[UPSL GEORGIA FEATURE MATCH OF THE WEEK]
by Kurtis Krzyzanowski
The featured match of the week in the UPSL Georgia Division saw FC Matata take on Potros FC at Silverbacks Stadium, in Doraville Georgia. FC Matata went with a 4-3-3 formation, with plenty of attacking choices, whilst Potros choose a 5-3-2 formation giving them more defensive options. Potros are looking for their first points of the season as a new team in the division, but it won’t be easy against a Matata side with so much attacking emphasis.
Potros started off strongly getting their 5 defenders behind the ball to soak up early Matata pressure. Matata were on the front foot in the early going but unable to crack the solid defensive posture of the Potros back-line.
GOAL: However, Matata did open the scoring 6 minutes into the first half. Potros keeper Christopher Uranga tries to clear the ball but only landing it at the feet of Lionel Touroude who races past 3 defenders and slots it past the keeper. An ideal start for FC Matata with Potros needing to find some inspiration to get back into the game.
Potros restarted the game looking a little bit more lively. Creating chances and getting more players to attack the ball. Looks to be the response they were aiming for early on, but the question would be whether or not they can turn these chances into goals.
GOAL: The breakthrough would come to Potros shortly later. Potros win a corner which swings in meeting the head of captain, Benjamin Uranga. Uranga, was given space for a free header plowing the ball into the net giving Potros the equalizer they’ve been trying so hard to get.
Both sides started to look strong as the game got back underway. Matata strike the ball well forcing the keeper to make a save landing the ball at the feet of the Matata forward who misses from just a few feet out. Shortly after that, Matata receives a free kick on the edge of the box which Lionel Touroude steps up to take but lofts the ball just over the crossbar.
GOAL: Half an hour played and Matata go 2-1 ahead. The ball gets lifted into the box, the goalkeeper comes off his line to catch the ball but misses entirely and a scramble in the 6 yard box leads to a goal from Matata’s Touroude for his 2nd of the match, despite handball shouts from Potros defenders. It’s difficult to make heads or tails of what happened, but it appears the Potros defender cleared the ball into his own net but Touroude was given credit for the Matata goal.
The half time whistle sounds as Matata go in 2-1 ahead from a brilliantly worked goal from Touroude and a defensive blunder. Both sides look to be evenly matched and Potros have had their fair share of chances to keep things close.
GOAL: Matata get the second half underway but it’s Potros who score instantaneously. Brilliantly worked play to make the goal. The ball comes in through a low cross and lands at the feet of an unmarked Amadou Kora who taps the ball into the back of the net equalizing for Potros, but it’s the build up which makes the goal such a sight to see.
Scary moment 52 minutes in as Matata goalkeeper Douglas Corvera clashes with his defender and takes to be what looks like a kick to his midriff leaving both players the floor after mis-communication in an attempt to clear the ball. Corvera gets up and looks to be okay, but his team-mate still lay on the pitch before getting up and continuing with the game.
Potros earn a free kick just under the hour mark but fail to make it past the wall, only seconds before Potros try to go ahead through a well placed header but Corvera makes a wonderful save to deny Potros a third. Matata looking in trouble here as the second half is dominated by Potros FC.
15 minutes from time, both sides look to be slowing down. Potros still pushing forward but are struggling to create dangerous chances but it’s Matata who come close to scoring next. A throw in finds its way to a Matata forward at an awkward position where he strikes the ball towards the far post, just going wide and out for a goal kick.
PENALTY: Moments later, Matata are fouled in the box which leads to the referee pointing to the penalty spot. Far from a difficult decision for the referee as Potros captain Benjamin Uranga wipes out the Matata player as he ran into the area with the ball.
Captain Touroude picks the ball up but hands it to Ade Adeniji Faud to attempt the conversion. Because of Touroude’s recent comeback from injury, he may have made the decision to give the opportunity to Ade to attempt the conversion even though Touroude was on a hattrick. Ade strikes the ball confidently to his bottom left sending the keeper the wrong way.
Potros wins a late corner that leads to a foul and a free kick to Matata. Potros didn’t look short of ideas, but did look short of execution. Matata putting lots of pressure to try and see the game out and take all 3 points just moments from the 90th minute.
GOAL: However, there is late drama at the end of the second half. Potros receive a free kick deep in the Matata half which leads to a short ball and a strike which should land into the keepers hands, but the goalkeeper who made a great save earlier in the second half drops the ball to the feet of Potros captain, Benjamin Uranga who taps the ball into the back of the net for a late equalizer. Uranga more than making up for his mistake which lead to the Matata penalty. You have to feel for the goalkeeper here as it looked to be a comfortable save, but turned out anything but.
Potros not looking complacent with a draw as they continue to apply pressure, play the ball into the box and get behind the ball in an attempt to steal all 3 points. Potros get their chance late in injury time with a late free kick in a dangerous position just outside the penalty area. Matata fighting for their lives here with what surely must be the last kick of the game. Good effort with the free kick but just sails inches over the crossbar for a Matata goal kick.
Matata with a late chance as they find themselves in a 1 on 1 position but the referee pulls back play for offside. The final whistle would blow seconds later.
Full Time here at Silverbacks Stadium. Matata 3-3 Potros. (see full match on Mycujoo below)