Blue Magic retain FAI Futsal Cup against Transilvania
This was an action packed thrill a minute showdown between the two best futsal clubs in the country and the bumper attendance was not disappointed as the finalists served up a sumptuous feast of attacking, skill-laced football.
With the prize of a ticket into the UEFA Futsal Champions League on offer, the stakes were high and both sides contested the game in a fiercely competitive manner throughout, in what was a riveting cat and mouse affair peppered with brilliant goals.
Sinisa Sicar's Blue Magic took control of the ball with Real Transilvania sitting deep and looking to counter, but that defensive set-up was picked clean with two and a half minutes elapsed when pre-match doubt Leonardes Mattheus rattled the back of Murillo De Silva Vieira's net with a crisp finish off a set-piece corner.
Real Transilvania looked to counter and Raymond Daniel forced a brilliant save out of Guilherme Cardosa who spread himself to divert the ball to safety within 30 seconds of Blue Magic's opener.
The favourites doubled their advantage in the 13th minute with Victor Calderon setting up Joao Tardelli to finish from close in. Real Transilvania have made serious strides in their own development and reduced the deficit with Thiago Durarte Dias Camote de Andrade showing excellent skill to shoot low past the Blue Magic net-minder.
The match ebbed and flowed with both sides probing respective defences and it was Blue Magic who came up with the 'unlocking code' in minute 14 with Victor Calderon thumping the ball home as Real Transilvania switched off momentarily only to be ruthlessly punished with a clinical dispatch to the net.
Amid the unfolding drama, the supporters were giving full voice in encouragement and Real Transilvania netted again in the 15th minute when the impressive Carlos Fernandez Moraes had power and accuracy to squeeze the ball home from an acute angle.
Both sides were reduced temporarily to four for two minutes as tempers frayed when Raymond Daniel of Real Transilvania and Joao Tardelli of Blue Magic were red carded after an off the ball clash. It was the holders who edged further ahead with Man of the Match recipient Oleg Gojan drilling home in front of goal from eight metres out after he was set up by Gabriel Yan Micoski Lucas.
Then it was the turn of Blue Magic skipper Ian Byrne to score the goal of the game, breaking up a Real attack close to his own end line and then slaloming past several challenges to draw Murillo De Silva Vieira and dink the ball to the empty net.
It was a sublime finish and a goal worthy of the occasion and drew fulsome applause from the appreciative attendance. On the turn around, Real Transilvania drew first blood in the 26th minute to make it 5-3 with excellent prospect Alexandru Edward Pop's rising shot having too much pace for Guilherme Viana Da Souza Cardosa in the Blue Magic goal.
A goalmouth scramble then saw Real Transilvania come within inches of reducing the score to the bare minimum, but Blue Magic survived to clear their lines. With Real Transilvania forced to chase the game and Blue Magic working hard to deny their opponents time on the ball, the foul count was also rising and it was ultimately prove costly for Real Transilvania as a sixth foul saw Gabriel Yan Micoski find the net from the penalty spot in the 31st minute.
Trailing 6-3 Real Transilvania opted to go with a fly-keeper but Blue Magic defended magnificently and in a break out with six minutes to go, Gabriel Yan Micoski and Nebojsa Jocic combined to provide Eugeniu Anitoaie the task of firing home Blue Magic's seventh goal.
That finally drew Real Transilvania's sting and a second penalty for Blue Magic saw Gabriel Yan Micoski net his second and his side's eight goal. Real Transilvania finished the scoring with 26 seconds of this excellent contest when Gabriel Marco Dos Santos netted from close in, but by then, it was too little, too late.
In a show of genuine respect, Blue Magic formed a guard of honour for the vanquished opponents as they collected their medals and that honour was then returned by Real Transilvania for the worthy victors. This was a great advertisement for the sport of futsal and it was a delighted Blue Magic captain, Ian Byrne, who received the FAI Futsal Cup from the FAI's Fran Gavin to the acclaim of his team mates, coaching staff and fans.
BLUE MAGIC FUTSAL: Guilherme Viana Da Souza Cardosa; Nebojsa Jocic, Ian Byrne (c), Gabriel Yan Micoski Lucas, Leonardes Mattheus.
Subs: Max Faria (GK), Oleg Gojan, Eugeniu Anitoaie, Gabriel Saldhana, Victor Calderon, Andre Ribeiro, Maris Matheus, Kaique William Dos Santos, Joao Tardelli. Head Coach: Sinisa Sicar.
REAL TRANSILVANIA FUTSAL CLUB: Murillo De Silva Vieira; Yuri Mateus de Castro, Thiago Duarte Dias Camote de Andrade, Andreil Cosmin Boros, Raymond Daniel.
Subs: Andra Macaneira, Madalin Ionel, Gabriel Marco Dos Santos, Andre-Vasile Muntean, Guilherme Giorgini de Araujo Mozelli, Alexandru Edward Pop, Guilherme Vinicius Cece, Daniel Ignat, Carlos Fernandez Moraes. Head Coach: Roberly Camara de Assis.
Officials: David Berry, David Pender, Alan Patchell.
Timekeeper: Jack Keating.