9th October 2021: The Aztecs left it late for a deserved win against Coventry in Wolverhampton.
This was the team that competed live on BT Sport.
The Aztecs hit the ground running, employing a high press in a 1-3. It was effective in preventing the Coventry build-up, forcing lots of turnovers high up the court. The Aztecs were able to convert these turnovers into chances, but weren't able to convert those chances into goals. Lauren Sayler would join the attack, even hitting the bar from distance. Kath Heath had several good chances that went wide at the far post. It seemed like a matter of time before the team in green would take the lead.
Nine minutes in, the Aztecs took a timeout. This was an opportunity to tighten up the press a little, and regain some energy. The plan was forcing more turnovers and chances, but sadly Coventry took the lead three minutes later. Frustrated, but creating the vast majority of chances, Southampton persisted with the plan. More chances were created, more great saves executed from the Coventry keeper, and the team from the South Coast went in at the break a goal down.
A tense affair so far, the Aztecs decided that on the balance of things, the game plan was working. Why change when you are creating lots of chances, and limiting the amount your opponents are making? Coventry broke through the onslaught, doubling their lead against the run of play, making it 2-0 after 26 minutes. With it all to do now, it was time to convert chances to goals.
Up stepped Divina Alo Ilolo.
Alo Ilolo read the Coventry restart, meandered through the defence, and faked the keeper with a left foot shot into the centre of the net. 2-1, with eleven minutes to play. The Aztecs were finally on the scoresheet, and have the momentum going into the final stretch of the game.
The equalizer was coming, and it was no surprise when Bekah Tonks found the back of the net to tie the score at twos.
R Tonks originally cut the ball back for sister Kayleigh, whose shot was well saved by the keeper. Following the scramble, the ball bounced to Bekah, who made sure to level the score with three minutes remaining. The Aztecs never lost faith, and believed the win would come. Playing for the draw was not on the cards.
Coventry used up their five fouls in the second half inside the first eight minutes. Southampton felt it was only a matter of time until a penalty shot would come, and it finally did, with only a minute remaining. This shot would likely give the three points to the Aztecs, winning the game right at the death, and on live television no less. The perfect time to become a hero.
Up steps Kaylee Senter.
It was tense. Nerves of steel were required. The captain elected for a toe punt low and hard to the bottom right. As it sailed past the keeper along the ground, the greens knew they'd be taking three points with them back down south. It would always be a fun trip with such a fun bunch, playing on live television. Of course it's always even more fun with a win.
You can see what it meant to the team who never gave up, who knew that the result was coming.
After the goal, the Aztecs ran down the remaining seconds by shielding the ball in the corner of the court.
The fans got to voting and chose Kaylee Senter as their Aztecs player of the match, who had this to say on Twitter: "Yesss what an unreal moment, scored my first goal LIVE on BT Sport!!!"
Rebecca Moody also took to Twitter with: "Had the best day with @SotonAztecs
shoes - most comfortable shoes I have ever played in!! #VamosAztecs"
Will Wilson added: "The team were amazing. Full credit to them for digging in."
Kath Heath said: "Today was surreal. We were on BT Sport and we won!"
Nicola Curtis wrote: "Still buzzing. Looking forward to training and building ready for next week."
These were the other results from a great day of live futsal on BT Sport.
The Coventry keeper was selected as the player of the match on television. She played a blinder and pulled off some cracking saves, bravely taking a ball to the face from close range.
Thanks to all of our fans for cheering us on back home.
Two games played with five to go, the Aztecs are in sixth place. Next week sees the team travel back to Bedford to take on second place Birmingham WLV for a 12:00 kick off. We hope to see you there, and look forward to more futsal. The full game for the win against Coventry will be available to watch soon.