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Futsal National League: Dramatic day confirms top four

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The semi-finalists have been found after a dramatic final day of Series Three of the Futsal National League in Auckland on Saturday.

Playing at ASB Stadium in Kohimarama, seven of the eight teams entered Saturday with a chance to make the top four with the finishing order only finalised after the day’s final game between Mainland and Northern.

Mainland, having led the competition after each of the first two series’, finished as top qualifiers; winning both matches on Saturday; a 7-3 victory over second-placed Capital and a dramatic 5-4 win over Northern.

Capital confirmed their second spot; rebounding from their early loss to Mainland with a 6-4 win over Central Hawke’s Bay.

Defending champions Auckland survived a scare in their opening match on Saturday, coming from a goal down to draw 2-2 with Futsal South before taking care of Waikato Bay of Plenty 5-0 to seal their place in the playoffs.

Futsal South, who began the weekend in third spot, secured the final playoff place thanks to a 5-1 win over bottom side Central Manawatu.

But Carlos Herrmann and South were forced into an agonizing wait until the end of Saturday night’s final match as Northern mounted a spirited challenge against Mainland.

Having won their previous three matches this weekend, the former champions needed victory last night to progress and were faced with a two-goal deficit in the dying stages before going to the fifth man tactic and pulling a goal back.

Felipe Bernadi’s side then missed several good chances, including one off the cross bar, before Mainland eventually sealed the victory - their 12th win from 14 matches over the course of the round-robin phase of the competition.

Sunday’s playoff fixtures open with top qualifiers Mainland Futsal facing Futsal South at 9am followed by second-placed Capital Futsal meeting hosts Auckland Futsal Federation at 10.45am.

The final is at 2.15pm this afternoon.

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