Bayside defeat AFF Futsal in thriller

Bayside Pirates have won the New Zealand National Women’s Futsal League with a thrilling 4-3 win over AFF Futsal in Wellington today.

AFF Futsal took the lead through Maxine Cooper’s tap-in at the back post while goalkeeper Danielle Bradley was forced into a good save low to her right.

But AFF Futsal’s major problem was the rapid concession of fouls racking up four inside the first six minutes.

Bayside Pirates failed to take advantage of any of their free-kicks as AFF Futsal tried to see out the first half without conceding a fifth foul before the break.

AFF Futsal’s defence proved resolute with Bradley’s hands stung by a powerful shot from distance by Lauren Diduszko midway through the first half.

Bayside opened AFF Futsal up with the best move of the first half with a slick one-two that released Diduszko whose shot beat Bradley but also her team-mate at the far post.

Rebecca Davies levelled the match from the penalty mark after AFF Futsal conceded their sixth foul of the half with just two minutes on the clock left.

Davies heaped pressure on AFF Futsal with her shooting prowess leading to the Australians second just after the restart.

She completed her hat-trick 10 minutes into the second half with a brilliant right foot shot that went top right corner of Bradley’s net to make it 3-1.

AFF Futsal immediately deployed their fifth man in an attempt to claw their way back into the final.

Bradley was called into action to make a double save from Ilona Jakab to keep AFF Futsal in the match with six minutes left.

The fifth man tactic by AFF Futsal almost paid dividends when Hannah Kraakman found space on the right and almost lobbed goalkeeper Bethany Mason-Jones then saw another effort strike the post.

But the game was up when Emily Coppock scored Bayside Pirates fourth to hand the Australians a commanding 4-1 lead.

Hannah Kraakman threw AFF Futsal a lifeline when Dayna Manak beat two players before whipping in a low cross the Auckland skipper finished superbly from close range with three minutes left.

Shivy Anthony then got in on the act with a superb goal to pull AFF Futsal back to within one of Bayside and set up a nervewracking final two minutes.

But Bayside Pirates held on to win the competition.

Defeat in the final was difficult to take but AFF Futsal remain New Zealand National Women’s Futsal League champions for 2017.

Skipper Hannah Kraakman was disappointed to lose the final but pleased AFF Futsal are officially champions of New Zealand.

“It was disappointing to lose. I’m proud of the team and the way we came back strongly with the fifth man but unfortunately we just couldn’t quite get there in the end.

“The University Nationals start in April and we’ll continue to train and prepare for that. I also want to congratulate Bayside Pirates on their win,” she said.

Ends

Match Result
Sunday 26 February 2017
National Women’s Futsal League
Grand Final
AFF Futsal 3 (Maxine Cooper, Hannah Kraakman, Shivy Anthony)
Bayside Pirates 4 (Rebecca Davies 3, Emily Coppock)
Halftime: 1-1.