By Peyton Rives/Club Atletico Saint Louis
Club Atletico Saint Louis (0-1-1) suffered their first loss of the season, as they were defeated, 4-1, by Little Rock (2-1-0) on Thursday evening at SLUH.
“They were more ready than us,” CASTL forward Adama Kante said. “They wanted it more.”
The first half was successful for CASTL. The Bluebirds were the first to strike, as Kante drilled the crossbar off of a pass from forward Howard Miller. The rebound resulted in an own goal in the 25th minute to give the Bluebirds the 1-0 lead.
“Howard made a good run down the line,” Kante said. “He took the defender on and I just stayed back, and he cut it back to me and I kicked it.”
The Bluebirds held their lead into halftime, but the second half was a different story.
“We had the lead,” CASTL head coach Ricardo Garza said. “We had the momentum. We had the composure, and we went out there and it was if we played like we were already down 4-1.”
Little Rock rallied for three goals in the span of ten minutes, as midfielder Ulises Caba Cordova, forward Donald Benamna, and forward Lance Crabtree each knocked one goal in.
“This was a tale of ten minutes,” Garza said. “Literally.”
With the 3-1 lead, Little Rock did not look back. In the 69th minute, forward Sabelo Hlongwane added an insurance goal, solidifying the Rangers 4-1 victory.
“[In practice,] one thing we’re going to focus on is defending,” Kante said. “We all need to defend as a team.”
Moving forward, CASTL hits the road for a matchup against Tulsa Athletic on June 2, starting at 7:00 pm. The Bluebirds then return to St. Louis for a matchup against Ozark FC on June 8.
“This team has some serious weapons,” Garza said. “As a staff, we have to regroup and take our best step forward and continue grinding it out.”
Little Rock continues its three-game road stretch, as they battle Ozark FC on June 1 and Demize NPSL on June 4.
Photo Credit: Joe Martinez