Goalkeeper Matt VanOekel bagged his 30th career shutout in strong defensive performance for BHM
BIRMINGHAM, AL (May 18, 2022) – Birmingham Legion FC and Las Vegas Lights FC played out a 0-0 draw that was full of strong defensive plays and scoring opportunities for the home side. The Three Sparks peppered the opposition goal with 18 total shots, but none were able to find the back of the net.
The first half saw Legion FC come out on the front foot, testing Las Vegas goalkeeper Abraham Romero on multiple occasions. Birmingham forward Enzo Martinez was the closest to opening the scoring for the good guys after deftly beating his defender to create space to shoot, but Romero managed to come up with the stop.
Legion FC came out of the break with ramped up intensity and a continued attacking mindset, bringing on forwards Juan Agudelo and Edi Horvat in the hopes of breaking the deadlock. A slew of corner kicks at the start of second half, three shots by Agudelo after coming on, and five total on the night from midfielder Prosper Kasim led the way for a Birmingham side continuing to create quality chances.
“First and foremost, it’s being able to create chances,” said defender Jonny Dean. “In all fault, we have differing guys up top, besides me and Peezy [Kasim], and the chemistry there, but once we start to get the goals coming it’ll be a different story. We score one early, get two, and it turns into three goals. As long as we keep performing and creating those chances, especially now, hopefully by the end of the season we’ll be hot.
Midfielder Prosper Kasim seemed poised to capitalize on his side’s increased pressure in the 80th minute, but his attempt cannoned off the crossbar. BHM would continue to apply pressure going forward, and was unable to find a winner, but secured a second straight shutout at home.
“There’s a few games where we lost, and we knew our performance was not good enough,” said Dean. “Especially for the standard we hold ourselves to, we talked about the last ten games, and we looked at it, and it’s just not where we’re supposed to be with the caliber team we have. And that’s everybody taking ownership and pride going into it. This one tonight hurts, especially because we wanted three points in front of our home crowd, but it’s going to come.”
Head Coach Tommy Soehn when asked about the great crowd tonight at Protective Stadium:
“This was an amazing crowd tonight. They were loud, they were engaged, and for that I’m disappointed we couldn’t get them a win. But they also saw a group that was really committed to trying to win it. You can’t win them all, but it was an amazing atmosphere.”
|1st Half||2nd Half|
BHM – 4-3-3 – #1 Matt VanOekel; #24 Jonny Dean, #21 Alex Crognale, #3 Phanuel Kavita ©, #7 Ryan James (76’ – #13 Jake Rufe); #20 Zach Herivaux, #5 Mikey Lopez (45’ – #99 Juan Agudelo), #6 Anderson Asiedu; #10 Prosper Kasim, #19 Enzo Martinez, #11 Marlon Santos (76’ – #9 Edi Horvat)
LV – 4-4-2 – #1 Abraham Romero; #24 Alvaro Quezada, #3 Mohamed Traore, #4 Alejandro Lara, #28 Tony Leone; #12 Morten Bjorshol (63’ – #42 Dekel Keinan), #15 Danny Crisistomo ©, #20 Frank Daroma (83’ – #8 Jorge Almaguer), #11 Roberto Molina (63’ – #23 Chase Bromstedt); #17 Christopher Jaime (83’ – #21 Christian Torres), #14 Daron Iskenderian (63’ – #95 Nathan Ordaz)
The Three Sparks are back at Protective Stadium on Wednesday, June 8 at 7:00pm for the next edition of the heated rivalry versus Memphis 901 FC! ‘Everybody Wins on Wednesday’ with Legion FC, so grab your tickets today!
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