Both of the Westway competitions have been fantastic to cover in recent weeks – and futsal in the capital is as ever flourishing. The tournament organisers have been lucky to get five consecutive Sundays without any rain – let’s hope it continues for next week’s finals weekend.
Futsal Premier League
ProFutsal Blue 4-2 ProFutsal Dev
This turned out to be a fantaistic match, the younger development side taking an early lead which really unsettled Pro Blue and lead to them being very wasteful with their opportunities. Time and again the experienced team made poor decisions leading to a breakdown, and their players and coaches cut very frustrated figures on the side lines. The development team on the other hand clearly enjoyed making their colleagues uncomfortable. In the end Pro Blue, like an older brother hogging the toys, got their way – Richard Ward with two bullying goals to put the youngun’s faces in the dirt. They’ll need to improve if they’re to compete with Wessex, Reading and their Gold counterparts.
360 Talent 3-4 Reading Royals
This match ended up a tense nail biter until the end! 360 Talent have impressed everyone at Westway already with their technical ability, showcasing this each week in a talented crop of players – and you can see them improving when it comes to managing matches as well – only just missing out here to a very strong Reading team. They raced into an early two goal lead with a couple of goals from Rayner who ended up with three. Reading with more of a balance of youthful exuberance and crafty experience, mainly playing on the counterattack against a team that, especially in the second half, really took the game to Reading. 360 Talent’s Anthony managed to nutmeg Welch in goal to level it at 4-4 with 5 minutes remaining. In the end, brilliant committed defending by Reading, making numerous blocks inside their own box was the difference as they held on and hit 360 for another counter-attack, this time Brayden Lissington settling the tie and ensuring Reading’s qualification in second spot for next week’s finals.
Cambridge 9-2 Brunel Pro
Another tough week for Brunel, but they’ll be much the better for playing in a particularly tough group and against some top quality opposition in this tournament. Cambridge were ruthless and scored regularly through the match – Manu the pick of their players with a hat-trick and Brunel consigned to the bottom of the table with another heavy defeat. Cambridge have looked better in recent matches and will be confident they can win the second-tier title with the main threat looking like Genesis or 360, who they previously beat.
ProFutsal Gold 4-3 Genesis
Another good match – it looked out of Genesis’ reach at 4-1 down by half time, but a much better second half and the momentum that came with it meant Pro Gold had a very nervy end to this match to deal with. First half braces from Russ and Eduardo and good general play to dominate the ball probably relaxed them slightly too much. Genesis were fired up by coach Nelo at half-time, who himself was on the scoresheet this week, and the second half was much better – Lopes and Tiago Santos getting on the ball plenty in the second half. Santos got a great goal to put on the pressure, and all of a sudden Pro became panicked, as we see so often in futsal and started to concede chance after chance. A thunderbolt Deiman free kick was deflected in past a helpless Sim in goal, and a frantic final minute or two was only just navigated by Pro – had the match continued for another few minutes Genesis would surely have come back into it. It was crucial that ProFutsal did hang on – had Genesis equalised they would have qualified for the finals, but as it is the Pro’s get both of their main teams through, but only just!
Uni of Herts 3-6 Wessex
It looked for a while like the university team might make a big upset, adding to their impressive performances in previous weeks and shocking the run-away leaders of Group A. Herts went ahead three times in the first half as Wessex had a relatively lethargic start to this match. And it could have been more – Herts were actually really wasteful in front of goal as well as hitting the bar with a thunderous strike from long range. Wessex have a number of deadly marksmen in their team, and on this occasion it proved to be the difference; despite the setbacks they suffered Wessex didn’t need many chances to get back on level terms and eventually cruise to victory once they got their act together in the second half. Matthews got another two for his impressive tally, and another four were shared around the team. Wessex have to be favourites for the competition – they look fit, hungry, and have enough quality to challenge anyone at the moment. A semi-final match up with Reading is a mouth-watering prospect, not least since a good chunk of Wessex’s squad, including their coach, were actually playing with Reading’s title winning team only two years ago.
Newham 2-1 London International
Not too much to fight for in this match apart from the chance to avoid the ignominy of Group B’s wooden spoon. London International started the match on the front foot, dominating Newham and pinning them back in their half. An excellent performance by Aleks, who was returning between Newham’s sticks for the first time in this competition, replacing his international compatriot Labukas. The Lithuanian weathered the storm, and eventually another Lithuanian and last season’s Championship South top goal scorer Nikita eventually got the breakthrough for Newham. The second half was more in control from Newham’s perspective, using Courtneay effectively to hold up play, and resulting in more opportunities in LIFC’s half. LIFC were more of a threat on the break. Another goal by Nikita saw Newham with some breathing space, and as they have in pretty much every match London International immediately used the fly goal keeper to try and salvage something. Newham struggled to defend it – Franco eventually getting one back with about two minutes to play after a quick switch and ball to the back post. LIFC really piled on the pressure to try and get back on level terms, but some good blocks and another couple of great saves by Aleks meant Newham could just hold on.
Next week’s finals will be contested by Wessex, Reading, ProFutsal Blue, and ProFutsal Gold – while the rest of the teams will go into a set of quarter finals, the winners will then face off for the trophy, and the losers for the plate. It promises to be another great day of futsal.
London Futsal League
Old Boys 3-10 Los Benjamines
This semi-final match saw the tournament favourites Los Benjamines take control early in the match with some early goals. Old Boys had some opportunites to keep the game close in the first half, but Luis in goal was fantastic to deny them. Another hat-trick for Erick – who now averages three goals per match with 15 in total – and four to David Alvarez. Los Benjamines are the team to stop – no one has really come close yet and they’ll be in the final next week.
InterGen 2-3 West London
A really good match between two LNFS England sides to determine who would have the chance to represent the league in the final. InterGen were slight favourites having finished second in the Group stage, although their fixture was a 3-3 draw and so it was always likely to be close. InterGen were leading at the break Anxo and Gocho scoring on behalf of the LSE based team – West London coach Douglas made some adjustments at half time, and West London were fantastic in the second half – putting InterGen under intense pressure and with some very vocal support on the sidelines. Osama played a fantastic match leading the line and West London were able to get a winner with only a couple of minutes remaining to break InterGen hearts and earn the right to face Los Benjamines for the title next weekend.
Dronken Piraten 4-5 Modo Leyenda
A step forward for Modo Leyenda with a new look team they were able to improve on their performances from previous weeks. The opposite problem for the Pirates who have lost a couple to injury. Matteo scored a hat-trick for the Pirates, and this game was close until the end, but his counterpart Yassin did the same to see Modo to victory. Another bad day for the pirates who will play-off to avoid the wooden spoon – the only thing to be settled is their opponent.
Newham 4-10 LDN Movements
LDN Movements are one of the strongest teams in the competition – they were unlucky to miss two of their best players in last weeks quarter-finals, but they were back to their best here. Newham managed to keep it close until half-time, using Ben well in the pivot position and creating plenty of opportunities, Harv scoring a couple. Zaid was once again fantastic, another three goals puts him level top on 15, he was joined with a hat-trick by his teammate Barz. In the second half, Newham injury ravaged team struggled as they lost another couple of players, Adil suffering a really bad one, and a walking wounded team were put to the sword with some ruthless counterattacking.
All in all, another great weekend of futsal – 20 teams, roughly 200 players, and over 80 goals. Lots of the action is available on social media channels – Instagram being the best place to find it. Follow The Futsal Premier League and London Futsal League to find it. The next LFL will begin on 30th May – contact them here to sign up.