Cork City claim Futsal trophy
CORK CITY picked up their first piece of silverware for the new season when they clinched the FAI National Futsal League title after a tremendous final against St Patrick’s Athletic on Sunday.
The Rebel Army needed extra-time to see off holders St Pat’s but they thoroughly deserved their win after a brave display.
City had earlier beaten highly fancied Wexford Youths in the semi-finals.
Ian Turner with two, Craig Duggan and Gavin Walsh all got the goals for City after the game ended 2-2 in normal time.
Cork will pick up a €10,000 winner’s prize and will now represent Ireland in the UEFA Futsal Cup this summer.
After a very tense opening period with neither side giving the other an inch, City broke the deadlock with nine minutes left in the half when Wesley Tong found Ian Turner and he smashed home.
St Pat’s almost levelled within seconds as Hygo Cezar played a one-two with Jackson Alexandre but saw his close range effort hit a Cork upright.
With senior futsal international Craig Duggan in brilliant form for City, the Saints found Cork a tough nut to crack.
Duggan then made a crucial contribution to City extending their lead just over a minute before the break. Duggan burst forward then set up Gavin Walsh to slam home and make it 2-0.
After a tame first half, St Pat’s started the second half with a lot more purpose and Felipe Machado fired them back into the tie just two minutes after the restart.
However, it took St Pat’s keeper Vinicius to make a couple of brilliant saves from Duggan and Donal Lynch to keep his side in the game.
City paid for those missed opportunities when Machado produced a stunning goal with eight minutes left to draw equalise.
Vinicius then produced another couple of quality stops to keep out strikes from Duggan and Eoin Forde.
City were desperately unlucky not to regain the lead with 90 seconds left when Kevin Long’s low left-footed strike his the butt of the Saints post. The game ended 2-2 after normal time.
The Saints were equally unfortunate not to take the lead with ten seconds remaining in the first period of extra-time. Yuro Assis produced a blistering strike that rattled the Cork crossbar.
With just over 90 seconds remaining in extra-time Cork got the breakthrough they craved. Eoin Forde squaring for Duggan to finish with his left foot.
St Pat’s then conceded a ten-metre penalty and Turner stepped up to fire it past Vinicius and put the breathing space they needed between the sides.
CORK CITY (squad) - Kieran McEnery; David Clancy, Ian Turner, Gavin Walsh, Craig Duggan, Eoin Forde, Donal Lynch, Kevin Long, Wesley Tong.
ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC (Squad) – Vinicius; Gary Gannon, Felipe Machado, Jackson, Ross Murray, Evan Brack, Daniel Filho, Richard Maher, Nzinge Golding, Denis Nicolai, Hygo Cezar, Yuri Assis.