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Match Recap: Bell County FC Top Texas Spurs II for USPL Central Conference North Title

calendario 19.01.2022
by: Salvador Torres
  • Amateur
  • Central Conference
  • Texas
  • United States
  • UPSL Div.I
  • Men
  • PlayOff
  • UPSL Div.I - Men
Match Recap: Bell County FC Top Texas Spurs II for USPL Central Conference North Title

Bell County FC defeated Texas Spurs II on Sunday to win the UPSL D1 Central Conference North title.

Pre-game

Both teams would meet for the third time before this title match; both matches Spurs won 5-1 last spring and 3-1 back in October. Both teams were at the top of the central conference table, Spurs were in first place, and BCFC was in 2nd place. In terms of who has the better form, Texas Spurs were on a 7 game winning streak, scoring 32 goals and allowing only 5. For Bell County, they were on a 6 game winning streak (two were against their second team, who also play in the same conference), scoring 42 and allowing 12. Both teams also had only 1 loss in the season, Bell County suffered their only loss to the Spurs, and the spur's only loss was to Sommerset back on match week 4. In the semifinals, the Spurs got revenge on Sommerset in overtime 4-2 on Saturday. At the same time, Bell County topped I and I 3-1. The semifinals were on Saturday, and the final match was on Sunday, so both teams had a limited time to rest.  

 

Match recap

The match begins with the Texas Spurs dominating possession; just as the announcer mentioned in their game vs. Sommerset on Saturday, Spurs are a possession-based team. They held the ball for the whole half (70%). They also anticipated the challenge from BC with jukes, spins, and pivots to look for an open man or move up the field. Usually, possession-based teams keep the ball on the ground and minimize risky plays, but the Spurs calculated theirs with lob passes that most of the time met their man. When they got to BC's final third, they weren't afraid to take shots from outside the box. While Bell County bunkered down in defense, their midfielders often supported them in the backline. They invited the attack and were patient, and the defense would only apply pressure once spurs reached the 30-yard line. When they did turnover the ball, the transition to attack was often incomplete. They relied on the counterattack from winning stand tackles, and bad spurs passes. Both teams were great in ball control in the reception of passes, relatively clean of fouls and dirty tackles; spurs focused on implementing their game plan while BCFC focused on playing smart and being patient. 

 

Bell County struck first with a goal in the 30' despite the possession disadvantage. It came off a Spurs corner where they pushed everyone up, leaving two defenders in the center circle. Spurs try an attack after BCFC cleared the ball from danger, but a bad switch of play from the Spurs turned into a BCFC counterattack where the winger, Brian Mosa, commits to the run. He passes the last defenders and finishes 1v1 against the keeper to place the ball in the back of the net 10-yards out. The Spurs didn't seem too phased by the goal and continued with their game plan. They eventually responded before the half ended after their forward received a ball on the left side of the box. The Spurs striker challenges the defender and triggers a low shot from a tough angle that makes it past the keeper and his left post to tie the game before halftime.  

 

The second half would begin, and much like the first half, Spurs played their game, but Bell County disrupted their possession streak. Spurs found themselves being more defensive as BCFC got more possession, making chances off the build-up of play and angle-cutting passes. However, the game got more choppy with fouls; the midfield saw clashes for loose balls and more lobs and clearances from both sides. Both teams also had individual efforts of beating their challengers on the 1v1 situations, and when their defense wins opposing misconnecting passes, they reset the ball back to their defenders. Then in the 80' Bell County gets a free-kick from the 30-yard line. The Spurs goalkeeper handled the cross to the box but slipped the ball before a collision with a BCFC player. The ball fumbles, and another BCFC teammate, Diego Valadez, gets the free ball and places it home. Spurs protested the call, wanting a call for a foul on the keeper, but the referees did not have a change of mind. 2-1 in favor of Bell County. With 10 minutes remaining, Spurs went full-on attack, and BCFC bunkered down, doing their best to run out the clock. Bell County sighed in relief once the final whistle blew and they celebrated winning the conference title. 

 

Final Stats
Stats Texas Spurs II  Bell County FC 
Shots  17 5
On Target  8 5
Corner Kicks  5 2
Fouls 8 2
Offsides  1 3
Ball Possession % 56 44


Post-match 

This seasonal performance marks the club's first successful season in the UPSL after joining in 2019. The team from Benton, Texas, had a woeful 2021 spring season, ending up in last place with only one win, scoring 13 goals and allowing 37 in 9 games. They had one season to completely change to win the UPSL central conference title against the Texas Spurs' young and intelligent second team. They start the new year as winners and are ready for their next challenge. 

 

 

Here is the stream to watch the match. 
 

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