The two Southern titans shared a draw on Sunday.
By Matt Hardy - Monday, 19 March, 2012
Helvecia and Genesis ends all square as battle for title down to the wire.
Helvecia 6-6 Genesis
The FA National Futsal League South
Sunday 18 March 2012
As an advert for English Futsal and The FA National Futsal League, everybody expected Helvecia against Genesis to be a game to remember. Thanks to eight second half goals and a large partisan crowd inside the Score Centre, the fixture did not disappoint.
Prior to the game, both clubs were billing the fixture as the Southern Division title decider. Helvecia lead by three points going into the clash on Sunday morning, but Genesis hold a game in hand on Ronaldo Negrao’s four time league champions meaning expectations from both camps were high and the pressure was beginning to mount.
As the game got underway, it was Genesis who started the brighter with Bruno Vitorio and England exile Byron Andrew very lively for the away side. Despite Helvecia having more of the ball in the early exchanges, it was Genesis who created the better chances and it came as no surprise when they took the lead just five minutes in. Dee Okofte slotting home after good work from Andrew to give Genesis just what they deserved.
Four minutes later and their lead was doubled, Israel Toko slotting home to send the loud Genesis following into wild scenes of celebration. The second goal seemed to wake the champions up however and the next few minutes were the busiest of the match for Dafydd Jones in the Genesis goal.
First he got down well to save from Raoni Medina after a flowing Helvecia move, before conjuring a second great save to deny England’s Ben Mortlock.
As time ticked by in the first half, the pressure on the Genesis goal grew and any hopes of reaching half time with a clean sheet intact were dashed when the ball was carelessly given away from a defensive kick in on 16 minutes. Ricardo Pereira punished the mistake and Helvecia were back in the game.
Still the action was not over. Another defensive lapse saw a needless kick in conceded and Pereira’s drive across goal was deflected into his own net by the helpless Jones. Genesis were left stunned.
The remaining minute and a half of first half action saw Ronaldo’s men piling on the pressure, but remarkably a Genesis breakaway right on the buzzer saw Ferrage slot home. The goal was disallowed quite rightly however as the shot was taken after the clock had stopped and the scores remained all square.
As the teams emerged for the second period, Helvecia’s experience continued to dominate. Inside a minute, talisman Medina had put them in front and just four minutes later Vitor Rodrigues converted a well worked set piece to heap further misery on the visitors.
The next five or six minutes passed in a whirwind of Hevecia domination. In that short period they showed every ounce of why they are four times champions and why they will be tough to beat again at this year’s Grand Finals. When Mortlock followed up to smash home a fifth following a foul on Piotr Papierowski, the game seemed within the home side’s grasp.
It was full credit to the character of Genesis and the way in which they are playing this season that they were able to recover. A well used time out was followed by Bruno Vitorio smashing in a quick response and giving his side a lifeline.
Two goals in three minutes from the fired up Ferrage saw the visitors draw level and the champions' shock was clear to see. A sixth goal, Vitorio’s second after a dazzling solo break sparked jubilant celebrations from the Genesis camp.
In a desperate act to regain a footing and maintain their league lead, Helvecia used Mortlock as a fly keeper to pile pressure back on the visitors. First, a terrible miss from Medina at the far post and then a wonderful save by Jones from Pereira maintained Genesis’ lead and the entire Score Centre believed that it was the away side’s day.
Right at the death, the experience that Helvecia have in these situations again paid off, as Pereira grabbed his second of the game to rescue a crucial point for Ronaldo and the champions.
Genesis will be disappointed after twice throwing away a lead but the experience of Helvecia does not know when it is beaten and both teams can take heart from the final result. A draw does little to settle the issue of where the Southern Division crown will end up at the end of the season, but it did suggest to us that Genesis are a far bigger threat to Helvecia than many may have previously realised.
© The Football Association 2001-2013,
All Rights Reserved