Words: Nick Brown
Sunday 12 March 2023
TAURANGA, New Zealand - Auckland City FC’s Futsal side completed two wins from two on Day 1 of the Northern Travel series of the Ford Futsal Super League with a comprehensive 9-2 demolition job of the Waikato Rapids at Tauranga’s Trustpower Arena on Saturday afternoon.
Aalok Paudel got the Futsal Navy Blues on the board early on with a finish past Patrick Steele with Bahram Ahmadi doubling the lead not long afterwards being first to react after an Adam Paulsen shot was saved.
Art Twigg made it 3-0 before the Waikato Rapids pulled one back through Maxwell Ericksen to cause a few nerves.
The three goal advantage was quickly restored however with captain Stephen Ashby-Peckham lashing home a powerful shot leaving Steele with no chance leaving the score at 4-1 heading into the half time interval.
Sam Twigg got himself on the scoresheet early in the second half before the Futsal Navy Blues capitalised on two Rapids mistakes with Ahmadi latching on to a heavy ball from Jonothan Tobias and securing his brace and Dom Hawkins capitalising on another lapse from the Waikato team.
GOAL!!! 9-2— Auckland City FC (@AucklandCity_FC) March 11, 2023
The 2022 Golden boot is on the scoresheet Eduardo Exposito Espinosa slots home.
@PhototekNZ #FutsalNavyBlues #StrengthinUnity pic.twitter.com/iZ7Pjlw8md
Soon afterwards it was 8-1 after some great work up court set Art Twigg up for a simple tap in and the scoreline swelling further.
Max Eriksen capitalised on a bit of Futsal Navy Blues showboating to score a consolation goal before 2022 Golden Boot winner with East Coast Bays Eduardo Exposito Espinosa rounded out the scoring for the Futsal Navy Blues 9-2 at the Full Time hooter.
For Ahmadi the team knew it would be a battle and their plans paid off he said:
“It was a battle it was a good game we prepared well and our plans came off” for Ahmadi the standout moment of the game was setting up youngster Hawkins with his first goal for the season “It was lovely to see it a bit of confidence for the young lad it was beautiful” Speaking on his own performance “There’s no individuals in our team we all try to play out best and I did what I had to do I’m happy with what I did and I got my job done.
Moving on to tomorrow’s games Ahmadi stressed the team needed to be sharper:
“We’ve got to be sharper, more clinical there is always that 5% we can do better so get a good rest tonight and be sharper tomorrow”
The Northern Travel series continues tomorrow with a second round of matches against the same opposition at the same venue 9:00am vs the Bay of Plenty Surge and 1:00pm vs Waikato Rapids.
Ford Futsal SuperLeague Northern Travel Series
Saturday 11 March 2023
Waikato Rapids 2 (Max ERIKSEN 2)
Auckland City FC 9 (Aalok PAUDEL, Art TWIGG 2, Eduardo Exposito ESPINOSA, Bahram AHMADI 2, Sam TWIGG, Dom HAWKINS, Stephen ASHBY-PECKHAM)
v Bay Olympic, Sat 1 April 2023, Kiwitea Street, KO: 3pm NZST