Morning Star Staff
Vernon’s European FC’s futsal first team took bronze at the Supra Futsal tournament over Christmas break in Surrey.
Coach Cliff Acob’s squad challenged some of the coast’s best futsal teams, losing only once.
“The boys played extremely well up against teams that had been playing futsal for six years,” said Acob. “They responded to the physical play and their own brand of accurate passing helped break down the opponents’ defence creating good scoring opportunities which they used to maximum effect.
“Without having a designated goalkeeper all the boys took turns between the sticks making some incredible saves. I was very impressed with their play for their first indoor tournament out of Vernon.”
The Vernon boys found their legs in the first game where they had Surrey United on the run for most of the game, leading 3-1 thanks to two goals from Carter Leahy, who also fed Zach Loland for the third. The boys let up towards the end and allowed Surrey to tie the game at 3-3.
In the second game, EFC game out charging, scoring seven goals and only allowing only against a shell-shocked Vancouver United team.
EFC showed a great team effort throughout the game with Leahy providing Cameron Acob the first goal, and Acob returning the favour to Leahy for the second.
Leahy then provided another for Loland to finish. Marcus Erho scored the fourth goal before Vancouver managed to get on the board. Devin Bilodeau put away a great feed from Owen Challen before Alex Kazimer’s persistence in front of the net paid off with two goals to finish the game at 7-1.
In game three, EFC came up against a well-organized Supra A team and took some time to adjust, falling behind 4-1 at the half.
A well-directed half time chat by coach Acob brought the game back into perspective with the final score being 5-2. Goals for EFC came from Erho and Challen, courtesy of Alexander Jones.
The last game of the tournament saw EFC down 4-2 at the interval with goals from Acob and Challen,and Leahy once again being the provider.
EFC had the better of the second half, thanks once again to the half time chat of Coach Cliff. Tate Garrod sneaked one in before Leahy once again fed Loland to tie the game. Devin Bilodeau got the go ahead goal to make it 5-4 EFC before a lapse of concentration in the final minutes had them settling for a 5-5 tie.
Vernon’s European Futsal Club, according to its website, is “focused on providing the youth of the Okanagan with an opportunity to experience the fastest version of soccer.
“We believe that by providing an opportunity for children at a young age to experience the pace, skill and thinking of futsal, we are creating a breed of footballer that is better equipped to handle the modern game.”
More information can be found at www.efcokanagan.com.