Author: Marvin Walters

Forest Rovers FC Hold Seas Jamaica United to a 1-1 Draw

Seas Jamaica FC were held to a 1-1 draw by an experienced Forest Rovers FC side looking for their first point of the season. With this result, Seas is already losing ground in the UPSL summit race to leaders Atletico Atlanta. But there is still a lot of soccer to play in the season.

A well-timed finish from Andrew Tanner gave the visitors the lead in the 27th minute but Seas Jamaica FC found a way back into the game when Adeola Oke leveled with a toe poke from a tight spot early in the second half. Both sides had chances to take all three points, with Seas Jamaica forward Cameron Grassmyer broke free one and one with the keeper on two occasions, while Forest Rovers striker Erasmus Freeman was thwarted by side netting. Forest Rovers substitute Mahmoud Tassiak had a last-gasp chance to win the game when he made a darting run in the box and fell to ground after a firm challenge by Seas Jamaica’s defender Kofe Yanke but his penalty appeal was waved off by the referee.

Substitute Calos Sevellion came on in the second half and immediately made his presence felt by setting up Freeman but he failed to wrap his foot around the ball to get a clean strike. Forest Rovers were heavily pressured late in the second and must thank the Alvarado in goal to walk away with a point. Forest Rover head coach Donald Schmidt said, “The boys were excited to play against Seas Jamaica they are a very strong team, however, we stuck to our game plan to offset them in the first half because we know how tough they are in the second half, luckily we got that all important goal, and we are happy with a point”.

Tyrese Powell picked out George Rodriguez with pinpoint accuracy whose towering header brought out an impeccable save by Eduado in goal who palmed it away for a corner. The resulting corner kick this time found an unmarked Rodriguez who headed wide of the gaping goal. Try as hard as they did, neither team could break the deadlock.

This seemed a game of two halves and Seas Jamaica clearly had a better second half and arguably could have pulled out the win comfortably but for some poor finishing. However, Forest Rovers net minder player\manager, Eddie Alvarado, had other plans with some acrobatic saves to keep his side in the game. “We started well but our opponents had studied us well, they put everyone behind the ball and tried to hit us on the break and it’s not a huge surprise we couldn’t win, this is usually a fixture we have handled well hence why we are a little disappointed, but we will fix it “ said Seas Jamaica head coach David Largie.

The draw now sees both team without a win since the start of the season with Seas Jamaica FC in 7th and Forest Rovers in 8th place. Although early doors, Seas Jamaica, last year’s beaten finalist, now finding life difficult without the services of last year’s golden boot winner Akinni James who now plies his trade with Atletico Atlanta. Grassmyer was brought in to fill his shoes but “those shoes are difficult to fill” bemoaned Seas head coach David Largie.

Both teams will be in action this weekend, Forest Rovers FC plays at home to Club Atletic who are yet to play a game this season while Seas Jamaica plays at home to second place LSA Limeño.

GURU@pithside

 

 

Atlanta Elephants FC Record Their First Win In A Seven Goal Thriller

Atlanta Elephants FC pulled off an exciting 3-4 victory over Potros FC in the Georgia Premier Division of the United Premier Soccer League on Saturday afternoon. In a match played at Silverbacks’ Park, Potros’ Marc Bineau put the home team ahead before Elephants’ Moustapha Dante equalized and turned the tie on its head.

Manuel Carrillo sent Potros back in front early in the second half. However, moments later Potros were pegged back by Elephants’ captain Alpha Balde. Elephants’ Franck Dibi thought he had scored the winner after putting the visitors ahead with two minutes left in regular time, but Potros’ Carrillo had other plans to spoil the party as he made it 3-3 heading into stoppage time.

Elephants’ Dibi eventually scored the winner with his second of the game and his team’s fourth with the last kick of the game to ensure they walked away with all 3 points. The result sees Elephants FC climb to 3rd in the league table, a point behind 1st place Atletico Atlanta with more games coming later in the day and the following day. For the moment, Elephants’ were level on points with FC Matata, though Matata had a game in hand.

In recap, the game which started off slowly but picked up in the 6th minute when Elephants’ Leandre Beh made a careless back pass to his keeper Lionel Sakoue which put him in a situation that ended with him pulling down Potros striker Marc Bineau in the box for a called penalty. Bineau brushed himself off, stepped up and calmly slotted the penalty home for an early 1-0 lead for Potros FC. The goal brought the game to life for both teams.

An entertaining match between 2 attack minded teams

In the 11th minute a nice passage of slick give-and-go passes between Romual Tchouta, Moussa Sissoko and Alpha Balde saw them get a shot off that came very close. Potros Gabriel Koziel do Carmo, a high school senior from Brazil, was their youngest player last season and so far has the only goal for the team this season.

Koziel do Carmo is clearly a great talent on the horizon and was heavily involved in a move that forced Chris Atipo to make a last ditched tackle to deny Rodrigo Feitosa a scoring chance in the 16th minute of play. A minute later the momentum swung the opposite direction this time Atipo was teed up nicely by Sissoko who pulled the trigger from 20 yards to bring out a miraculous save from Potros’ goalkeeper Jorge Valdovinos.

The coach of Atlanta Elephants, Zana Soro, continued to echo instructions from the sideline urging his team to play higher up the pitch. That instruction paid off in the 28th minute when Moustapha Dante collected a cheeky return pass at the edge of the box to fire home to bring the score level at 1-1. The sparsely seated spectators, due to COVID-19 restrictions, cheered on the Elephants as they enjoyed the lion’s share of possession heading into the half time break. The half ended 1-1 setting up an interesting second half.

Potros coach Christopher Uranga ruffled the feathers of his team during the half time break. This paid dividends immediately on the resumption of the second half as Bineau collected a ball out wide and played a sublime through ball to Carrillo who opens his body and stroked home expertly to make it 2-1 in the 46th minute. With the game well and truly brought to life, those who were in attendance could not take their eyes off the match fearing they might just miss a goal.

Atipo a “cut above the rest” was at the center of the action again as he collected a pull back from the right side, but his ferocious shot went agonizingly high and wide in the 50th minute.

Potros came under tremendous pressure after finding the go-ahead goal and eventually surrendered their lead in the 60th minute. Atipo’s corner kick fell awkwardly on the hand of Rodrigo Feitosa in the box, the referee did not skip a beat before pointing to the spot for penalty to Elephants. Captain Fantastic Balde took the responsibility, “as cool as you like” when he wrong-footed the Potros’ keeper to make it 2-2.

Atipo was clearly the crowd’s favorite as they cheered each time he caressed the ball and to every pass he made. He went close to breaking the deadlock in the 79th minute after collecting a no-look back pass from Potros FC Feitosa and left the on-rushing custodian Valdovinos in his wake, but his powerhouse shot went wide to the right.

With 10 minutes to go, the game seemed set for a draw, however, there was a twist to this tale. Two minutes from time, Elephants’ Dante gave Diallo a well weighted pass which he refiled home from close range leaving the hapless Potros’ goalkeeper on his bottom.

As the seconds ticked away, the entire Elephant’s bench was on their feet waiting for the final whistle but to their surprise, Potros’ Carrillo moved in with a clever little flick to give himself space to unleash a thunderbolt to level up things 3 goals apiece very late in the contest. That seemed to seal things for a draw in the match which was already late in stoppage time.

Like sands though the hourglass, so was drama at the death in time added on. The young Potros’ goalkeeper Valdovinos brashly charged into Elephants’ Dante in what some might have said was a dive from Dante, but the referee, after consulting with his assistant referee, pointed to the spot for the called infraction. Dibi eventually whipped home the resulting penalty to make it 3-4. Both teams traded ‘football punches‘ for the 90 minutes leaving the jubilant spectators satisfied with a exhilarating contest.

Next up, Potros FC plays away to Atletico Atlanta next Saturday, while Atlanta Elephants FC plays at home to Rovers FC on Sunday.

 

New Comers Rovers FC Blank FC Stone Mountain Granites 2-0

The last match of a triple header Sunday at South Gwinnett Park put debutante Atlanta Rovers FC against The Granites of FC Stone Mountain. Rovers FC recorded a victory in their first ever United Premier Soccer League match, as they pulled off a surprise 2-0 win over a youthful but seasoned campaigner in FC Stone Mountain. Peter Martinez sent the visitors ahead in the 35th minute while Nick Bell made the three points safe in the 65th minute.

The tricky, twinkle toes Peter Martinez opened the scoring in the 35th minute after capitalizing on an error from young goalkeeper Evatt Graham. Graham was left with his head hung low in embarrassment after collecting cleanly a header towards goal from Pablo Luque from a well taken free kick, but in a bid to restart the game quickly he accidentally throws the ball in the back of his defender which then fell kindly to Martinez to pounce and slot home from close range in a gaping goal-mouth.

Rovers FC held the Granites in their first ever UPSL match.

Striker Nicholas Bell doubled the lead 20 minutes into the second half. A comedy of errors in defense allowed an unmarked Bell to rifle home a thunderbolt from inside the box, his first of the season and the second for Rovers FC.

FC Stone Mountain Granites, though 2-0 down, decided to mount a fight back and looked for a penalty call in the 70th minute when Dami Oyenuga was brought down theatrically in the box but his appeal was agonizingly waved on by referee.

The Granites dominated the final quarter of the game stringing together some nice slick passes however, the chances were far and few in between.

Both teams now turn their attention to their match-week 2 games where, Rovers FC will have a real test at home facing division and national champions, Atletico Atlanta at the Coca-Cola field at Silverback’s Park and FC Stone Mountain will play away to LSA Limeño who’s game against Kalonji Pro-Profile on the day was postponed.