The midfielder bagged the first hat trick in Club history, and was joined on the scoresheet by forwards Prosper Kasim, Mataeo Bunbury, and Grayson Dupont
BIRMINGHAM, AL (July 27, 2022) –Legion FC delivered its highest scoring home game in history on Wednesday night, knocking off Loudoun United 6-1 at Protective Stadium. The seven-goal thriller saw midfielder Bruno Lapa score Birmingham’s first-ever hat-trick, and forwards Mataeo Bunbury and Grayson Dupont both scored their first-ever USL Championship goals for the Legion.
Bruno Lapa made Legion FC history – after four years of waiting, fans finally got to enjoy their first hat-trick. Lapa was hot the whole game, registering 9 shots (the highest total for a Birmingham player this season in a single game). His first goal came in the 22nd minute — slotting one home into the bottom left corner from outside the 18-yard box.
“It’s a special feeling, obviously,” said Lapa. “But I think at the end of the day, it’s a team win, a team performance. Those individual things are nice for day or two, but we have a quick turnaround to play a game [at Hartford] on the weekend. And we are still chasing a home playoff game. I feel like with the last game that we had at home, we dropped some points. So, to bounce back with this midweek performance, it set us up for next game.”
Forward Prosper Kasim put the Magic City up by two in the 31st minute after capitalizing on a penalty kick, which would be the first of three on the night. Kasim remained cool and collected and sent the ‘keeper the wrong way, slipping one into the bottom-right corner.
Lapa scored his second goal of the game in the 42nd minute. After receiving a wonderfully weighted pass from defender Jonny Dean inside the box, Lapa was able to hammer one past Loudoun’s keeper to put Birmingham up 3-0 at half-time.
“I’m just happy for him,” said Assistant Coach Khano Smith when asked about Lapa’s stellar performance. “Bruno’s missed some time this season for various reasons, but he’s worked hard, and he’s trained really well. He’s been a good professional through the ups and downs of what he’s been going through and, he got rewarded for it tonight. You put in the work; you get rewarded.”
Shortly after kicking off the second half, Loudoun’s Houssou Landry received a red card in the 46th minute for a foul on a sprinting Bunbury inside the box that gave Birmingham a second penalty kick. With two goals to his name already, Lapa stepped up and Lapa converted, etching his name into the history books with the Club’s first hat-trick.
In the dying moments of the match, the Three Sparks were not finished putting on a show. Bunbury, who played a brilliant game after subbing on at the half and led the team in duels won (10), scored his first goal for the Legion in the 88th minute on the team’s third penalty kick of the night.
Grayson Dupont then found the back of the net in the third minute of stoppage time, scoring the first professional goal in his career to put the icing on the cake after a wild night in Uptown.
The Birmingham backline also put up a wonderful performance, and only allowed Loudoun 11 shots compared to the Legion’s 30. Only two of Loudoun’s were on target – one of which was a pinpoint shot into the bottom right corner that put the visitors on the board in the 54th minute.
It was a night to remember for Legion FC. On top of the Lapa hatty, the 30 shots attempted were not only the most for the club this season, but the most in a single game by any team in the USL Championship in 2022.
“It’s always good to bounce back,” said Smith. “It was a short week, so we discussed needing to bounce back quickly. We talked about playing at home and how we needed to be a dominant team at home. Credit to the players. They did what they needed to do tonight and what our team should be about.
“You can see the reaction from everybody. The sign of a good team is that they’re all happy for each other. And that’s how we should be. They should be happy for each other.”
|1st Half||2nd Half|
BHM – 22’ – #8 Bruno Lapa (assisted by #7 Ryan James)
BHM – 31’ – #10 Prosper Kasim (P)
BHM – 43’ – #8 Bruno Lapa (assisted by #24 Jonny Dean)
BHM – 49’ – #8 Bruno Lapa (P)
LDN – 54’ – #45 Kristian Fletcher (assisted by #8 Skage Lehland)
BHM – 88’ – #47 Mataeo Bunbury (P)
BHM – 90+3’ – #23 Grayson Dupont (assisted by #9 Edi Horvat)
BHM – 4-3-3 – #18 Trevor Spangeberg; #24 Jonny Dean, #21 Alex Crognale, #3 Phanuel Kavita ©, #5 Mikey Lopez; #8 Bruno Lapa, #6 Anderson Asiedu (72’ – #23 Grayson Dupont), #19 Enzo Martinez (58’ – #17 Matthew Corcoran); #7 Ryan James, #11 Marlon Santos (62’ – #9 Edi Horvat), #10 Prosper Kasim (46’ – #47 Mataeo Bunbury)
LDN – 4-5-1 – #13 Joe Rice; #5 Grant Lillard, #20 Hayden Sargis, #24 Jalen Robinson ©, #3 Jacob Greene; #15 Nicky Downs, #14 Jeremy Garay, #19 Houssou Landry, #12 Zoumana Diarra, #45 Kristian Fletcher; #8 Skage Lehland
Legion FC’s next match is on the road at Hartford Athletic on Saturday, July 30, at 6:00pm CT. Join us at TrimTab Brewing Company for the official watch party or tune in on My68 or ESPN+.
The Three Sparks return to Protective Stadium on Saturday, August 6, to face Atlanta United 2 at 6:30pm CT, and fans can grab tickets today!
For team updates, news and more, follow @bhmlegion on social media, sign up for Legion FC’s Newsletter, or visit bhmlegion.com. The Legion FC app is also available for download via Apple or Android. For gameday reminders, sync the Legion FC 2022 schedule to your calendar HERE.