICKEN, Hamish GREY)
Central Futsal 2
HT: 2-2.

STARTERS: 12. Elias BILLEH (GK), 2. Yousif AL-KALISY, 6. Thomas PICKEN, 11. Hamish GREY, 16. Adam PAULSEN.

BENCH: 1. Mike ANTAMANOV (GK), 3. Myron MANICKUM, 4. Matthew LIESHOUT, 5. Jimmy BANKS, 14. Aalok PAUDEL, 7. Marvin EAKINS, 9. Steve ASHBY-PECKHAM (c), 15. Sean McINTEE, 17. Connor McCONCHIE.

COACH: Nic DOWNES.
ASSISTANT COACH: Jess VERDON.
MANAGER: Shivy ANTHONY.
PHYSIO: Aaron COLLIN.

Match Day 1 - Results

Friday 20 November, 2020

Central Futsal 0-6 Auckland City FC
Canterbury United 4-4 Northern Comets
Southern United 4-3 Waikato Rapids
Central Futsal 5-3 Bay of Plenty Surge
Auckland City FC 3-1 Capital Futsal
Capital Futsal 6-6 Northern Comets
Canterbury United 2-2 Waikato Rapids
Southern United 2-1 Bay of Plenty Surge

Saturday 21 November, 2020

Northern Comets 3-1 Central Futsal
Auckland City FC 6-3 Southern United
Bay of Plenty Surge 2-2 Capital Futsal
Waikato Rapids 4-3 Central Futsal
Auckland City FC 4-2 Canterbury United
Northern Comets v Southern United

SEMI-FINALS
22 November - 1st v 4th 9.00am
22 November - 2nd v 3rd 11.00am
22 November - Winner A v Winner B 3.00pm

LIVE STREAMING
Live streaming of tomorrow's semi-finals, third place and final can be located here.

STANDINGS - MATCHES STILL IN PROGRESS

Auckland City FC 18pts GD: +23
Waikato Rapids 13pts GD: +22
Southern United 13pts GD: +11
Central Futsal 8pts GD: -4
-------------------------------
Capital Futsal 6pts GD: -2
Northern Comets 6pts GD: -13
Canterbury United 2pts GD: -11
Bay of Plenty Surge 2pts GD: -26

GOLDEN SHOE - MATCHES STILL IN PROGRESS
Rahan ALI - Southern United (8)
Hamish GREY - Auckland City FC (6)
Adam COWAN - Central Futsal (6)
Federico MARQUEZ - Waikato Rapids (6)
Eduardo EXPOSITO - Northern Comets (5)
Jay SILCOCK - Bay of Plenty Surge (5)
Kareem OSMAN - Capital Futsal (5)

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