Cambridge United Futsal claimed a third place finish in the FA Futsal National Super League for 2017/18, with a fine 3-0 away win at Loughborough on the closing day of the campaign.
Sunday saw the U’s make the short trip north to face Loughborough in their final match of the 2017/2018 FA National Futsal League season at Loughborough University.
United were missing their 'enforcer' Vitalii Burnus but Paulo Rodrigues returned to the match day squad. Having been well beaten by League leaders Reading Escolla the previous weekend, United were determined to get back to winning ways in their quest for third place.
Heading into the weekend, it was a simple prospect for United who knew a win accompanied by a defeat for Birmingham who faced Reading Escolla themselves, would ensure they achieved their aim. The U’s were given extra motivation before the game when long serving and inspirational captain, Alberto Morcillo announced it was to be his last game for United.
Cambridge started well, controlling possession and defending with intensity and discipline when required. Loughborough struggled to contain the U’s early on but despite United's first half dominance, unusually they couldn't find the finishing touches that their play deserved.
However, five minutes before the break they finally got their just rewards when Angel Martinez made no mistake from the penalty spot after Loughborough's sixth foul of the half, ensuring a half time lead.
Mendonca’s men picked up in the second half where they had left off the first, putting in a dominant display in front of their noisy travelling support.
Again, after several good chances went begging, a quick U’s break saw a Monty Bouttell cross deflected into the goal by a desperate retreating Loughborough defender to make it 2-0 to United.
Then midway through the second half, departing captain Morcillo scored the goal of the game when he turned his marker on the half way line with a delightful piece of skill, burst clear before slotting calmly past the onrushing Loughborough keeper.
Despite Loughborough going fly for the last five minutes, Cambridge stood strong, limiting the host’s chances and with U’s stopper Jose Lima unbeatable on the day when called into action.
The final whistle on United’s season was blown, concluding a convincing and well deserved 3-0 win for Cambridge United and a fitting send off for captain Alberto Morcillo.
With Birmingham kicking off later against Reading Escolla, the U’s players had to settle for the live stream of the game on the minibus journey back home to Cambridge. To their delight, Reading beat Birmingham meaning Cambridge's win had secured third place in their first FA National Futsal Super League season.
An incredible achievement, especially with many futsal pundits and experts tipping United as favourites for relegation at the start of the season. Coach Luis Mendonca had also achieved this feat with largely the same squad of players that had finished fourth in Super League North the season before, behind the more established Loughborough, Manchester and Birmingham.
The U’s are now looking to strengthen and improve over the close season with the first trials for potential new players on Tuesday 5th June 2018.
Meanwhile sponsorship opportunities to support Cambridge United’s futsal team are available. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information and to register an interest.
Goals – Angel Martinez, OG/Monty Bouttell, Alberto Morcillo
Squad – Jose Lima (GK), Chay Jakes (GK), Alberto Morcillo ©, Angel Martinez, Toby Hardwick, Monty Bouttell, Paulo Rodrigues, George Harlow, Jonathan Tofts, Greg Birch, Enrico Barnes
Attendance – 50