AFF Futsal edge Manawatu to reach final

AFF Futsal brushed by Central Futsal Manawatu 2-1 to set up a National Women’s Futsal League grand final showdown with Australian side Bayside Pirates tomorrow.

Wasted opportunities by AFF Futsal kept Central Futsal Manawatu firmly in the tie and it took two goals in the space of just 20 seconds midway through the first half by Maxine Cooper to ensure some breathing space.

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AFF Futsal made heavy going of the first quarter of this semi-final tie and had goalkeeper Rivalina Fuimaono to thank after she pulled off two crucial first half saves.

The two-goal buffer calmed AFF Futsal nerves and despite Central Futsal Manawatu’s defensive resilience, the Aucklanders still created plenty of chances at regular intervals.

But the match was back in the balance just after the restart when Manawatu scored to half the deficit. Fuimaono then pulled off another important save with seven minutes to play to keep AFF Futsal’s one goal lead intact.

Skipper Hannah Kraakman was delighted with the result, knocking over a Manawatu side that defeated Auckland on penalties in the final last year.

“We’re excited to beat Central Futsal Manawatu after what happened in the final last year so to win the semi-final means a lot.

“The Futsal Ferns are established next year and all of our girls are aiming for selection,” she said.

The final is scheduled for Sunday 26 February with a 12.30pm kickoff versus Bayside Pirates.

Ends

Match Result
Saturday 25 February 2017
National Women’s Futsal League
AFF Futsal 2 (Maxine Cooper 2)
Central Futsal Manawatu 1
Halftime: 2-0

Next Fixture
Sunday 26 February 2017
National Women’s Futsal League Grand Final
Bayside Pirates (AUS) v AFF Futsal
Kickoff: 12.30pm