Tigers 1 – 5 Birmingham
Reported by Isaac Barrington
So, with the end of an undefeated 2015/16 regular season came the departures of a large number of players along with the coach. One of the unfortunate consequences of not being organised into a professional league as of yet.
With all the departures, Birmingham Futsal Club’s manager, Ikhlaq Hussain, had his work cut out for himself and thanks to his hard work and dedication to the club, he put together a team ready to meet the challenges of a brand new season. A new and exciting coach, along with some talented players were added to the previous seasons stars that remained.
It was with this group of players that new coach Eduardo faced off against local rivals, Birmingham Tigers in the 2016/17 season opener.
Birmingham started well with good chances for both Marin and Ametlla before they opened the scoring. Dan Guy drove down the wing before squaring to Marin who neatly slotted the ball into the bottom corner. 1-0
New signings Arnau Ametlla and Mario Garrido both saw chances go begging, but it wasn’t long before Birmingham doubled their lead. Garrido made a fabulous tackle, before feeding Guy who found the bottom corner to give his side a two goal cushion. 2-0
Birmingham continued to dominate and Juanje Marin added to the score-line after a terrific run by captain Alex Igarza. 3-0
Juanito fired the ball over the bar and Tigers captain Tomczak could only find the side netting. The buzzer sounded for half-time, and Birmingham went into the break with a solid 3-0 advantage intact.
Tigers experienced their best passage of play just after half-time, and they did peg Birmingham back. Cristian Gonzalez fumbled the ball into his own net after a shot from Adam Breeze but it was never going to make a difference to the result. 3-1
Two Minutes later, Birmingham restored their three goal advantage when Guy rounded the keeper and side-footed into the gaping-goal. 4-1
Tigers knocked on the door but Gonzalez made three good saves in quick succession to keep the hosts hoping. He denied Breeze twice and Downes once in the space of two minutes.
Birmingham completed the day’s work when they added a fifth, seven minutes into the second half. Marin once again linked up well with Guy, this time taking a quick free kick which was bundled in at the far post to complete Guy’s hat-trick.
Birmingham played the last 12 minutes on five fouls, but they managed to keep their discipline and see the game out for an opening day 5-1 victory.
New coach Eduardo Valor will be delighted that his side have 3 points on the board, and will look forward to their first game at their new home next week against Manchester. FT 5-1
Tigers: Lecheamsai (GK), Downes, Tomczak, Breeze, Oliver, McFaden, Jose, Rabama, Russel,
Birmingham: Cristin (GK), Guy, Marin, Garrido, Igarza, Juanito, Price, Scott, Gonzalez (GK), Paulo Dias, Wood, Ametlla