Though the top-seeded team, Real Madrid, was eliminated because it did not show up for a semifinal game the night before, Saturday’s 6-on-6 indoor men’s soccer final contested at the Sportime’s Multi-Sport Arena in Amagansett by Liga Sayausi and Vasco Da Gama proved to be plenty riveting, going down to penalty kicks.
With a large number of fans pressed up against the all-purpose floor’s perimeters, the evening included, besides the women’s and men’s league finals, a men’s 38-plus final that Aventura won over Solo Conocidos, and a women’s consolation game in which East Hampton Club bageled Sportime. Real Madrid, which had on it a number of players who ordinarily vie under the Maidstone Market banner, and Los Orientales were to have played in a men’s consolation game that night, but apparently did not.
Thanks to an early goal by Emilse Gonzalez, Los Andes, the defending champion, went on to defeat Las Orquideas 1-0 in the women’s league final.
“Every year we’re either first or second,” Magaly Toledo, one of Los Andes’s players, said afterward.
It wasn’t a walk-over, however. Gonzalez, the tallest player on the floor, went down with a knee injury early in the second half. She went back into the fray soon after, but, with a little more than 12 minutes remaining, Gonzalez was forced by her injury to return to the bench again, this time for good. Meanwhile, Las Orquideas’ Elvia Castro, who frequently put the ball into play when Los Andes kicked it out of bounds, kept the pressure on, lofting balls into the goal area.
Los Andes had a golden opportunity to put the game away when several of its players, including fleet forwards Tatiana and Jessica Gutierrez, converged on Las Orquideas’ goalie, Margarita Guanga, with 4:20 left, but Guanga repelled the attack, keeping her team in contention.
As aforesaid, the men’s final between Vasco Da Gama and Liga Sayausi was hard fought, with plenty of collisions and bodies flying about.
The winners’ lineup boasted six Bautista brothers, including Marco, the team’s foremost forward, and its acrobatic goalie, Luis. Liga Sayausi was led by Francisco Guazhinna, a tricky ball-handler, and the speedy John Morocho. Its goalie, Arquero Martinez, was almost Luis (Puchi) Bautista’s equal.
Three and a half minutes into the game, Luis Bautista made a beautiful diving save of a hard shot, after which Marco Bautista came up empty on a couple of back-headers that sailed over the top of Liga Sayausi’s cage. With eight minutes left in the first period, Guazhinna, who had received a pass from Cesar Domingues, banged a shot off the lower left post, and three minutes later, Martinez parried a shot by Vasco’s Oscar Reinoso. Luis Bautista came up big again when, with three minutes until the halftime break, he stopped Morocho, who had broken in one-on-one, twice in succession.
In the early going of the second half, Marco Bautista had his best chance, though, somehow, Martinez, who had landed on his back in blocking the close-in shot and was juggling the ball in the air, managed to prevent it from dribbling over the line.
Guazhinna broke through Vasco Da Gama’s defense with seven minutes left, but again Luis Bautista made a diving save, punching the ball out at the left post.
With neither team able to score in regulation, the championship was decided by penalty kicks, with each side fielding five shooters who alternately faced their opponent’s goalie, flicking the futsal ball from a spot seven yards out.
After Luis Bautista parried Domingues’s try, Marco Bautista put Vasco Da Gama ahead, punching a shot by Martinez into the lower right corner.
Walter Criollo then pulled Liga Sayausi even, his shot coming to rest high in the left corner of the nets. Ismael Penafiel countered with a goal of his own — the one that was to prove to be the winner — after which Luis Bautista went on to successively shut out Morocho, Carlos Guichay, and Guazhinna for the championship.
In the ceremonies that followed, presided over by the leagues’ director, Raymond Naula, it was announced that Mario Olaya, who led the East Hampton High School boys soccer team to the county Class A championship this fall, and who played for Real Madrid’s entry in the men’s league, had been that league’s most valuable player.
Marco Bautista was the men’s league’s high-scorer, and Emilse Gonzalez was the women’s league’s high-scorer. Jessica Gutierrez, also of Los Andes, was the M.V.P. of the women’s league.
In the over-38 men’s league, Carlos Pilco was the “goleador,” the high-scorer, and Walter Criollo was that league’s M.V.P.
A new season is to begin at Sportime on Friday, Feb. 10.
“We hope it will be even bigger than the season we’ve just finished,” said the Arena’s manager, Sue de Lara, who noted that 16 teams had vied in the men’s fall league, with six in the men’s over-38 division, and six in the women’s league.
“And,” she said, alluding to a promise Sportime made when it took over the Arena’s management a year ago, “the indoor bathrooms are on the way.”