Regional Cup: Club The Strongest ATL vs Pre-College DA

The slim hope for Club The Strongest ATL to advanced to the Cup Final were dashed earlier in the day when Limeño U20 drew with Potros FC giving them the Group B title on 7 points. Even a win by The Strongest would not get them on in the Cup due to a shock 2nd group week loss to division 1 opponent, Limeño U20 the previous week. A loss that proved to be costly to The Strongest in the competition.

But there was still the matter of getting prepped for the Spring season. The Strongest ATL is one of the promoted teams from division 1 to the Georgia Premier Division and can take advantage of all the opportunities this brings to a club like this.

Pre-College DA were are in a similar boat as fellow division 1 colleagues LGSA U17 in that they are in no position to challenge for a Group title, but still were in full preparation mode for the season with players playing for their places and also an opportunity to perform a “Giant Killing” against Premier Division opposition.

There would be watching eyes on Eleven Sports Network from Bolivia in South America where the legendary team Club The Strongest is based. The Atlantic Soccer Media Group were broadcasting this game live as their “Focus Match of the Week” so the festivities began for an exciting match of soccer.

Pre-College DA got us underway and right away you could see that both teams came in with a high energy approach as the pace of the match was quick from kick off. Pre-College, a team out of Augusta and part of the Augusta United FC club, had players that were wanting to impress to put themselves in contention for a Premier Division spot on the senior team. This may have been an influence as the early minutes belonged to Pre-College as they probed early for a possibly quick advantage.

The Strongest ATL held “strong” however and Pre-College’s early advantage was quelled and The Strongest ATL then got on top in the game. A sort of sparring back and forth continued from there until the 32nd minute when The Strongest ATL broke the deadlock.

Good approach from the right wing produced a low cross to unmarked Sam Roe in the middle of the box and he made no mistake as he put the ball in the back of the net for a 1-0 advantage to Club The Strongest ATL.

Just 5 minutes later, The Strongest wrestled possession from Pre-College in the midfield and after a couple of passes, found Krishna Clarke just outside the penalty area who turned, lost his defender, and drove a powerful low shot past the goal keeper and into the bottle left far corner of the net. 2-0 now and The Strongest ATL growing in control and confidence.

A third for The Strongest ATL was a moment of brilliance as a short pass to Krishna Clarke in the box was redirected by Clarke with a back heel shot. The back heel deceived his defender and the Pre-College keeper and the ball rolled in for 3-0 lead right on the stroke of half time.

In the second half, The Strongest’s dominance continued when on 48 minutes, Sam Roe got his 2nd and The Strongest’s 4th when a hard low cross from the right wing found Roe in the middle of the box, again, unmarked and was able to hammer home a 4th for The Strongest ATL.

Later in the half, Roe would complete a hat-trick for himself when he scored The Strongest ATL’s fifth. A long cross to the right side of the field lead to Roe making space for himself to receive a pass from which he one timed to the far post and into the back of the net. This made the score 5-0 and put the competitive phase of the game to rest, but Pre-College still had something to say in the match.

In the dying minutes of the game, Pre-College were still pressing for something out of this match and on 82 minutes, they would get it. Addison Keja found himself in possession just inside the final attacking third and took a shot toward goal that seemed more of a hope and prayer than having a chance. However the ball came in awkwardly for The Strongest keeper and he got it all wrong when trying to collect the ball and fumbled it into his own net.

This gave the consolation goal that Pre-College DA was looking for toward the end of the match. But that would be it as Club The Strongest ATL ran out 5-1 winners to close out their first ever Georgia Regional Cup competition in 2nd place in the Group. Next for each of these clubs will be the marathon that is the UPSL Spring Season to commence on March 26th.

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