Futsal Navy Blues fall at last hurdle

Words: ACFC Media

Thursday 28 March 2024

Picture: @photosportnz

Auckland, New Zealand - The Futsal Navy Blues, in partnership with NRF, have finished their 2024 SuperLeague campaign as runners-up to newly crowned champions Waikato Rapids.

It was a disappointing end to promising season as the Nic Downes-coached side succumbed to the Waikato Rapids in the competition’s title decider on Monday afternoon at Auckland’s Pulman Arena.

Auckland City FC, which in partnership with NRF, have qualified for the Final Series in third spot after the round-robin Home, Travel and National Series, looked impressive in the morning’s semi-final clash against Capital with Adam Paulsen scoring a hat-trick in the 3-1 win.

The Rapids, who qualified in fourth spot, also looked impressive as they knocked out the top qualifiers and reigning champions Canterbury United in the other semi.

In the match for the Championship title the Rapids raced to a two-goal lead before Alex Roberts pulled one back for the Navy Blues.

Waikato have restored their two-goal cushion before the break and with Auckland City forced to take more and more risks as they pushed forward searching to get back into the game the Rapids took full advantage to record a 6-1 win and the Championship trophy.

Seven of the Futsal Navy Blues featuring in the final including three Navy Blues brothers: Art Twigg, Denny Twig and Futsal Whites debutant Sam Twigg, as well as ACFC NRF goalkeeper Mike Antamanov, Stephen Ashby-Peckham, Dylan Manickum, Adam Paulsen and Thomas Picken, have immediately turned their attention to international duty as they departed  to a tournament in Vietnam with the Futsal Whites only hours after the conclusion of the SuperLeague final.

Match Results
Ford Futsal Super League Final 
Monday 25 March 2024
Waikato Rapids 6  Maxwell ERICKSEN 2', 34' Ethan MARTIN 3', 10', 25', 32’)
Auckland City FC 1 (Alex ROBERTS 8’)

HT: 3-1

Match Results
Ford Futsal Super League Semi-Final 
Monday 25 March 2024
Capital Futsal 1 (Jack PARKER 2)
Auckland City FC 3  (Adam PAULSEN 2', 3, 27’)

HT: 1-2

ACFC Futsal SuperLeague Squad: 1-Mikhail ANTAMANOV, 2-Freddie GIBBINS, 5-Tasuku YONETO, 8-Denny TWIGG, 9-Stephen ASHBY-PECKHAM, 10-Dylan MANICKUM, 12-Kern PLATTS-MILLS, 14-Art TWIGG, 16-Adam PAULSEN, 17-Max BREINGAN, 18-Guilherme GARBUGLIA, 20-Alex ROBERTS, 21-Kyaw MYA, 23- Sam TWIGG

HEAD COACH: Nic DOWNES
ASSISTANT COACH: Sam COYLE
ASSISTANT COACH: Elias BILEH 
MANAGER:  Jason WIN
PHYSIO: Emily LO

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