While technically a warm-up tournament for the coming 2022 Spring season in the UPSL, there are honors and prizes at stake for those that excel in this Cup competition. The need to balance and evaluate talent and at the same time play to win can be a challenge at any level. Teams have a need to build momentum and chemistry before a ball is kicked in anger in the Georgia Divisions regular season.
Both Potros FC and Club The Strongest ATL know the equation and will have to balance all these factors to get something out of the Cup as well as get ready for action in the regular season.
On paper, this is an interesting match up with newly promoted team Club The Strongest ATL already known as a very skillful team matching up with a steadily improving team in Potros that narrowly missed the division playoffs last season. Potros have consolidated and built and planned in the off season to make a splash in the Spring and a stern test of their efforts will be made today against the Bolivians on the day.
The Strongest had the advantage in possession in the first half and it paid off for them as they struck early with a wonderful goal from Sam Rowe that was soon matched by a Potros minutes later with a driving attack ending in an equalizer by Manuel Carrillo. At this stage, the score was a fair assessment of how even the teams were playing up to that point.
Late in the half, The Strongest struck again through Carlos Servellan and their dominance in possession was starting to be the difference in the game with Potros having moments of chances but not threatening enough to get another breakthrough.
After the break, The Strongest continued to threaten but Potros started to get more into the match but still only just missing with chances but getting close. But then The Strongest hit another on a mini-break to stretch their lead to 3-1 from Mohammed Konate. That goal gave The Strongest the first bit of cushion in the match.
On 77 minutes, a foul just outside the box gave Potros a sliver of hope with a good position for a free kick. Manuel Carrillo stepped up and blasted in a magnificent free kick over the wall and beyond the diving reach of The Strongest goal keeper for his and Potros’ 2nd for a 4-2 score.
Potros had a number of other chances in the closing minutes, but The Strongest held strong and the match emptied out with The Strongest going top of Group B with a 4-2 win as both teams now prepare for match week 2 next weekend.