Match Reporter Kurtis Krzyzanowski (Twitter: @KurtisKrzyzano2)
The road to the Georgia Division Playoff Final has not been without its share of ups and downs for both sides in today’s match up and it all comes down to this! #2 seed, Atlanta United U-19s facing defending Georgia division champions and #1 seed Kalonji Pro-Profile in the UPSL Georgia Division Playoff Final.
Golden Boot winner, Pro-Profile’s Anthony Sumo, starts todays fixture on the bench, which some can only describe as a controversial decision from the manager Bruno Kalonji. Pro-Profile come into todays’ game having scored an immense 47 goals in their last 10 games, compared to Atlanta United Academy’s 34 goals, one of those Pro-Profile victories a 11-0 onslaught against relegation victims, Savannah Clovers FC in their last fixture of the season.
The Match: Referee Demianchuk Sergii got the game underway as Atlanta United Academy got the ball rolling starting the game with immense pressure on the Kalonji defense. Pro-Profile started to get a bit more involved which can only be described as an aggressive opening 10 minutes. But it was Atlanta United’s Academy who came close to taking the lead in the first 10 minutes with a shot safely scooped up by the Pro-Profile’s goalkeeper, Josh Lloyd. It was early doors and Atlanta Academy already showing their vigorous youth, and speed, which at times had Pro-Profile on the back foot.
Another critical chance for United was a free kick 19 yards out midway in the half, however the ball was curled into the wall, and cleared away from danger by the rock like Pro-Profile defenders. Pro-Profile still were showing some good spells in the opening 45, but failing to be as clinical with their final ball as we’ve seen them within recent months.
GOAL: The breakthrough! Pro-Profile take the lead with a stunning run into the area from Patrick Okonkwo as he split the United defense and struck into the goalkeepers far post for 1-0 Pro-Profile advantage on 29 minutes. At this point, things started to simmer down, with Pro-Profile dictating the pace and refusing to give up the lead despite United’s best efforts to find an equalizer.
The first half drew to a close with Kalonji Pro-Profile taking a vital lead into the second half, with everything left to play for.
Pro-Profile got the ball rolling in the second half, but it was Atlanta United who started the more lively of the two, with a United shot finding the centre of the goalkeepers far post and deflecting into danger but the rebounded strike found the keepers arms. Kalonji strike back with a shot taking a deflection, spilled by the goalkeeper but good reactions from United defense quickly got the ball to safety.
Another opportunity saw United receive a free kick on the edge of the box as the hour mark drew near, but the ball gets headed away to safety with Pro-Profile maintaining their narrow lead. The final 20 minutes of the fixture is not without its share of action as both sides showed how much this fixture means to them. But ultimately it’s Kalonji Pro-Profile who walk away with the victory, and the Georgia Division Playoff Title, 2 seasons in a row.
With this, Pro-Profile now qualify to move on to the round of 32 of the United Premier Soccer League (UPSL) National Playoffs and a chance to collect on part of a $40,000 purse for those that make it into the final rounds of the tournament.
Pro-Profile’s next opponent will be the Expedition Division Champion, Iturbide FC in a match that will be played in Tennessee in January of 2022.