The Alliance stays undefeated at home with a 2-1 win
One of the hottest days of the year so far brought some fantastic competition as Charlottesville Alliance FC faced off against Virginia Beach City FC. With the outcome in question until the very end, the closely contested match ended with a 2-1 win for The Alliance.
The heat was a major factor from the get go as both teams seemed to start the match with a sluggish pace. Virginia Beach seemed to be the first to pick up the pace as they rushed to cut off passes and out hustle their opponent. The Alliance quickly matched this with smart possessions, quick passes, and the patience to make the best play instead of the first. Virginia Beach created some fantastic attacks on the left side of the pitch where the trio of Denis Roule, Amir Shihata, and Jordi Davis became a nightmare for The Alliance’s defense with their long crosses into the box.
With no real attack on goal by the home team in the early stages of the match, midfielder Carson Jeffris found space on the left side. There he was able to push the ball up the pitch quickly, looking for an open shot. Jeffris shot from just inside the penalty box was quickly punched away by the opponent’s goalkeeper Christian Coulson. The ball still being in play was knocked around the penalty box as none of the defenders seemed to be able to clear it. The ball was eventually knocked in the direction of Aaron Ward-Baptiste, who wasted no time as he scored the first goal of the match at the 29-minute mark, giving his team the early lead.
The Alliance’s goalkeeper Jake Gelnovatch had one of his best games of the season, as he kept making incredible and important saves. This was most evident near the end of the first half where he saved an incredible shot by the opposing striker, quickly throwing the ball to Jeffris for the fast break. Jeffris took advantage of the amount of space he had to dribble as he pushed the ball up the field yet again and quickly became a one man fast break taking on the whole left side of the opposing defense. Beating his first defender off the dribble, he quickly spun around the second defender with a move that seemed to come straight out of a video game. Not wanting to ruin the incredible run, Jeffris showed his knack as a finisher and scored in a one-on-one situation with the goalkeeper to give The Alliance a 2-0 lead at the 42-minute mark.
VBCFC came out firing in the second half, determined to make up the two-goal deficit. With a barrage of long crosses and switches, the away team put a lot of pressure on the Charlottesville defense. Their aggressive strategy paid off at the 56-minute mark where they crossed the ball from the right side of the midfield line all the way to the left side of the home team’s penalty box where midfielder William Cook quickly scored to put his team up on the board, still trailing The Alliance 2-1.
The away team had some incredible chances to tie the match, most notably at the 92-minute mark where they were given a free kick just outside the penalty area. Despite this they were not able to convert their opportunities to goals as Charlottesville keeps its perfect home record intact.
Charlottesville coach Samuel Avery spoke about his team’s morale after the match.
“It’s great to be able to defend your home ground. Credit to the guys for being able to perform at home and taking care of business. In terms of moving forward and morale it’s a huge confidence booster.”
Jeffris spoke about how high temperatures affected the game.
“It took a toll especially towards the end, it was a dogfight all the way through and we just had to grind it out and grit our teeth through it.”
Contributor: Ben Montes-Bradley/Charlottesville Alliance FC
Photo Credit: Charlottesville Alliance FC