Augusta United FC come into this Cup for the first time this week after previous engagements kept them from competing on match day 1. One of the Georgia Premier Division teams, Augusta are looking to kick start their UPSL Spring season campaign with success in the Cup this month.
A stern test today for them today will be facing FC Matata who won their first match on Match Day 1 against a young LGSA U17 team the previous week. However, today’s match for them will be a step up in intensity with a fellow Premier Division side.
It is a challenge for each coaching staff to bleed new talent and at the same time take the competition serious enough to play for success in this preseason Cup. So the stage is set for the players and coaches to match wits in this match that will be a factor in who will qualify to move on to the Final on March 5th.
From the kick off, it was apparent that Augusta United FC would be the team dictating the pace. Augusta dominated possession early on and Matata could not find rhythm when they did have possession. Augusta was composed and settled into the game whereas Matata were struggling to hold off a pretty strong attack from Augusta, remaining stuck in their own half for long periods of the 1st half.
This good start by Augusta would be rewarded on 10 minutes with a goal from Niall Monahan. Matata were trying to play out of their own third but carelessly were dispossessed by a hard pressing Augusta. A ball was then played through to an unmarked Monahan who slotted in under the keeper and into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.
Four minutes later, it was 2-0 when Jason Redmond converted a penalty from the spot making it a mountain to climb for Matata even at this early stage of the match.
From that point on in the 1st half, Augusta had the better play with Matata with flashes of good play without a real pay off in the final third for them. The teams went into the break with Augusta leading 2-0.
In the 2nd half, Matata got more in the game, but again, could not seriously threaten when it counted most in attack. Augusta remained poised and strong in possession which is a sign of a well coached team. On 62 minutes, Augusta created a mini break down the right wing producing a cross to the middle of the penalty area which was then pushed over to the left side and to a waiting, and totally unmarked, Nicholas Cenek to roll in the goal for a 3-0 lead.
Augusta closed out the scoring in the 78th minute when another mini-break down the right wing produced what maybe should have been a stoppable shot to the near post by Brayden Martinez which went through the grasp of the Matata goal keeper for the 4-0 scoreline.
A good start for Augusta United FC in their first game in the Cup but a bad result by a usually free scoring FC Matata who clearly were suffering without some of their first choice attackers in this match. Matata’s Coach Hippolyt Emekourou will have a lot of work to do to get his squad to close out the competition with a win but more importantly get his team, who took last season off, get up to competitive speed which will be a hotly contested division this Spring 2022 season.