Courtesy: New Zealand FootballSouthern set the early futsal paceThe early pace in the Futsal National League is being set by Southern United, who lead the table after an unbeaten start in the Southern Home Series.
Having looked on as the other six sides all got their campaigns underway a week earlier, the South Island pair of Southern and Canterbury United Dragons were finally able to take to the court over Labour weekend with a pair of matches at More FM Arena in Dunedin.
Reigning champions Canterbury were looking to get their title defence off to a winning start on Saturday but weren’t able to do so as Southern came charging out of the blocks in the opening game. Goals from Michael Sannum and Kasam Ali put the hosts 2-0 up before Canterbury hit back to draw level through Hemi Innes and Matt Bergin.
A second to Ali and a strike from Thomas Petersen restored Southern’s two-goal advantage by the break and they completed the job in the second spell with further goals to Daniel Ramsay, Tennesse Kinghorn and Daniel De Souza. Canterbury also found the net on two more occasions through Jake Neill and Bergin but it wasn’t enough to prevent a 7-4 loss.
Now in danger of ending the series without any points, the defending champions needed to respond in the second match on Sunday and did so with an improved showing to claim a 3-3 draw. It was again Southern that started the brighter of the sides though, another goal from Ali and a first of the season for Reid Hulleman giving them a 2-0 lead at half-time.
Again, the Dragons showed their character to get back on level terms through Ryan Batty and Rami Dawwas before Hulleman and Neill swapped further goals as the sides shared the spoils in a thrilling encounter.
Coupled with the outcomes of the earlier Northern Home Series, the results mean Southern top the Futsal National League table on four points while Capital, WaiBOP, Auckland, Northern, Hawke’s Bay and Manawatu are all just a point further back.
Canterbury find themselves in the unfamiliar position of propping up the ladder on just one point from their two matches.
The Futsal National League continues this weekend with the Northern Travel Series, which features eight games at the Pettigrew Green Arena in Napier.
For the full Futsal National League schedule please Courtesy: click hereFutsal National League – Southern Home Series Results
Southern United 7 (Michael Sannum, Kasam Ali 2, Thomas Petersen, Daniel Ramsay, Tennesse Kinghorn, Daniel De Souza)
Canterbury United Dragons 4 (Hemi Innes, Matt Bergin 2, Jake Neill)
Canterbury United Dragons 3 (Ryan Batty, Rami Dawwas, Jake Neill)
Southern United 3 (Kasam Ali, Reid Hulleman 2)
Posted by Luca Ranocchiari