Varsity Men’s Futsal Report
29th April 2015
Men’s futsal post-match interview:
Trent got their first point of the Varsity series on the board with a pulsating, topsy-turvy 6-5 win. It was UoN who raced out of the blocks scoring twice within the first two minutes. Their opener scored by captain Hillarby, a delightful hit just outside the area that went in off the underside of the crossbar with the official nearest the goal correctly awarding the goal.
These opening minutes seemed to set the tone for the whole game. Crunching tackles were coming in from all angles and Trent were already chasing the game. Trent did create chances but were continually thwarted by some heroic saves from the UoN keeper and when it seemed that Trent were starting to control possession UoN worked a perfect training ground set piece to go 3-0, much to the delight of their coaching staff on the sidelines. However, in what was perhaps the key moment of the game, right on the stroke of half-time with 4.6 seconds left on the clock, Trent grabbed a goal back, with a fine low finish off both posts. It gave Trent and their legion of fans some hope and belief going into the break.
HT: UoN 3-1 NTU.
It was UoN, however, who started like they did the first with the ever present Garcia scoring when intercepting and cooly dinking the ball over the keeper’s outstretched legs. The game for a short period of time became quite cagey with both teams knowing the importance of the next goal. It went Trent’s way, after a cute flick pass from the increasingly influential number 10 onto the path of an incoming player who slotted home. Another critical moment thereafter occurred, when a UoN defender, although getting some part of the ball, went through the man and a penalty was fairly given. This was duly passed down the middle for 4-3 and UoN were beginning to look over their shoulders.
Following the first slight lapse in concentration at the back for UoN, Trent took advantage of this and equalised. All the momentum was now with the pink side and they hammered down this initiative by quickly scoring two more well worked goals making it 6-4 to Trent.
With UoN now all of a sudden chasing the game with 5 minutes remaining and Trent happy to absorb pressure, UoN rolled the dice and introduced their tactic of ‘rush keeper’ in the hope they could take advantage of having an extra man outfield. This a common tactic in Futsal with the allowance of unlimited rolling substitutes.
The tactic seemed to be working as they produced many openings but couldn’t find that elusive finish with the Trent substitute keeper who somewhat bizarrely came on after UoN went 3 up in inspired form. When Elmaghrbi hit the bar from long distance all seemed lost, but straight after he hit an unstoppable shot into the top right hand corner, leaving UoN needing one more with 45 seconds remaining.
It was not to be unfortunately as Trent desperately held on, hoping their revival will be the catalyst for a comeback in the overall series. One thing we are sure of though is, thanks to the effort and ability of both sets of teams Futsal is certainly here to stay in the Varsity Series.
FT: UoN 5-6 NTU.
Nick Rumbold, with audio from Calum Scotland