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Brilliant Baku United retain Futsal League crown

Sunday 01 Jun 2014
Baku United celebrate their title at St. George's Park

Baku United have won the FA National Futsal League Grand Finals for the second year running after recording a compelling 5-1 victory against Manchester, with all six goals coming in the second half at St. George's Park.

Strikes from Johnathan Camera, Marcelo, Carlos Munoz and a brace from captain Kevin Ramirez were enough to guarantee Baku United a place in the UEFA Futsal League next season as national champions.

Baku had secured their place in the final earlier in the afternoon following their 3-1 victory over Helvecia, whilst Manchester advanced by defeating Loughborough Students 5-4.

Baku United 5-1 Manchester

FA National Futsal League
Grand Finals
St. George's Park
Saturday 31 May 2014


The Southern Division outfit had to be patient and endured 24 minutes without scoring against a resilient Manchester side. 

In the opening moments, Marcelo was the main source of danger but found himself regularly blocked by a solid defence led by captain Stuart Cook.

Manchester also had opportunities to make the breakthrough but found Baku were able to counter attack quickly, often bringing three players forward to create an opening.

Manchester shot-stopper Marcos Magalhaes was in fine form to deny several more attempts from the goal-hungry Marcelo, Baku United's top scorer this season.

The best chance of the first half fell to Manchester on the 11th minute. King sped down the wing and played a superb, diagonal ball across the floor to the lurking Ilya Ovechkin who only needed to make slight contact in order to divert the ball past Antonio Gomez, but he failed to provide the connection.

After the midway point the game picked up pace as the first goal of the match was scored by Kevin Ramirez. 

Carlos Munoz was holding the ball in the middle of the pitch and had the vision to pick out Ramirez just outside the box, allowing the captain to tap in for an easy finish to the delight of the Baku faithful.

Their joy was short-lived as Manchester bounced back in emphatic fashion. 

Impact substitution Paul Thompson played in a fast, low ball across the box which found King in the centre. 

The lively attacker seemed to mis-control the ball as it came to him but managed to improvise a shot while lying on the ground to finally get the Northern Division champions back on level terms.

But the game soon turned back in Baku's favour. 

Ramirez collected a pass far outside the area, there seemed to be no threat of an imminent attack, but the 26-year-old took his shot and it slid under the body of Magalhaes and into the net. 

It was a calamitous moment for Manchester's No1 who was the best player on the field up until that moment.

The third and fourth goals came in the space of three minutes. 

Agon Rexha's blocked shot resulted in a corner, which was quickly taken and then dispatched by Camera in fairly simple circumstances. 

Camera then turned provider when his free-kick was played to Marcelo who buried his shot in the Manchester net.

Sandwiched in between these goals, a red card was shown to spell even more dismay for Manchester. Captain Stuart Cook was already on a booking following a foul earlier in the match and when the Manchester captain slide-tackled his marker from behind, the referee had no choice but to hand out a second yellow, thus suspending Cook for the remaining 12 minutes and ensuring that his team were temporarily playing with only three outfield players.

Despite the game ending 5-1, the match was not as one-sided as the scoreline suggested. Manchester played courageously throughout but Baku proved to be too strong in the end, the club's second consecutive title being testament to their dominance of English Futsal.

Baku United: 1 James Dalton, 3 Agon Rexha, 4 Doug Reed, 6 Kevin Ramirez (c), 9 Jesus Hurtado, 10 Raul Solano, 11 Marcelo Dos Reis Soares, 13 Raoni Medina, 14 Jonathan Camara, 15 Antonio Gomez, 18 Carlos Munoz, 21 Jose Lozano.

Goals: Ramirez 24, 25, Camera 26, Marcelo 28, Munoz 36

Manchester: 1 Marcos Magalhaes, 2 Anthony Haralambous, 3 Aiden Hilditch, 4 Abdullah Mohamed, 5 Danny Stapleton, 7 Ilya Ovechkin, 9 Spence Astle-Coates, 10 Sam Richardson, 11 Raducio King, 12 Stuart Cook (c), 13 Russell Astle-Coates, 14 Sean Bynoe, 15 Patricio Gomez, 17 Paul Thompson.

Goal: King 24.

Attendance: 455

Referee: Billy Taylor

By FA Staff