Ginga Atlanta Defeats Olympians in Penalty Shoot Out To Become UPSL Champions
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UPSL Soccer News: Ginga Atlanta defeated Olympians FC, 0-0 (3-1), to win the United Premier Soccer League (UPSL) 2020 Fall/Winter Season National Championship Game at Silverabacks Stadium.
Ginga Atlanta had a storybook ending worthy of the best scriptwriters in Hollywood to finish off its 2021 undefeated season after defeating Olympians FC (3-1) in penalty kicks on Sunday afternoon.
It was a battle. UPSL matches are filled with heart, passion and ambition.
“We had a fantastic UPSL Final Four weekend in Atlanta at Silverback Stadium,” said Yan Skwara, UPSL Commissioner.”The final was a epic battle on the field which went into penalty kicks with Ginga hoisting the cup.”
The two-time Arizona Division champion Olympians made it to the final after defeating Capital City SC 3-2 in the semifinal thanks to an 85th minute header from defender Israel Espinoza. Atlético Atlanta
Ginga Atlanta, who are rebranding as Atlético Atlanta moving forward, made it to the final after defeating Brockton FC United 3-2 in their semifinal match on Friday evening.
The UPSL championship match, which was attended by a limited number of fans at the 5,000 seat stadium in respect to COVID-19 guidelines, saw both teams engage in a physical battle for 120 minutes creating enough chances to win it for either side during regulation.
The Olympians FC had the first chance to score early in the match which required the intervention from 3X UPSL player of the week goalkeeper Alberto Ciroi to keep them off the scoresheet.
The intensity of the match would shoot up just a few minutes later when a double yellow card was issued to the Olympians’ Dylan Greenberg and Ginga Atlanta’s Diego Casillas after the two got tangled up going after the ball close to the midfield line.
While Olympians controlled the possession and had the better chances during the first half, Atlanta created opportunities to find the back of the net of their own, including a shot from midfielder Jeffrey Otoo which hit the Olympians’ post defended by their goalkeeper Jose Cortez.
The turning point of the match however would come in the 71st minute after defender Onezimo Fransisco received a red card. Fransisco was escorted off the field by security.
From that moment on Ginga Atlanta played the keep away strategy successfully and were even able to create a couple of scoring opportunities in the 30 minutes of extra time, despite being a man down.
Once the Penalty Kick shootout started you could sense that Ginga Atlanta was a team of destiny and that all the hard work this season was about to pay off, which it did thanks to Ciroi who blocked the second penalty attempt from forward Juan Hernandez.
Ciroi was selected as UPSL Finals MVP after making two saves in the shootout to preserve the victory for Ginga Atlanta (21-0-0 overall).
Prior to the match, Ginga Atlanta’s captain Jeffrey Otoo said, “This opportunity means a lot. This is something that I’ve been dreaming for. Playing alongside all these big names”
“I want us to leave a legacy before we all move forward.”Jeffrey Otoo, Ginga Atlanta’s team captain
“It’s been great playing with these big ballers,” said Otoo. They understand the game and make the game easier. We’ve been working since Day 1 and we’re looking good. We’re excited and grateful to be the hosts of the UPSL National Finals.”
“Getting here to the UPSL National Finals means everything for this group and for this club.” said Joao Guillerme Garcia, Manager of the Ginga Atlanta. “To win 19 games in a row is something we might not see again for some time in the UPSL as the competition grows every year. It is a testament to how much work was put in. We were out there every single day. We did it as professionals and the results speak for themselves.”
It was a long competitive road to the UPSL Championship victory. “We were extremely pleased with the over level of play from all four clubs representing the top four teams of the UPSL closing out a pandemic ridden fall winter season,” said Skwara. “We salute all four clubs and thier fans who traveled with the club to support them.”
“The UPSL congratulates Ginga Atlanta and we now look forward to kicking off the 2021 spring season right behind the heels of this great final,” said Skwara.
The UPSL was formed in 2011 and currently includes more than 300 teams nationwide.
The UPSL is the largest Pro Development League in North America. Each UPSL team is individually owned and operated. UPSL teams are affiliated with the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) and the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA).