Auckland were crowned NZF National Youth Futsal Champions in the U-19 Girls category following a 1-0 victory over Canterbury United Futsal Pride in the final at the Central Energy Trust Arena in Palmerston North.
It was a closely fought contest against the Pride with the winner not found until late in the match when Erin Roxburgh found the back of the net.
“The girls were amazing; their togetherness and attitude got us over the line,” AFF U-19 coach Nic Downes said.
“Canterbury had a few spells where they were on top but we rode those out and then created chances ourselves and the one we took turned out to be a key one.
“To perform how they did in the final was a joy to watch; i’m privileged to be on the same bench as them.”
Earlier in the day, the side had to overcome a Central outfit who had only just beaten the Aucklander’s the day before; a feat they achieved via a penalty shootout.
“We really wanted to win the Semi-Final in normal time,” Downes said.
“We had a plan for Central and it was working perfectly until we hit five fouls in the second half which totally changed the game.
Facing each of the Federations in a round robin format prior to the finals meant coming up against varying style of plays and Downes said the girls’ ability to adapt to that was key in taking out the tournament.
“We made sure we had a couple of different ways of playing,” Downes said.
“This gave us some flexibility across the weekend.”
Auckland’s other female representatives were the U-15s and they also performed well over the course of the weekend to earn a third place finish.
The going was much tougher for the three AFF Boys sides with the best showing coming from the U-19s, who finished third in their competition.
In the individual stakes, Oscar Yee was named MVP in the U-14 Boys category.
Day Three Results
AFF U-14 Boys finish in ninth place
AFF U-16 Boys finish in fifth place
2-1 win vs Mainland (Arzan Toddywalla, William Lai)
1-0 loss vs Capital
AFF U-19 Boys finish in third place
6-3 loss vs Mainland
2-1 win vs Capital
AFF U-15 Girls finish in third place
Semi Final: 2-2 vs Central AET (3-2 penalty shoot-out win)
Final: 1-0 win vs Mainland (Erin Roxburgh)
AFF U-19 Girls finish in first place