BY GEORGE MANFORD
NEW Settlers futsal club (NFC) were crowned the 2018 Auki futsal challenge champions after beating Kingston futsal club last Friday in front of a packed crowd at the Aligegeo futsal court.
The grand final match started off slowly with both teams carefully displaying a defensive type of strategy limiting their scoring opportunities.
It was NFC who broke the dead lock five minutes into play through Paul Kali who dribbled past two Kingston defenders before sending the ball past the Kingston goal keeper.
A minute later the boys in yellow (NFC) extended their lead to make it 2-0.
Towards the end of the first half, Kingston FC pulled one goal back to narrow the score margin to a goal difference through Captain Timothy Anilafa.
The score line stays 2-1at the half time break.
In the second half both teams fought hard to score more goals, but their chances were wasted due to the slippery surface of the court caused by rain during the half time break.
NFC extended their lead to make it 3-1 gaining more confidence in the last remaining minutes of the second stanza.
Again the game almost changed the other way round with more pressure from Kingston forwards to score another goal to make it 3-2.
Kingston fc almost equalized few minutes after their second goal from a rebound from the NFC goal keeper but the shot went far wide.
With only seconds remaining NFC scored another goal to comfortably seal their victory and claim the title for the first time.
Last year’s champion was Boarders FC and this round they were eliminated at the quarter final stages.