Photo by: Sameh Fahmi
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COLUMBUS, Ohio – It was a battle for futsal supremacy in the State of Ohio as Columbus Futsal welcomed the Akron Vulcans to Columbus Global Academy on Saturday night. It’s been a week of uncertainty in Central Ohio as the threat of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) forced officials to cancel most major events at the Arnold Sports and Fitness expo.
To complicate matters, a direct order from state officials prohibited general spectators from taking in events that were to be showcased as part of the expo. Consequently, this forced Columbus Futsal management to relocate the National Futsal Premier League (NFPL) sanctioned match against Akron to a different venue.
Despite the change of venue, fans adapted and managed to pack the gymnasium at Columbus Global to support both teams.
Newcomer Juninho collected a hat trick for the hosts before the 10-minute mark of the first half as he combined with Lorenzo Ventura to give the hosts a 4-2 lead. Giorgi Lucas and Zak Boggs added a pair of goals to swell the lead to 6-2.
Columbus took a 7x3 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Supporters welcomed both teams back to the court to begin the second half and Zak Boggs picked up right where he left off at the end of the first half. Boggs collected a pass from goleiro Luis Verdum, dribbled past the Vulcan defenders and put the ball in the back of the net to extend the lead to 8x3.
Tensions began to mount and Columbus found itself in foul trouble. The Vulcans earned penalty kick opportunities and closed the gap to 9x5.
Wanderson Sergio and Boggs linked up for a beautiful passing combination that lead to another goal for the hosts and extending the lead to 10x5. Akron mounted a scoring run to close the gap to 10-8 with just moments left in the contest.
Lorenzo Ventura added a goal to give Columbus its 11th score of the day with 3:20 to play and that was all the cushion Luis Verdum and the CF defense needed to hold on for a valuable 11x9 victory over the Eastern Conference leaders.
The Akron Vulcans franchise may be less than one year old but the potential for a quality rivalry with Columbus looks promising. It isn’t often that first year clubs possess the firepower that the Vulcans have at their disposal. Anytime these two teams get together its must-see action and you need to do yourself a favor and check it out.
A victory over Akron puts Columbus Futsal at the top of the Eastern Conference standings. Saturday’s win was a massive victory for keeping Columbus’ NFPL playoff hopes alive.
Ventura out next week
Lorenzo Ventura will miss next week’s contest against Cadence Futsal while he tends to personal affairs. The 20-year old from AS Roma Calcioa5 has been an offensive dynamo for Columbus the last couple of weeks as his scoring has dazzled futsal fans far and wide. He is expected to return for the March 22nd clash against Ann Arbor.
Columbus Futsal looks to maintain its position at the top of the Eastern Conference standings when they travel to Chicago for a crossover clash against Cadence Futsal on Saturday, March 14th.