De Souza fires Brazilians into Globe Final
Joshua Bunting reports from Broughshane...
Brazilian side Osaco progressed to the Premier section Globe final after a stunning strike from Kevin de Souza give them a 1-0 victory over American side Strikers.
Strikers started the better of the two as Quinn Richards linked up with Marc Trejo but he saw his powerful shot well blocked by Lucas Azevedo. Azvezdo was Osacos hero once again on six minutes as he made a superb last-ditch tackle on Coby Atkinson just as he was about to pull the trigger.
However the South American side did have a goal on eight minutes as de Souza linked up with Marco Antonio and he fired into the net only to see his celebrations cut short by the offside flag.
This gave the side kitted out in Black shirts a new sense of life and they created another opening when Jonathan Viana was denied by a superb save from Strikers keeper Artuo Magana. Magana however was beaten five minutes later by a stunning de Souza effort as he cut inside before lashing his effort into the top corner of the net.
Viana was then close to his second five minutes later when Gulherme Angelo crossed for him at the back post but he fired into the grateful clutches of Magana. As the first half drew to a close Brian Martinez thought he had levelled for Strikers as he smashed his effort off the inside of the post leaving Osacos keeper Marcos Junior stranded.
Ryshaun McCann was impressing the crowd with his range of passing and he nearly put the sides level at the break after Richards cross wasn’t cleared by the Brazilians before his shot arrowed over the crossbar.
Strikers began the second half on top and it was they who should have drawn level when Bryan Duarte played a defence splitting pass into Richards before he chipped his effort over the crossbar from just outside the box.
Marcos Junior then made what only can be described as a world class stop midway through the second half as he parried a Tristian Weber effort away from goal after he skipped around the South American defence.
As the American side piled forward this left more gaps in the Osacos defence and Magana was on hand once again as Julio Ceser de Pinto was played through one on one but he saw his shot well kept out by the reactions of the keeper.
As the rain lashed down and the pitch became greasy this saw players lose their footing on numerous occasions and indeed it was this aspect that created the next chance as Strikers defender Dylan Krufal slipped, the ball fell to Matheus da Silva before he whistled his low shot just wide of the target.
60 minutes had passed before the next opening was created this time for the side from the states as Weber saw his shot saved down low to his left by the impressive Marcos Junior.
The Brazilian side then changed tactics dropping much deeper and frustrating Strikers with five minutes left to play Edward Garcia’s side though they had the equaliser when Richards crossed for Duarte but he just couldn’t get a connection on the ball at the back post.
In the final minute Junior came his sides rescue once again as Weber lashed his effort goal wards from distance but the superb reactions by the keeper saw him push away his effort from goal.
Credit, Joshua Bunting @Distillerymad