VaHi ATLetic FC WINS HOME OPENER WITH AUTHORITY!
GOAL SCORER (ASSIST):
2-0 (15′) DELV CLARKE (JOHN-ERICH KING)
3-0 (30′) AARON KING (NICK LINK)
4-1 (65′) JOSH MERFELD (DEYE GONYON)
5-1 (75′) JOHN-ERICH KING – (DELV CLARKE)
MAN OF THE MATCH AWARD: DELV CLARKE
VaHi ATLetic FC continued their winning form and maintained a perfect record this season (4-0-0). ATLetic won their home opener with authority by defeating division rivals, NUESOFT III, by a score of 5-1. The game was played at 3 pm at ATLetic’s home field, Boulevard Crossing Park in Atlanta’s Chosewood neighborhood, under cold and very windy conditions courtesy of Frankestorm. ATLetic was also proudly presenting their new JOMA away uniforms for the 2012-2013 season.
The game plan for ATletic was clear from the get go, displaying aggressive high pressure as they were determined to protect their home turf. Early chances came as a result in the form of free kicks, long throws and a corner kick that central defender Milos Kvasay connected at the 2nd post but could not direct to goal.
ATLetic found the first of the game in the 10th minute when Jonathan Pearth found Delv Clarke in the left wing. The man from Birmingham/St Kitts showed his pace to blow by the Nuesoft defense to finish clinically with a low shot to the right of an rushing keeper.
ATLetic did not seat back on the lead. They kept moving the ball in the middle and pressuring high, looking to disrupt Nuesoft’s game and force errors in their defense. ATLetic forced long throw-ins, combined short passes in the middle with long balls to find their forwards and this approach produced shaky moments in Nuesoft’s back line. High pressure again, was key for the 2nd goal of the match which came in the 15th minute. Midfielder Mauricio Lascano stole a ball from a Nuesfot defender and attempted a pass trough the middle, the deflection from the defense was capitalized by John-Erich King who quickly lobbed a perfect ball for a rushing Delv Clarke on the left wing. The winger once again showed pace and a killer instinct, finishing exactly as Amazing team work for the 2-0 which exemplified the keys of ATletic’s game this season: high pressure, quality football, unselfishness, pace and effectiveness to finish chances.
ATLetic went for the kill and found the third on the 30th minute after a long ball from central defender Nick Link swerved under the strong winds only to land on Aaron King’s path. The top scorer in the league does not miss these types of chances and added his 7th of the season by finishing low under the keeper. ATLetic closed out a flawless 1sth half performance by moving the ball and giving little opportunity to Nuesoft’s forwards to find space behind the defense.
Sitting on a 3-0 lead and having blown out oppositions with “manitas” (5-0 scorelines) on the previous 2 games, ATLetic started a bit too relaxed on the 2nd half. Their ball movement was poor and it was obvious that complacency had kicked in when defenders and midfielders kept loosing the ball too easily against Nuesoft players desperate to get back in the game. Keeper Scott Stilwell had to clear the ball a couple of times well outside his box by outpacing the oppositions forwards. However, ATLetic’s back line kept playing too high and in one of those occasions a ball deflected found a Nuesoft player with space and time behind the defense to beat the #1 as he attempted to rush out of his box again. 3-1, a clear wake-up call for an ATLetic team that, mentally, came out 10 mins late to the 2nd half. Understanding Nuesoft’s firepower and desire to get back in the game, the team closed out their lines and continued attacking but taking much better care of the ball and finding space in the counter-attack.
It was clear that ATLetic needed another quick goal to settle down and close-out a resurgent opposition. That goal didn’t take long to come when a cross from striker Deye Gonyon was beautifully met by Josh Merfeld. The right winger opened his goal account with ATLetic with a clinical header to the ground that gave them some breathing room and effectively iced Nuesoft’s attempt to get back in the game.
The final nail in the coffin came 10 minutes later when Delv Clarke found John-Erick King at the top of the box. The former USC Gamecock Soccer Club man controlled the ball, opened up some space and stroke the ball with precision and class with his left foot to curl the ball on the top right hand corner pass a stretched keeper that had no chance. The goal was reminiscent of Atletico Madrid’s #9, Falcao, vs Bilbao in the Europa League and vs Chelsea in the European Super Cup.
ATLetic had a couple of chances to score the 6th of the afternoon but in the end were content having scored five goals for their third straight game. Most importantly, 3 more points that sees them sitting comfortably at the top of their divisional table, 5 points clear of 2nd place Piramex.
It is precisely the Piramex team they face next Sunday 11/4/2012 at 1 pm at the Georgia Soccer Park (field #1). The game will wrap-up ATLetic’s first round of divisional matches and the team will be looking to finish this first third of the ADASL season with a perfect record before the play their opening Perrin Cup game.
ATLetic will need to maintain their focus and handle the pressure of becoming one of the “teams to beat” this year on ADASL division 3. Players and management know that the hardest part of the season is yet to come and the challenge will now be to maintain their winning form over the next 11 League matches. As the saying goes, in football top form is easier to achieve than to maintain, as many team’s performance peak too early in a season or tournament but fizzle out in “the moments of truth”. At the end of the day promotion to D2 will be decided not in November 2012 but in April 2013. Now more than ever FORZA ATLetic!!
Here is a summary of a player’s performance on the match (90 minutes) as measured by micoach
PICTURES AND VIDEOS COURTESY OF VaHi ATLetic FC SUPPORTER @ESPINOSABODE