AFU’s 16’s Topped in AL, 18’s Tie
In a another divisional match up Atlanta Fire traveled to Alabama to take on Birmingham. Birmingham’s u-16’s are currently 2nd in the division and enjoying a very impressive run of results. AFU were witness to their abilities when within the first 5 minutes they found themselves 2-0 down. Some very sloppy defending allowed Birmingham to take control. After the initial shock AFU settled down and tried to play their usual possession game and force their way back into the game. They did look impressive in the Birmingham half and created a couple of decent half chances but were struggling to contain the pacey Birmingham attack. The 2nd half was more of the same with AFU trying to find a way back but Birmingham scored a 3rd early in the half when AFU failed to deal with a half clearance off of a corner. Roberto Hinojosa pulled one back for AFU after some excellent combination play with Jeremy Rector and Chris Harrison. AFU then upped the tempo but got caught chasing the game as Birmingham scored two more to reinforce their domination on the game. The u-18 game was a very intense back and forth contest. AFU looked to be in control early and were the most likely team to score first when Birmingham counter attacked and took a surprise lead. AFU went back to work and got their reply just a few minutes later when Pete Kurowsky headed in a Alec Kronitz free kick. Both teams played open attacking soccer after that but it wasn’t until the 60th minute that the deadlock was broken. A similar counter attack by Birmingham caught AFU’s defense flat and their speedy striker raced away to finish. In typical fashion AFU responded immediately scoring less than a couple of minutes later when Luke Ade looped a header into the top corner. Neither team could find the crucial 3rd goal and the tie meant it’s the 3rd in a row for AFU.