The new-look Futsal Whites have delivered a dominant second half to claim a 1-0 lead in the Trans-Pacific Fustal Cup in Tauranga.
After watching the Futsal Ferns beat New Caledonia 14-0 on their international debut, it was a much closer affair for the Futsal Whites squad in their Trans-Pacific against the New Caledonian men with the hosts prevailing with a 3-1 win.
Marvin Eakins’ squad, which had five players yet to play for New Zealand, were looking to make their mark in the opening game of the Trans-Pacific Futsal Cup but were well held by the visitors in the first half with the scores 0-0 at the break.
Both teams were feeling each other out in the opening 20 minutes, but as the game went on New Zealand settled into a lot more possession and New Caledonia sat around the halfway mark looking to counterattack.
The Futsal Whites took control of the game shortly after the break. Auckland flanker Kareem Osman scored in the 23rd minute to take a 1-0 lead and then Canterbury pivot Benjamin Lapslie followed it up two minutes later to find the back of the net on his international debut. Capital flanker Luc Saker finished the scoring for New Zealand in the 30th minute and the visitors picked up a consolation goal to Eric Salhullwa before New Zealand held on for a 1-0 lead in the three match series.
Eakins’ side won the game through their organisation and movement. Osman, even though he will be kicking himself for missing a penalty, was a standout for the home side alongside the experience of Auckland flanker Dylan Manickum and Lapslie who showed he belonged in international futsal on his debut.
Both teams will dust themselves off and go again tonight at the same venue with the Futsal Ferns and Futsal Whites looking to claim the Trans Pacific Futsal Cup.
The Futsal Ferns and Futsal Whites internationals are being shown on a live stream at www.nzfootball.co.nz.
Trans Pacific Futsal Cup
Futsal Whites 3 (Osman, Lapslie, Saker) New Caledonia 1 (Salhullwa) HT 0-0
Futsal Whites; 1. Ata Elayyan, 2. Jonathan Steele, 3. Jordan Ditfort, 4. Thomas McGowan, 5. Luc Saker, 6. Kareem Osman, 7. Marvin Eakins, 8. Joshua Margetts, 9. Stephen Ashby-Peckham, 10. Dylan Manickum, 11. Lucas Cordeiro Osorio Da Silva, 12. Hamish Mitchell, 13. Benjamin Lapslie, 14. Luke Maynard. Coach Marvin Eakins
Trans Pacific Futsal Cup
Bay Park Arena, Tauranga
Fustal Whites v New Caledonia 6pm
Futsal Ferns v New Caledonia 8pm
Futsal Ferns v New Caledonia 6pm
Futsal Whites v New Caledonia 8pm