The curtain came down last weekend on the inaugural Futsal Fiesta Challenge with Paradise’s men and the National Sports Council’s women emerging as champions in the respective finals played at the Wildey Gymnasium.
Twelve teams made their bid to be the champions of the challenge with action in the seniors, under-15 and under-17.
In one semi-final played Paradise defeated Empire 4-3 on penalties in a game marked by an excellent display of skills, dribbles and tackles. The score was locked 2-2 at full time after both team’s defence had worked tirelessly to stifle goal-scoring opportunities.
In the other semi-final, Mavericks defeated Brittons Hill to set up the contest against. Paradise in the final.
Again, an excellent display display from both side saw the game deadlocked 2-2 at full time and penalties brought into the equation.
Paradise would hold their nerve better and defeated Mavericks 3-2 to earn the right to be deemed kings of the indoor courts.
In the women’s semifinals, National Sports Council easily dismissed Mavericks 3-0, showing they were the better footballers regardless of the type of court on which they played.
In the other semifinal UWI doused the usually powerful Genesis’ hopes of playing in the final, putting them to bed with a 1-0 result.
The NSC would show that they are the queens of women’s football in Barbados defeating UWI 1-0 to take the women’s category of the competition.
The keenly contested Under17 category was a showdown between Kick Start and Mavericks, both kings of the court in their own right.
Kick Start defeated Barbados Soccer Academy in convincing fashion 3-0 to advance to the final. Mavericks did the same with a 3-0 result over Pinelands.
The eagerly anticipated showdown did not disappoint. Kick Start fought hard and played well to take a 1-0 lead, but Mavericks showed perseverance to the end, equalising in the final eight seconds of the game.
A visibly disappointed Kick Start headed into the penalty shootout with no intention of conceding defeat. Fans thought the shoot-out would never end, as each team returned the same result. Where one goal was scored, one was returned, and where the keeper made a block, the opponents did likewise.
In the end, Mavericks got the breakthrough to end the penalty shoot-out at 7-6 and take the inaugural championship home to St Thomas.
In the other third place playoffs, Pinelands defeated BSA 3-1 on penalties in the Under17 category; Brittons Hill conquered Empire 2-0 in Under15 action, while Genesis forfeited their match and Mavericks captured the third place in the women’s category.