Advancing To National Finals Through Adversity

Ginga Atlanta had to take on the largest challenge of their season to make it to the National Finals. March 5th’s Semifinal match against the East Region Champions Brockton FC United was not going to be an easy challenge. Undefeated Brockton FC United was the first team to clinch their seat in the Final Four back on December 13th, almost three months ago. Ginga Atlanta were able to clinch their ticket into the Final Four with the hard fought win over OFC Barca back on February 13th in Savannah, GA.

The Semifinal game started off with both teams trying find their composure and not allow for major mistakes. Brockton FC United’s high press gave Ginga Atlanta’s back line trouble in the beginning stages of the first half. In the 11th minute of the game, we saw the first chance, albeit a controversial call of a penalty on Ginga Atlanta’s Kevin Herrera. The defender was attempting to shield the Brockton FC United player from the ball and the center referee felt the challenge was worthy of a penalty. Brockton FC United’s Antonio Correia was able to convert the penalty and take a huge advantage early with the 0-1 lead.

The players on both teams began to increase the intensity with several goal opportunities on both sides of play and several heavy challenges. A terrific ball sent forward by the Ginga Atlanta goalkeeper Alberto Ciroi in the 30th minute was headed along by Bruno Vargas into the stride of Welder Castro who was able to slot the ball into the net for the equalizing goal. The excitement that Ginga Atlanta had from the goal was ripped from them quickly as in the 33rd minute, another controversial decision was made by the center referee in issuing a red card to Rodrigo Siqueira for what he believed was dangerous play. A Brockton FC United player tackled Rodrigo Siqueira from behind and the center referee believed he stamped his boot on the Brockton FC United player. The hard challenges and questionable decisions continued through the remaining time of the first half and ended 1-1.

Halftime allowed Coach Garcia for Ginga Atlanta the chance to change the formation and made what would be the substitution of the game bringing on David Casillas. Casillas was able to move higher up the pitch and find space that was not available for Ginga Atlanta in the fist half. In the 56th minute, Welder Castro was able to find himself in the middle of the box to receive a glorious pass from Deon McCaulay to put Ginga Atlanta up 2-1. Ginga Atlanta was able to hold off the continuous challenges by Brockton FC United as the second half ticked away. In the 70th minute saw Ginga Atlanta’s captain Jeffery Otto have an absolute stunning goal that would end up being the winning goal.

Just when Ginga Atlanta believed the end was near being up two goals, an unorthodox handball in the box during the 72nd minute saw Brockton FC United’s Antonio Correia’s second goal of the match. The handball coming from a mistake by the Ginga Atlanta defender trying to signal to the assistant referee that the ball was out of bounds, when the Brockton FC United player was able to hit the defender’s hand. Through the remaining 18 minutes and additional 7 minutes of stoppage time, Ginga Atlanta was able to hold off all chances for Brockton FC United to find the equalizing goal.

Ginga Atlanta wins the Semifinal game 3-2 over Brockton FC United to find themselves in the Finals that will be on Sunday March, 7th at 3:00pm. The Finals will be played at Silverbacks Stadium and will be live on Mycujoo.

Link to the full match: https://mycujoo.tv/en/view/event/ckltx96jni2vd0gcj8plihp5b

Goal links: https://www.instagram.com/p/CMDzMcogCmn   https://www.instagram.com/p/CMD1VZHMCvx   https://www.instagram.com/p/CMD6FxbsB0M  https://www.instagram.com/p/CMD7m9qskk4  https://www.instagram.com/p/CMD8M2igkKs

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