Three BHM goals in a 15-minute window to start the second half gave the home side the advantage and propel Legion FC into the Third Round of the Cup
TUSCALOOSA, AL (April 7, 2022) — Birmingham Legion FC won its first U.S. Open Cup contest of the season by a resounding 3-1 score line over National Premier Soccer League side Southern States SC. Goals from Prosper Kasim, Bruno Lapa, and Marlon Santos proved to be the difference in a match BHM controlled from start to finish.
In the club’s first-ever match played in Tuscaloosa, AL, the good guys came out and put up 12 shots, to SSSC’s one, and held a 72% advantage in possession going into the break, but the score was deadlocked at 0-0 after 45 minutes.
That goose egg did not last for long, however, as forward Prosper Kasim continued his strong start to the season by opening the scoring in the 48th minute. After receiving a ball out right from center back Alex Crognale, Kasim cut in onto his favored left foot and unleashed a looping shot up and over the Southern States goalkeeper and into the back of the net.
Midfielder Bruno Lapa opened his 2022 account after the team’s captain tonight, Enzo Martinez, found Lapa at the top of the opposing box in the 62nd minute. The Brazilian then turned a curled a perfectly placed shot into the far-left side netting of the goal.
Legion FC kept applying pressure and were rewarded less than two minutes later via the beautiful left boot of forward Marlon Santos. Midfielder Anderson Asiedu had himself another massive outing in the middle of the park and drove forward past multiple defenders before finding Santos open on the right side of the box. Yet again, he cut inside and placed his effort into the left side netting to extend his side’s lead to three.
Southern States struck back in the 73rd minute courtesy of Mason Walsh, but Legion FC saw out the rest of the match to finish with a 3-1 victory that Head Coach Tommy Soehn thinks the team can build on.
“It was good – we’ve had similar play in other games, we just haven’t put our chances away,” said Soehn. “This team was very organized and defensive; it was hard to break them down early. I said this last week, but when one comes, it’s going to come in bunches. It was different people, different looks today. Juan [Agudelo] gives a different dynamic. He’s got great hold up play, intelligence that brings other guys in. We’re going to have to learn how to play with him.
“We’re still figuring out [the personality of the team]. We know we have talent. We’ve put together good performances and haven’t gotten rewarded for it. It’s a good thing to go through that early because when you get through those moments you become a stronger team, so having some difficulties, we haven’t stressed over them at all. We wanted to come out better, but in some respect, it’s going to make us tougher in the long run.”
New signing Juan Agudelo on the team culture and his goal on-field in 2022:
“[Transition has been] good, the guys are great. It’s a good group of guys, with a lot of talent on the team. It’s a very deep squad, like you saw today with the subs that came in and did their thing. I’m getting along with everybody really well, there’s good chemistry within the locker room.
“I want to take a different approach than I have before. I’m gonna focus a lot on scoring – before, I wasn’t really playing as a 9, I want to see if I can have that #9 mentality that those guys in MLS have where they shoot from everywhere and see if that works for me.”
|1st Half||2nd Half|
BHM – 3-4-3 – #1 Matt VanOekel; #21 Alex Crognale, #27 Thomas Vancaeyezeele, #13 Jake Rufe; #5 Mikey Lopez, #19 Enzo Martinez © (66’ – #24 Jonny Dean), #8 Bruno Lapa (79’ – #9 Edi Horvat), #6 Anderson Asiedu, #5 Mikey Lopez; #10 Prosper Kasim (57’ – #11 Marlon Santos), #99 Juan Agudelo (57’ – #77 Macky Diop)
The boys in Black and Gold return home to Protective Stadium to host Hartford Athletic this weekend on Sunday, April 10, at 4:00 PM. Get your tickets today!
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