Southern States SC Wins Back-to-Back Games Against Pensacola FC

By 3Ssoccer Media

Southern States SC returned home to the Oakes Training Facility for a rematch against Pensacola FC.  The two clubs had back-to-back matches against each other, and the Stars were able to take six points from the two matches with a 6-1 victory tonight. 

It was an unusual beginning to the game.  Pensacola head coach Dean Logan had some unfortunate luck on his way to Hattiesburg, and he was delayed and missed part of the first half.  Pensacola’s Michael Lightbourne had to step up in a big way.  With the unexpected news, Lightbourne was called into action as head coach for the beginning of the match.  He was no longer allowed to start the match because of his move to a coaching role, forcing Pensacola into some early squad adjustments.  Lightbourne entered the match soon after Logan arrived in the first half. 

The Stars started on the front foot applying pressure early in the match.  Mason Walsh had an excellent burst of pace down the line and whipped a ball with pace into the box.  Santiago Hoyos got on the end of it and put it in the back of the net.  Pensacola answered well as they looked for their equalizer.  They applied a good spell of pressing and made the Stars uncomfortable.  In the 15th minute Pensacola had a dangerous moment off a set piece.  The Stars were able to deal with the set piece, but Pensacola looked to continue to put their imprint on the match. 

However, the Stars answered quickly, taking back control of the match.  Retsin Kambambala recovered the ball centrally before spraying an excellent ball out wide to Reece Harrison.  He was then able to get the ball to Walsh who had the time and space and was able to deliver.  Walsh floated a ball into the penalty area, inviting Hoyos to attack it.  Attack it he did; Hoyos tucked away his second of the night with a fantastic header. 

Pensacola responded well and continued to remain dangerous.  They had a couple of good opportunities from open play and never let the Stars rest.  However, it was just not their night. The Stars notched their third goal of the game in the 40th minute.  Harrison was able to streak down the field before calmly slotting the ball home.  It was a great run capping off an excellent first half for the Stars. 

The second half started with the Stars applying more pressure looking to kill the game off.  They found their fourth goal shortly after.  Andres Perez De Gracia capitalized on a rebound from Pensacola’s keeper.  De Gracia is finding his form as this was his second goal in the last two matches.

The Stars continued with their dominant performance adding a fifth and six goal.  De Gracia added his second score of the game, and Hoyos completed his hat trick.  Hoyos has continued his hot streak, now at five goals in the last two matches. 

Pensacola added a late goal, denying the Stars of their clean sheet.  Even though the game didn’t fall Pensacola’s way tonight, they were resilient and fought to the final whistle.  Led by Lightbourne, Pensacola continued to press and make things difficult on the Stars.  Pensacola worked hard and showed why they are always a dangerous opponent that deserves respect throughout the league.   

Photo Credit: Shedaina Dieuveille


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