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Futsal: Bertos strikes on debut as NZ fall

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

A goal on debut for Leo Bertos wasn’t enough for the Futsal Whites as they went down to the Futsalroos 5-3 in Game 1 of the Trans-Tasman Cup at the ASB Centre in Wellington on Friday.

The expectant crowd of 618 home fans were in good voice but were silenced after 15 minutes when an unmarked Wade Giovenali ran through to open the Futsalroos account.

Just two minutes later, a pinpoint ball from Jarrod Basger found Giovenali again and he made no mistake in burying the shot to give the Futsalroos a 2-0 halftime lead.

Early in the second half, after conceding an early own-goal, Bertos came back into the game to a raucous welcome and it wasn’t long before his impact was felt.

The 56-cap All White was picked out immediately after taking the court and chipped Angelo Konstantinou with his first touch of the half producing the Futsal Whites first goal against the Aussies in four Trans-Tasman Cup games.

Australia restored their two-goal lead shortly after through a superb sliding shot from Basger from the edge of the area however Kareem Osman replied almost immediately; finishing a silky passing move.

Basger managed to find space behind the defence again to score a tap in and give the Futsalroos a 5-2 lead but any thoughts of an easy win were shattered when Osman scored again to leave Australia with a tense final minute to hold on for the win.

Futsal Whites Head Coach Scott Gilligan said he was happy with the character his team showed after a slow start.

"We showed them too much respect in the first half and gave them goals early on through poor marking and the own goal. In saying that, the character the boys showed to come back in the second half was great."

Also pleasing from Gilligan’s point of view was Bertos’ first-up effort.

"The professionalism he brings to the team is invaluable. He started a bit tentatively but really lifted the boys in the second half with his goal."

Gilligan believes now that the team has the belief to get a result in the coming matches.

"Getting the monkey off the back and scoring three goals against the Australians is a big thing for us, especially not scoring one in three games last year. It’s a big boost."

The Futsal Whites line up against the Futsalroos in Game 2 at 8pm on Saturday night at the ASB Sports Centre.

Trans-Tasman Cup 2014 - Game 1

Futsal Whites v Futsalroos

Futsal Whites 3-5 Futsalroos (half: 0-2)

NZL: Leo Bertos 25’, Kareem Osman 32’, 39’

AUS: Wade Giovenali 14’, 16’, Tobias Seto 32’, Jarrod Basger 35’, Own Goal

Futsal Whites: Elias Billeh (GK), Dylan Manickum, Daniel Burns (capt), Mohamed Hicham Kamri, Miroslav Malivuk

Substitutes: Atta Elayyan (GK), Josh Stevenson, Quadhah Ragued, Kareem Osman, Marvin Eakins, Jakub Sinkora, Jan Fischer, Leo Bertos, Tai Barham, Bakr Al-Saudi

Match report by Robert Johnson - Capital Football

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