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MAFO Comes Away With Win Against a Strong USA Soccer Stars Team

calendario 26.05.2021
by: Salvador Torres
  • California
  • Semi-Pro
  • Spring
  • United States
  • UPSL Premier
  • Men
  • UPSL Premier - Men
MAFO Comes Away With Win Against a Strong USA Soccer Stars Team

MAFO gets 3 pts in a tough tug of war battle against a physical USA Soccer Stars and manages to get a 4-2 win on Sunday night. 

Pre-game 
On a Sunday evening at Jurupa Sports Complex, MAFO takes the field following their second team's win over Fontana; the first team is set to host USA Soccer Stars. Both teams are evenly matched for the week 6 matchup in the UPSL Premier SoCal North, with the USA Soccer Stars being the better team at 4th place with 12 pts, a 4-0-2 record, and a GD of 3. While MAFO was in 6th with 8 pts and having a 2-2-2 record with a GD of 2. The Stars were in a 2 game winning streak after blanking Santa Monica Surf 2-0, while MAFO was on a 4 non-losing streak after a thrashing to Cal FC last weekend.

Match Recap 
Under a breezy California sunset, a crowd of fewer than 100 fans from MAFO's second team who played before the start of this match up stuck around to see the first team host the Soccer Stars. In a mere 90 seconds after kickoff, MAFO came with very high intensity to get a goal while fans were just getting comfortable. It came from the left side just outside the post, where their forward baited the keeper out of his line and slices it to the right. After the goal, the home team continued with this intensity, and their midfielders had no fear to drive the ball in heavy defensive traffic on the Star's final third. USA Soccer Stars reaction matched their intensity and got physical to shut down the MAFO offensive and make tough but clean tackles. When they transition to the attack, they had none to few shots from outside the box. Both teams went back and forth through most of the half, and funny enough, both liked to ping the ball to their wingers and show similar strategies. It wouldn't be much as both teams couldn't break through the other team's defense, and rough fouls from just outside the box happened for both teams. All the fans perked up when players set up for the free-kick because they knew that was the only way for one team to break the back and forth pattern. Finally, with 5 minutes left in half, MAFO breaks through and gets their 2nd goal from a tight borderline low cross from the right side, and the striker bangs it home. Then just before halftime, MAFO doubles their insurance with a cross to the box that finds their striker alone in the box and heads it in. The whistle blows, and MAFO takes a 3-0 lead at halftime. 

As the second half begins, the Stars start attacking and getting their first goal on the left wing after winning a tackle for the striker to make it on the left side. The shift of possession favors Soccer Stars now, and MAFO plays kick and chase to disrupt the Star's momentum. However, the visiting team gets their second goal from a hanging lob pass to the heart of the box, where the lone man hits it home. Now Stars are only one goal down. After 5 minutes, MAFO doubles their insurance after having their backs against the wall from Soccer Star's pressure. Their 4th goal came from a quick restart after a foul near the center circle, and the slicing lob pass finds their forward just outside the box pacing fast and chips it from far and goes over the keeper. The fans rejoiced and cheered for their team as they now regained control of the match. The home team now being consistent with pass and move plays, winding down the clock with an occasional lob and chase play as the Stars get frustrated. For the remainder of the match, MAFO players turned to a leisurely pace to get the out-of-play balls back into play, and the Stars protest to the ref that the host's time waisted a lot. Some of the Star's players hustled to get the comeback, while others threw in the towel. The final whistle blows, and MAFO secures a 4-2 win. 

MAFO remains in 6th place after getting their 3rd win but is now only 1 point below the now 5th place USA Soccer Stars. The next matchup for MAFO will be a trip against 2nd place Santa Ana Winds, and USA Soccer Stars host 3rd place Cal FC on Saturday. 
 

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