U’S CLINCH LAST FOUR PLACE IN FA FUTSAL CUP
Cambridge United Futsal defied the odds to beat Super League powerhouse Manchester FC 3-4 in the quarter-finals of the FA Futsal Cup to book their place at finals weekend of the competition.
Fresh off the back of sealing promotion a week earlier and having already secured a win over Liverpool to set up the quarter-final tie in Manchester, a depleted U’s outfit held their nerve to complete a huge upset.
The U’s began the game well and took an early lead through Bouttell who fired into an empty net, after an initial first save from the Manchester keeper. Soon after Toby Hardwick doubled the lead over the higher ranked hosts, following a well—worked counter attacking move.
Despite the home side showing their class as they attempted to work the ball through the United defence, Luis Mendonca’s side remained firm and were quickly into a three goal advantage. Antello was this time the scorer, when he rattled a shot directly from a corner into the Manchester net.
The men in Amber and Black continued to flourish during a rampant first half, and once again hit Manchester on the break moments before half time, with Burnus finishing from an angled position to make it 0-4.
Keeper Jose Lima was forced into a number of important early saves in the second period and held out until 12 minutes into the half after a pass from wide into Manchester’s pivot saw him touch beyond the U’s defence and pull a goal back.
United regrouped and held on until eight minutes from time when the hosts scored two quickfire goals to set up a tense finale.
Manchester certainly did not give up without a fight, resorting to the fly goalkeeper option to ensure they retained the ball and could let loose on a barrage of shots at the U’s goal. However, Lima was strong between the posts and United rode their luck at times, but had enough left in the tank to see out the win over the Super League side.
Yet another incredible achievement to reach the last four of the competition and they now face London side Genesis FC on Sunday 29th May for the semi-finals in Manchester, with the winner playing in the final on the same day for an early evening kick off.
Find out more about how you can get involved with Futsal at Cambridge United here.
Manchester Futsal Club - CUFC = 3-4 (HT: 0-4)
CUFC goals: A. Antello (1), T. Hardwick (1), M. Bouttell (1), V. Burnus (1)