Updated: Mar 12
The much anticipated 2020 season opener did not disappoint this weekend, as Phoenix Brazas FC took on New Mexico Elite on their home court in Mesa, Arizona. As the fans entered the court with their vuvuzelas, there was a competitive odor in the air as both teams warmed up. After the USA Futsal Federation President, Mark Brown, made the opening ceremony remarks, the game was on!
Mark Brown making opening statements prior to the match start
The energy from the fans was tangible and the teams fed off the atmosphere. At minute 4, Kaue Martins #9 successful made a penalty kick bringing the score to 1 v 0; the Brazas youth players in the stands went wild as they watched their coach make the first official goal of the season.
The Phoenix Brazas Soccer Club 04' Boys with their Coach, Kaue Martins #9 after the game
Shortly after that New Mexico Elite took it up a notch and scored two goals at the 5th and 7th minute, by Josmar Ruiz #23 and Benjamin De La Cruz #2. The first half came to an end with a score of 1 v 2, New Mexico Elite in the lead. During half time, Brazas youth players rushed onto the court to show off their own skills, awaiting the return of both teams. 2nd half began with the same intensity as the two teams fought to defend and attack, attempting to create opportunities to score. At minute 10, Kahlin Gonzalez #3 tied up the game 2 v 2. The Brazas squad celebrated, but it was short lived. New Mexico Elite got their second wind when player Josmar Ruiz #23 made his second goal of the game at minute 12. In the next play, Kaue Martins #9 scored his second goal, tying up the score again 3 v 3. With less than 10 minutes on the clock, the fans could feel the desire from both teams to take home the victory. At minute 13 Benjamin De La Cruz #2 scored his second goal of the match and with two minutes left on the clock Eddie Sanchez #13 nailed the coffin shut making the score 3 v 5. The game horn rang and New Mexico Elite took home the victory against Phoenix Brazas FC. Whether you watched in person or online, the match was competitive, high energy and intense from beginning to end.
I witnessed professional sportsmanship, top class officiating, and best of all highly skilled play by both teams! -Mark Brown, USA Futsal Federation President
This match reflected the quality that American Futsal League is bringing to the US and the development of futsal in general; a great way to start the 2020 season. Don't miss the next official league match on March 21st.