The finale to the United Premier Soccer League (UPSL), Atlanta Caribbean Division’s season is the President’s Cup Final in honor of league president, Wesley Graham. The competition itself involves the top 4 finishers in the league table that play semi-final games that determine the finalists for this Cup Final weekend.
The previous week’s semifinal results had CLub ATLetic break open a very tight first half with Atlanta Generals to go away 4-0 victors by full time. FC Yardaz was forced to go into extra time before edging out the 2019 league Champion’s Kalonji Pro-Profile FC by the final score of 4-3 in a thrilling semifinal match. This set up the Final between 2 teams who only 2 weeks earlier missed out on a league title by fractions so both of these clubs would be hungry for silverware on the day.
The weather for the start of the match was sweltering with temperatures nearing 90 degrees (F) and even hotter on the synthetic turf, but this did not deter the players from both sides. The action early on was fast and even as both sides looked to establish themselves in possession and it was Yardaz first to take that advantage.
In the 4th minute, Yardaz maneuvered forward to the left side near the final third of the pitch in attack where a square ball was sent to Kishane Perry central in attack. Perry turned on his marker and quickly launched a 25 yard looping shot over the outstretched arms of Bradley Bugg in the Club ATLetic goal where the ball ended up in the back of the net. It was an early 1-0 advantage to Yardaz even before either team had settled.
Club had their own chances in attack but the Yardaz back-line did just enough to keep them out and skillful Yardaz possession in the midfield kept danger man Ehjayson Henry from getting quality possession up front. But Club had strength in defense as well and aside from that early goal, were able to quell much of the Yardaz attack for the bulk of the 1st half.
Club immediately looked for a way to get back level and Yardaz looking to stretch the lead but it would be Club to find their success. In the 21st minute, a Javier Pace throw-in found the head of Club defender, Jack Fenley who flicked on to a leaping Eddie Robinson IV who coolly headed home the equalizer.
The match leveled out after that with both teams trading strategic blows but both defenses were holding firm and the score stayed all even at 1-1. Just as it looked like a certain for extra time, a foul in the Yardaz box after a strong run from Ehjayson Henry had the referee pointing to the spot for a penalty against Yardaz and Club has their break late in the match in the 80th minute.
Club ATLetic forward, Wilfred Tchoupa stepped up and coolly and calmly slotted in low and to the right just beyond the reach of the Yardaz keeper to give Club ATLetic the lead for the first time in the match very late at 2-1.
From there, Yardaz put on the pressure to try to force extra-time as the minutes ticked away but Club were up to the challenge and continued to have moments that threatened to lengthen the lead but there would be no further scoring and the game ended with Club ATLetic taking the 2019 President’s Cup by the score of 2-1.