The heavy rain provided a backdrop of slippery conditions for the two sides in the Warren, Portstewart, this afternoon.
Early pressure from the young US side in the form of Williams and Brown forced Colina, from Chile, to defend their box early on, with Suarez and Lopez collaborating to shut down any threats from the confident First Choice Soccer lads. However, despite a positive start from First Choice Soccer, the tenacious Chilean side persisted at the opposing goal, with Fernandez shooting just wide and a soaring shot over the bar from the feet of Orostica. Further attempts by Barrales were unlucky and made for comfortable saves for the FCS keeper.
The break came in the depths of the first half, with First Choice Soccer firing into the lead due to an unfortunate own goal. However, Colina rallied in fine fashion and valiantly attempted to restore an equaliser throughout the latter stages of the first half.
FCS started the second half well, showing increased confidence from their early lead, with a blast from Gomes which spiralled over the bar and strong defensive work from Price to ensure the South Americans were closed down anytime they managed to come close to goal.
Brito’s hard work was crucial for Colina, due to FCS’s outstanding number 77 Costa feeding the ball excellently through to Brown who was unlucky not to follow through. Skill shone through within the FCS side- Lazo’s footwork and control and the pacy Pucek worked hard to press the hearty Colina defence.
An excellent ball in by Orostica for Colina was met by Zencovich who was unlucky to be faced with the talented FCS keeper, whilst Orellana and Carvajal did well to attempt to deny FCS of a second.
Colina’s Lopez displayed impressive footwork throughout and their solid number 7 Alvarado performed well midfield, however it was FCS’ super sub Vilcini, who very quickly after stepping on the pitch late on, tapped home a superb goal from close range to push the US side ahead and ultimately steal the spoils in Portstewart.