By Pensacola FC
A strong second half saw Pensacola pull away from Port City FC to secure their fourth win in five games, and keep up their hopes of hosting a conference semifinal playoff game. Prince Owusu came off the bench and energized the attack with two assists in the second half to solidify the three points for the home team.
The game started fast with Pensacola nearly scoring off the first possession after some good ball movement, as Kai Phillip headed over from close range. Immediately after this attack, Port City were awarded a free kick on the corner of the box which was floated to the back post. Port City’s initial attempt was saved by Pensacola FC goalkeeper O’Neill Lewis, but a followup somehow made it over the line to put the visitors up 1-0.
Phillip made amends for his early chance by burying his own rebound off a Dillon Gallet cross in the 12th minute to pull the game back level at 1-1. The home team were now in their groove, moving the ball well, and creating problems for the Port City defense. In the 26th minute, Kameron Bethell picked up the ball in the midfield and after a short dribble forward, picked out Phillip in a crowded area on the edge of the box. Phillip shook off his defender and placed a low shot past the keeper to put the home team up 2-1. Pensacola continued to pressure the visitors and created numerous chances to extend their lead but Port City defended well to keep the game at 2-1 at the break.
The second half took a while to get going as both teams looked to get the next goal to influence the game. It was the introduction of Owusu that helped break the ice, as he immediately caused some problems on the right hand side for Port City. Owusu eventually whipped in a perfectly placed cross for the surging Mikey Lightbourne who cleverly volleyed home to make the score 3-1 in the 78th minute. Owusu broke free just four minutes later to cross into the path of Jabari Hylton, who slotted the ball home for a tidy first touch finish and put the game out of reach for the visitors.
Bernardo Torres made it three goals in 10 minutes by finishing off a counter attack that featured some good work from Hylton as he tied up the goalkeeper on the edge of the box. Torres picked up the ball and smashed it past the recovering defenders and keeper.
Pensacola FC travel to Florida Roots on Thursday then face off again with Port City at their place for the regular season finale.
Photo Credit: Jay Garcia