AFU v Concorde Fire
Atlanta Fire United took on local rivals Concorde Fire in the next round of the USSF Academy league. The u-16 AFU team started quite well but it wasn’t long before Concorde asserted their dominance on the game when some indecisive defending allowed a Concorde forward to sneak in and head past Joel Thornton, the AFU goalkeeper. Concorde kept up the pressure and forced a 2nd not long after taking the lead when a corner was rifled into the 6yd box and wicked deflection off of an AFU player made the score 2-0. Just before half time it was 3-0 when a clearance took a fortunate deflection into the path of a Concorde player and he finished low into the far post.AFU started the 2nd half looking rejuvenated and closed the gap almost immediately to 3-1 when a very well worked free-kick allowed Roberto Hinojosa to curl one into the upper 90. AFU pushed hard to find a 2nd goal that would put them well and truly back into the game and despite some excellent chances could not find the net. As they continued to push forward Concorde were taking their chances with good counter attacks and finally it paid off for them when they scored their 4th goal.AFU had no reply but a much better 2nd half despite the disappointing loss.The u-18’s got off to a great start when in the first minute some excellent interplay on the right flank released Boris Fridman who scored at the near post. Concorde replied swiftly when a dangerous ball into the box was deflected into the goal by a Concorde forward. AFU went right back on the attack and a few minuted later they took the lead again when Luis Huertas latched onto a threw ball and rounded the Concorde Keeper and rolled the ball into the net. With 15 minutes to go in the half a straight red card was shown to a Concorde player supposedly for dissent. Concorde however pushed forward and just before half time were awarded a penalty when a late challenge in the box upended a Concorde player.The 2nd half started with the same tempo as the 1st with both teams going all out. Within ten minutes of the restart b oth teams were down to 10 men when Taylor Krek was given a 2nd yellow for foul play. This opened the game up even more and both teams were creating numerous chances.With 15 minutes to go a turnover in the AFU defensive 3rd allowed Concorde to quickly create a 1v1 situation whcih they took full advantage of and scored with a shot from 20yds. This only energized the two teams as they continued to attack. Unfortunately the ref took center stage just a few minutes later when he again produced two red cards, one for either team. With both teams reduced to 9 men AFU had two great chances late on to tie the game but neither finish was clinical enough. A great game albeit a disappointing result for the AFU faithful.