Pre-College Development Academy is another new entry for the UPSL Georgia Division 1 for the Spring 2022 season. This academy is linked to Augusta United FC who play in the Premier Division. The academy team shares the same football philosophy and also acts as a feeder team to the Premier team so you will see the same style of play when watching either of the Augusta teams.
Pre-College is facing Premier Division side Potros FC who are becoming well established in the UPSL in Georgia and look to improve on results from the last season when they narrowly missed qualifying for the division playoffs. The Regional Cup is a chance for them to work on getting up to speed before the regular season kicks off on March 26th.
Both of these teams came into this match wanting to mix success in the group stage and at the same time test out new talent and newly signed players which will require a balanced approach to this game. Potros FC’s manager, Christopher Uranga, was officially presented with the Manager of the Season award for his work as a club manager in the Fall season and now would turn around to get ready again for action in the league for the Spring.
Pre-College got us underway but it was Potros FC who were the first to take control of the match as they worked to possess and press forward and within 40 seconds, found themselves in the penalty area on the first move forward. The Potros attacker had alluded a defensive player in the box but was then challenged by the Pre-College keeper who took out the man instead of the ball earning Potros FC an early penalty call.
Manuel Carrillo took the responsibility to take the penalty and expertly converted to the upper left as he blasted Potros FC into the lead in the 1st minute of play. Potros kept themselves flying with 2 more goals in the half, one from Sebastian Montero on 27 minutes and then shortly later from Augusto Del Río to take Potros to a commanding 3-0 after just 31 minutes of play. Pre-College had not really gotten a foot hold in the game yet but that would soon change.
On 36 minutes, Pre-College’s Oliver Mecardo scored largely against the run of play after good approach play. He was given space by the Potros defenders and took full advantage to take his shot and score putting Pre-College back in it at 3-1 in the first half. And that’s how they went into the half.
The second half was a different story. The Pre-College head coach, Bryce Cooper, made adjustments for his squad at halftime and it’s effect was immediate as the 2nd half kicked off. It was now Pre-College with the lion’s share of possession and Potros was on the back foot. This new found pressure from Pre-College paid dividends on 63 minutes when a penalty call allowed Mecardo to step up and bury his and Pre-College’s 2nd to bring the score to 3-2 and create virtually a new game.
Pre-College continued to dominate the half getting more chances on goal, but at the moment, Potros was holding on just enough to keep the advantage. As time dwindled and we reached added time, Potros found a clincher when another penalty call gave Jair Lopez Figueroa a chance to convert which he took successfully to restore the 2 goal lead at 4-2.
Good thing that Potros did get that goal because a minute later, Pre-College were on the score sheet again very deep in extra time. Pre-College still had energy in the tank and pushed hard as anticipation of the final whistle was looming. A long ball in to the left of Potros penalty area found the winger who had skillfully gotten behind the Potros full back and one timed the ball to Brayden Martinez who was given space for a free header and a 3rd goal for Pre-College.
That would be the end of scoring as time then expired a short time later. Potros had held on to put themselves in serious contention to win the group while Pre-College DA will feel hard done by not to get something out of the result.
With one match week left in the group stages, all games next week are a must win for the top 3 in the group. So the intensity will be there to advance on to the Final match on March 5th.