Youth Futsal Championships wrap

Words: ACFC Media

Thursday 21 December 2023

Picture: ACFC Media

WELLINGTON, New Zealand - Auckland City have entered six youth futsal teams into the 2023 National Championships in the New Zealand capital from 14-17 December.

Our U-17 Girls team were crowned  champions while both the U-19 and U-15 Girls teams have finished the tournament in third place.

The U-15 Boys Futsal Navy Blues have picked up a silver medal, the U-19 Boys a bronze while the U-17 Boys have ended their campaign with a sixth placed finish.

The U-17 Girls faced the Waikato Rapids the title decider after finishing  second  in their  group behind the Rapids.

 In the semis they defeated Central to set up a repeat of the 2022 final which they lost to their rivals from Waikato.

 The Rapids took the before Piper O’Neill levelled the scores  to force the decider into extra-time in which  Penny Brill netted for Auckland City and Maddison Day made three crucial saves to help securing the title. 

The U-15 boys have also met their Waikato Rapids counterparts in the tournament final.

After finishing third in their group with tough losses to Waikato Rapids and Capital Futsal the boys faced Capital again in the semis.

Learning lessons from their 13-5 loss on Saturday night Auckland City turned it around with a thrilling 8-6 win on Sunday morning to book a place in the final.

The boys had a dream start as they took a 3-0 lead in the first half thanks to a brace by Adam Bolland and another bib Cristian Gascu. 

 Waikato responded in an emphatic manner tome it  3-3 before the half-time break.

 The Rapids took the lead in the second half and the Auckland City boys were unable to find the back of the net, hitting the bar twice in the final minutes.

 The U-19 girls finished top of the group but fell at the semi finals with a 2-0 loss to the eventual winners Capital Futsal.

Determined to make up for their loss in the semis the team ran out winners against Central Futsal 3-1 with goals from Jessica Smith, Olivia Erskine and Bella Cranefield. Golden Boot Marilia Braga brought an exciting creative flair throughout the tournament.

The  U-15 Girls and both the U-17 and U-19 Boys have lost their semi-finals before finishing with bronze medals courtesy of winning their play-off for third place.

The U-19 and U-17 Boys both needed dramatic last minute equalisers from Alex Roberts and Rafael Hannah (respectively) to draw their games in regular time to force the contest into penalties. 

Hayden Cooper stood out for the U-19 Boys saving five out of the seven  spot-kicks to win the game for his side and secure third place.

The U-15 Girls also drew their game in regular time, coming back from 2-0 down to finish 3-3 before winning  the penalty shoot-out with goalkeeper Mia Platt was the hero f saving two penalties to  help securing third spot for her team.

The U-17 Boys took sixth place with Karsten Price saving the fifth and final penalty in the shoot-out.

Freddie Gibbins was an  unstoppable force demonstrating power and finesse scoring nine goals for the U-17 Boys to collect the Golden Boot award.

Individual Awards

U-17 Girls MVP - Penny Brill
U-17 Girls Golden Gloves - Maddison Day
U-19 Girls Joint Golden Boot - Marilia Braga -  4 goals
U-15 Boys Golden Boot - Adam Bolland - 17 goals
U-17 Boys Golden Boot - Freddie Gibbins - 9 goals



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