Author: dregose9

2022 Regional Cup Final: Limeño Georgia vs Limeño U20

The first ever UPSL Georgia Regional Cup Final was going to be decided by a Limeño Derby. Premier Division’s Limeño Georgia would face up against Limeño U20 in a match that would decide the Cup title for 2022 Spring. The road for both teams turned out to be a very entertaining and telling path to the Final.

Limeño Georgia’s path to the final included a strong 7-1 victory against a very young LGSA U17, a 2-2 draw with a FC Matata squad returning back to the Georgia Premier Division after one season off. Then Limeño finally clenched a final appearance with a 3-0 victory over a strong Augusta United FC team which would earn them as favorites in the finals for the cup title.

Limeño U20, which is an academy of Limeño Georgia, had an impressive path to the final as a division 1 team. It was always going to be difficult to progress in a group with 2 Premier Division teams in it, but the young U20s from Limeño did just that. First came a 3-2 victory over new, fellow division 1 team, Pre-College DA where they had to hang on for victory. Then a shock, upset victory over newly promoted Premier Division team, Club The Strongest Atlanta by the score of 5-2. Lastly, ending their group games with a 0-0 draw with another Premier Division team, Potros FC.

So, a great advertisement for the Limeño soccer academy that both the cup finalist hail from the same coaching sources and academy. But what kind of cup final will this produce? The U20s will want to impress and influence their stock for the 1st team and the Premier side will want to show they are 1st team for a reason. So bragging rights will drive this encounter on the day to round out preparations for the Spring 2022 UPSL season.

The match started with a typical sparring between the 2 sides as each waited for the other to settle. This created a sort of stalemate early on as neither side grabbed the advantage and much of the play ended up in the middle of the park. This played well for the underdog U20s who kept things even with possibly an idea to hit hard on the break.

Limeño Georgia began to get more of the possession as the half went on but could not break down the resilience of the U20s back line defenders. But that doesn’t mean that the U20s were hanging on. The U20s had their own serious attacking threats and came close to scoring on a few occasions. Despite this entertaining back and forth, neither team could score, and the teams went into the half still at 0-0.

The 2nd half would bring about the breakthrough that would change the match. The back and forth from the first half continued in the 2nd with the Premier Side getting the better possession. The U20 still were battling toe-to-toe for their own foot hold in the match but the first goal would come on 63 minutes for the Premier division side.

In a magnificent move, Geo Rios collected a long clearance in the midfield then worked his way up the left side carving his way toward center. Rios then played a one-two pass with Marcos Tobar who laid the return pass back to Rios which gave him an opportunity to blast home past the keeper for a 1-0 lead in the match. It would be the breakthrough that changed the match.

Now the urgency would be with the U20s who had to step up their attacking game to try to get back in the match. The chances did come for the U20s but the finishing didn’t. Coming close on a number of occasions brought promises of an equalizer, but Limeño would hold firm in defense. Then somewhat of a back breaker came on 87 minutes.

After good approach play from Saul Tinoco, a through pass to Mateo Alverado produced a shot what elicited a good save from the U20 keeper, but his parry ended up in the path of Gio Rios who again slotted home to give Limeño Georgia the insurance goal and a 2-0 lead very late in the match.

Now, the U20s could only hope for a late consultation after a great effort on the day, but it would be Limeño Georgia with the final clincher deep in added on time and it would be a beauty. The move started with Alexis Aguilar in possession who squared a ball to Geo Rios. Rios quickly saw Saul Tinoco loosely marked and put in a through ball which resulting in Tinoco curling a shot from distance into the top right corner for the 3-0 lead for Limeño. It would be the goal of the match from Tinoco fed in by Man-of-the-Match, Geo Rios.

The whistle would then blow shortly afterward, and Limeño Georgia would celebrate a historic Cup victory as the first ever UPSL Georgia Regional Cup Champion. However, it’s also a statement from Limeño Soccer Academy that their 2 team bested all others to earn an opportunity to play for the Cup title setting an example for other teams in both divisions.

There will be another Regional Cup in the summer for this intra-season competition. This Cup gives teams a chance to prepare for the regular season in a higher pressure and competitive way than just with pre-season friendlies. The competition also gives new and interested teams a chance to match playing talent with teams they will soon compete against in the regular season.

Next up for all 8 teams that competed in this competition is the start of both the Premier Division and Division 1 seasons on March 26.

 

 

 

Regional Cup: Augusta United FC vs Limeño Georgia

In what could be described as a Cup Group Title Decider, Augusta United FC and Limeño Georgia matched up against one another. The winner would decide which of the two would go on to play in the Regional Cup Final next week against Limeño U20. United were in the better position after winning their first 2 group games sitting on 6 points while Limeño had come in having won and tied a game which put them at 4 points.

Limeño would need to win in order to make it to the final but United would only have to draw to earn a trip to the Cup Final. These 2 Premier Division teams will also be expecting to challenge for honors in the regular season and a Cup trophy at this stage of preparation would be the perfect spring board to a successful season.

The match itself started in a frenetic pace as both clubs immediately went after one another with Augusta United getting the better early chances. As the half continued on, a sort of stalemate developed with each side having few opportunities and both defensive thirds managing to stifle all probing attacks thrown at them. The two teams seemed evenly matched on evidence from this half.

The 2nd half would start much the way the first half ended with Augusta having a higher ratio of chances but with no real reward. Limeño’s tiki-taki style of play would be a foundation to the breakthrough for them in the match.

On 54 minutes, Limeño’s creative possession led to an attack down the right wing that produced a waist high cross to a waiting Saul Tinoco standing in front of goal completely unmarked. Tinoco got a free volley into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead and important advantage in the match.

This was the goal that Limeño needed to impose more influence on the match. Augusta now need to score to keep their Cup Final hopes alive but this hope would be harmed just 3 minutes later when Limeño scored again.

After Augusta had lost possession in the midfield with an errand pass collected by Limeño. The Limeño player had plenty of space and time picked out his right winger with a cross field pass to release captain Geo Rios with a move inside. Rios then split to Augusta defenders before burying a shot from inside the penalty area, beyond the reach of the Augusta keeper Ethan Ratliff, for a devastating 2-0 lead near the midway point of the 2nd half.

This goal changed the complexion of the match where there was now a goal cushion for Limeño which means that Augusta would now have to press to try to score 2 goals to get them back level. Limeño would know this and could try to stifle Augusta further to prevent them from chasing the game.

Time did become a factor as wave after wave of Augusta attack was countered with a strong back line of Limeño and the continued threat from Limeño with their own attack. This method of play from Limeño brought about another breakthrough in the match that effectively sealed the victory for them.

Good possession from Limeño found them effectively move forward ending with a fantastic through-ball that split the Augusta back line and released an attacking Limeño player who found himself one on one against Ratliff in goal to reach the pass. The Limeño player got to the ball a split second before Ratliff and unfortunately for the Augusta keeper, brought down the attacking player for a called penalty.

Veteran forward, Marcos Tobar, stepped up and calmly converted the penalty, putting Ratliff off in the wrong direction, to give Limeño what would then seem an unreachable lead with less than 20 minutes remaining in the match.

If Augusta was going to get back in this game, they would need to score quickly and pressure from there, but Limeño were well behind the ball now soaking up pressure and still hitting on the break. Try as they did, Augusta could not break down the Limeño defense.

There were some frantic encounters between the 2 sides late that earned players form both sides a fair amount of yellow cards from referee Horacio Olivera, but control was maintained. The final whistle finally blew after 5 minutes of added time to give Limeño Georgia the 3-0 victory and birth in the first ever UPSL Georgia Regional Cup Final. They will be facing Limeño U20 which effectively will be a Limeño Derby Final and bragging rights from the team from north Georgia.

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.

Regional Cup: Augusta United FC vs LGSA U17

This match would be the 3rd match on the day in the Georgia Regional Cup and only the 2nd match of the Cup for Augusta United FC due to a 1st group week postponement between them and Limeño Georgia. Augusta’s opponent on the day would be the young LGSA U17 team who are new to the UPSL and will be playing the spring season in Georgia Division 1.

United would be heavily favored against the inexperienced U17 team but that is the magic of a Cup competition. You can have relative minnows matching up with a chance to slay a giant which Limeño U20 have already accomplished earlier in the day by being a division 1 team to win Group B with 2 Premier division teams in it.

LGSA U17 were in no position to win the Group A, but could have a say in who does with any type of result against Augusta today. Augusta on the other hand have a chance to go clear to the summit of Group A with a victory with Limeño Georgia already drawing on the day against FC Matata. Limeño Georgia being their next opponent in the Cup for the last group weekend match.

As expected, the well disciplined and coached United took command of the game from kick off. Controlling possession and closing down the U17s and not allowing them to breath on the ball. This early dominance was rewarded with a beautifully executed goal from a long ball over the top and a one touch volley by Samuel Danner to put United in front after only 12 minutes.

The lead was doubled in the 28th minute from Jason Redmond Jr when a good run up the left wing by Nicholas Cenek resulted in a low cross from which Redmond was able to tap in from inside the 6 yard box for the 2-0 advantage for United.

Only moments later and it was 3-0. Possession from the left side outside the box produced a cross toward goal from which the U17 goalkeeper reached but could only parry into the path of a waiting Ethan Smith and LGSA U17 found themselves with an mountain to climb having not produced any attacking threats up to this point.

It would get worst for the U17s just before the break when penalty call allowed Nicholas Cenek to coolly step up to convert and it was 4-0 going into the break.

After the break, a 2nd penalty was converted by Niall Monahan and at 5-0, the U17s would really be looking for a consolation goal before the end of the match as their new goal. But it was United that held all the cards and on 60 minutes, they had a 6th. Redmond again found the back of the net from a spectacular header from a in-swinging free kick. Some argued that this should have been one of the “Goals Of The Week” when Redmond jumped higher than anyone else to head in and gave no chance to the U17 keeper.

Augusta capped off the route 2 minutes later when LGSA U17 lost all defensive discipline while trying to pass out of their own defensive third only to pass the ball almost to a shocked and waiting Oliver Mercado who made no mistake when his one touch slotted home for an Augusta 7th. This cemented victory and sprang Augusta United to the Group A summit with one game to play in the group stage.

It was a heavy defeat for LGSA U17 but a learning one as well. One of the reasons for the U17s being in this Cup competition was to play top opponents and prepare for the Spring season. It will speed the development of these young players as they look for a pathway to higher levels of play in their young careers.

Augusta United FC are also in the process of preparing for the season but also have a real chance at Cup glory being perfect so far in the Cup. Now only a single group game remains for them against Group A rivals, Limeño Georgia, with the match now being virtually a playoff game with the potential winner earning their place in the Cup Final on March 5th, at 3:00pm at South Gwinnett Park.

Regional Cup: Potros FC vs Limeño U20

The second game of the day in the 2022 Spring Georgia Regional Cup would pit Premier Division’s Potros FC against Division 1 opposition, Limeño U20. Already with a Premier division team scalp taken after a shock victory over Club The Strongest ATL and a 1st group week victory over new boys Pre-College DA, Limeño U20 were in the driver’s seat needing only a draw to advance to the final.

Potros on the other hand were in a must-win situation sitting on 3 points after 2 games and needing to win today and hope that a goal difference advantage would give them the edge to get on to the Final pending other results.

When crunch time comes for teams in a Cup competition like this one, nerves can affect play. Hesitation and desire not to make mistakes can curb attacking instincts and for these clubs there might have been a bit of that as play started.

Early on, it was Limeño U20 with the bulk of possession though there was no early threat on the Potros goal. For Potros, they seemed to wait for their moment, soaking up the pressure and carefully looking for an opening to take possession and punch through to threaten the U20 side.

This cat and mouse continued through the 1st half and the game stayed level at 0-0 as the half-time whistle blew. The 2nd half would be similar but the urgency would become apparent, especially for Potros.

Potros got us kicked off for the 2nd half and immediately pushed forward in an attempt impose themselves on Limeño U20 and possibly grab an early 2nd half goal. But try as they might, they just could not put together a cohesive attack to take advantage of their new attacking surge in the half.

The U20s looked to be content to now soak up the pressure and hit Potros on the break knowing that a draw would be enough for them. This proved to be an effective tactic as the half drew on and Potros became more desperate to make the breakthrough.

Both teams came close to scoring at times in the half and the neutral would have thought that a single goal would be the decider in a toe to toe match like this.

Time was not on Potros side and the lack of a decisive attacking punch doomed them to share a point on the day as time ran out and the match ended scoreless confirming Limeño U20 as the group winner on 7 points. Limeño U20 now have confirmed their place in the Georgia Regional Cup Final to be played on March 5th at the same venue, South Gwinnett Park in Snellville Georgia, 3:00PM.

It was am impressive run for Limeño U20 getting results against 2 Premier Division teams and a decisive victory over another division 1 team. Now the chance to go on and possibly make history in the UPSL by challenging for the 1st ever Georgia Regional Cup trophy and doing so as a division 1 team. The term “Giant Killer” would be appropriate here if they were to pull off the upset.

 

 

Regional Cup: FC Matata vs Limeño Georgia

In this final group stage game for FC Matata, it was a must win situation. With their heavy loss the previous weekend to fellow Premier Division team Augusta United FC, Matata found themselves in a high pressure position to win against another Premier Division team in order to have any chance of making final of the Cup.

Limeño Georgia, however have a game in hand due to a postponement of their 1st group game match which meant that they would not want to drop points either. Limeño’s next match is against Augusta United FC, originally scheduled for that 1st weekend of the Cup. Augusta would also play later in the day and also have a game in hand.

So the stage was set for a slew of high pressurised matches on the day with Matata and Limeño getting us kicked off for a full day of Cup action.

The first half was a nervy affair as both teams had difficulty settling and much of the action was in the middle of the park. Both sides showed flashes of quality but neither could get the advantage and both teams went into the break all even with no score.

The 2nd half gave us more action in attack from both teams but it would be Limeño with the breakthrough. Within the first 5 minutes of the restart, Limeño won a corner kick and took position to attack from there. An in-swinger came in eluding the Matata keeper and went into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.

Shortly after that goal, Limeño extended their lead when a foul in the box earned them a penalty. It was also a red card for the Matata player who gave the infraction which put Matata down to 10 men for the remainder of the game. The penalty was converted and Limeño now had a valuable 2-0 lead putting Matata on the edge of elimination from the Cup.

But this seemed to be a spark from Matata as they now found their attacking stroke and were more threatening even playing a man down. This new attacking spirit was awarded with a fantastic goal from Blake White who drilled in a long range shot form outside the box to bring Matata back into the match at 2-1.

Moments later, from a corner, the in-swinging cross was met by the head of Jean Malilo who jumped higher than his defender and put in an unstoppable header into the top corner of the goal, bringing the game level at 2-2 late in the 2nd half.

Though Matata had now gone level, the current score still favored Limeño who would still be in contention in the group with a draw. It was now up to Matata to keep pushing forward for a winner and a slight chance to advance pending results in the other group match.

Try as they could though, Limeño were able to hold on to the 2-2 result keeping them in contention with one game to play against Augusta United FC. United would go on to win later in the day putting them top of Group A. Next game for Limeño is Augusta United FC in what is going to amount to a playoff type of game where the winner will advance to the Cup Final, but a draw would favor Augusta.

Regional Cup: FC Matata vs Augusta United FC

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.

Regional Cup: Pre-College DA vs Potros FC

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.

 

 

 

Regional Cup: Limeño Georgia vs LGSA U17

This was our first look at a Limeño derby with a very young LGSA U17, new  to division one, matching up against a very experienced Limeño Georgia Premier division squad. Limeño come into the Cup against the U17s as their first match of the tournament. Limeño would be heavily favored and would show their metal just 4 minutes into the match when they took an early lead.

Good approach play from Limeño released Marcos Tabor who weaved past a LGSA defender before firing into the back of the net for an early 1-0 lead to Limeño.  A mere 5 minutes later, LGSA equalized through Rene Rodezno to keep them in sight of the dominate Limeño at this early time in the half.

From that point though, Limeño showed their attacking quality with a goal on 13 minutes from Sheik Fofana and 2 minutes later from Kevin Lopez to give Limeño a 3-1 halftime lead. The second half would bring more of the same dominance from Limeño.

Sheik Fofana kept up his attacking prowess with 2 more goals to complete his hattrick and goals added from Alexandre Silva on 80 minutes and a forth from Sheik Fofana completed the 7-1 rout. Even though Limeño had only played the single game in the group stage, they have gone top of Group A on goal difference with 2 group games to play.

Regional Cup: Club The Strongest ATL vs Limeño GA U20

Division One’s Limeño U20 shot to the top of Group B of the 2022 UPSL Georgia Regional Cup after a comprehensive, upset victory over newly promoted Premier Division side, Club The Strongest ATL. Both teams came into this match after 1st week wins in the group to put them in prime position to challenge for 1st place in the group. Winning the group will qualify them for the Regional Cup Final set for March 5th.

Right from the kick off, Limeño U20 took charge with the majority of possession which game them more opportunity to threaten in the attack. This early control allowed them the first breakthrough in the match when The Strongest lost possession that contributed to a clean counter attack from Limeño U20. This attack found Christian Suazo running past The Strongest back line defenders where he slotted home for an early 1-0 lead in the first half.

A 2nd goal from Suazo followed close to the half time break on an eerily similar break only this time, Suazo latched on to a long clearance from his goalkeeper and then proceeded to beat 2 Strongest defenders and the keeper after gaining control of the long ball directed toward goal.

Limeño U20 went into the break leading 2-0 and would extend that lead 69 minutes into the 2nd half. A penalty call by referee Ethan Bruns led to Oscar Avila confidently converting to give the Division 1 side a shock 3-0 lead.  The Strongest, up to this point, had yet to show any conviction to start to chip away at that lead but just 3 minutes later The Strongest would do just that.

Another penalty call, this time for the benefit of The Strongest gave the opportunity for a turnaround from the spot. Krishna Clarke stepped up and fired an unstoppable shot into the top right of the goal to grab a goal back for The Strongest.

Though this brought the score to 3-1, Limeno did not look to relinquish control of the match and on 83 minutes it got worse for The Strongest. A long freekick arched it’s way into the box where an unmarked Oscar Avila was allowed room and space from The Strongest defenders who in this case had a wooden quality about them. Avila simply fired a low shot under the keeper for his 2nd on the day and a commanding 4-1 lead for Limeño U20 with virtually no time left for The Strongest.

Despite the lateness of the match, Krishna Clarke got his 2nd of the match when he converted a consolation penalty to cut the lead to 4-2 on 86 minutes. But the scoring was not done yet.

Limeño U20 cemented their dominance with a 5th goal just a minute after the penalty from Clarke almost directly from the restart. A long past forward found a U20 winger on the right side of the box who one timed a low cross to a waiting Oscar Avila who tapped in his hattrick while all alone in the 6 yard box with The Strongest defenders all looking at each other in a bit of shock.

An end to an unusual match and one of the biggest upsets of the day with Limeño U20 now taking an important lead in Group B with only one more game in the group stage. The Strongest still have an opportunity but will need help from Potros FC next week and win their own game again Pre-College DA in order to have any chance at winning the group.