Futsal: South in second place

Futsal South's Carlos Herrmann (left) pushes past Waikato BoP's Elliot Collier during the national futsal league series at the Edgar Centre in Dunedin on Saturday. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Futsal South's Carlos Herrmann (left) pushes past Waikato BoP's Elliot Collier during the national futsal league series at the Edgar Centre in Dunedin on Saturday. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Auckland is still the team to beat but Futsal South has closed the gap.

The home side was inconsistent during the opening series of national futsal league but showed glimpses of real potential.

Futsal South arguably scored the goal of the series and finished the weekend in second place with three wins, a draw and one defeat.

All and all, a very good weekend but the defeat was not terribly memorable, unless you are from Auckland.

The defending champion crushed the local team 7-1 in a dominant performance reminiscent of some of its one-sided matches last year which saw it sweep the title.

Perhaps Auckland was still stinging from a 3-1 loss to Northern Futsal in its opening round.

Futsal South, though, rebounded from the disappointing effort to hold Northern to a 2-2 draw and beat Mainland Futsal 3-1 and Central Futsal Manawatu 2-1.

The team also had a 3-1 win against Waikato-Bay of Plenty Futsal in its opening game.

''They were down 3-0 against Auckland in the first half and just sort of put their heads down, which was a bit of a shame,'' New Zealand Futsal development manager Dave Payne said.

''But when they played Mainland, they were a completely different team. They really took it to Mainland and Mainland had no answer. That was a convincing win and they got another win against Central and scored one of the goals of the tournament."

Michael Sannum displayed some nifty skills, flicking a back heel through to Brazilian Carlos Herrmann, who blasted the ball into the back of the net.

Northern Futsal was the only team to go through undefeated but is in third place, courtesy of three draws to go with its two promising wins. Mainland has three wins but also had two defeats and props up fourth place in the eight-team league.

The league is being held over three series. Auckland will host the next in February and it wraps up in Wellington in March.