Legion FC Grinds out 1-0 Win over Atlanta United 2
BIRMINGHAM, AL - Playing its third match in a week, Birmingham Legion FC fought hard for 90+ minutes on its way to a 1-0 win over Atlanta United 2 on Saturday night at BBVA Field.
The victory was the club's second in a row, and fourth in six matches to kickoff the 2020 USL Championship season. Midfielder Prosper Kasim, back in the starting lineup for the first time since July 19th at Charleston, scored the pivotal goal for the home side in the first minute of first half stoppage time. Midfielder Eli Crognale found the Ghanaian in the middle of the field, and Kasim took his space and unleashed an inch perfect shot into the bottom right corner for his first goal of the year.
Bolu Akinyode was back in the starting lineup as well, playing centerback next to Alex Crognale, and with the help of fullbacks Mikey Lopez and Jonny Dean and Man of the Match Matt VanOekel in goal, BHM earned its second clean sheet of the season.
"We care," said VanOekel when asked how the team could keep playing well defensively with some squad rotation at the back. "We love playing soccer and all work for each other, and I think that's the biggest thing that we've seen this year. We all have a common goal, we all know what the plan is and we're all executing well right now."
"You know you've got to learn to win games the hard way," said Assistant Coach Khano Smith. "Sometimes it's not always going to be pretty, it's not always going to be 4-1 [in reference to BHMvCLT on Wednesday], and you're going to have to dig deep. Atlanta [United 2] is a good young team; they pushed us, and we had to dig deeper. They were coming at us the last few minutes. We've got to learn to win that way sometimes and win ugly.
"Prosper is one of our more creative players and that's something important that he brings. He found a really good spot on his goal attacking through the middle third of the field. Eli [Crognale] found him in a really good spot, and he drove and took his space like he should. Prosper likes to shoot and luckily he has a good shot and it found the back of the net."
1st Half 2nd Half
BHM 1 0
ATL 0 0
BHM - 45+1' - #10 Prosper Kasim (assisted by #12 Eli Crognale)
BHM - #1 Matt VanOekel ©; #24 Jonny Dean, #21 Alex Crognale, #3 Bolu Akinyode, #5 Mikey Lopez; #6 Anderson Asiedu, #12 Eli Crognale (46' - #16 Daigo Kobayashi), #10 Prosper Kasim (59' - #2 Marcos Ugarte), #8 Bruno Lapa (87' - #13 Jake Rufe), #17 Jaden Servania (54' - #7 Brian Wright); #11 Neco Brett (87' - #20 Braxton Najib)
ATL - #1 Ben Lundgaard; #3 Mo Jadama, #31 Patrick Nielsen, #2 Jack Gurr; #34 David Mejia (64' - #14 Baboucarr Njie), #30 Caleb Wiley, #16 Will Reilly, #8 Daniel Steedman (46' - #10 Amir Bashti); #5 Abdoulaye Diop, #26 Coleman Gannon (83' - #11 Lamin Jawneh), #9 Phillip Goodrum (74' - #7 Amadou Diop)
The squad is back on the road next week for a trip through the Carolinas. On Wednesday, August 12, the team will be in Charlotte to take on the Independence at 6:00PM CT and then travel to face North Carolina FC on Saturday, August 15 at 6:00PM CT, as well. For live match updates, follow @bhmlegion on Twitter, or tune in as both matches will air live on My68 and ESPN+.
The next home match back at BBVA Field is Saturday, August 22 at 6:30PM versus Group G rivals Memphis 901 FC. Get tickets at bhmlegion.com/tickets, by emailing [email protected], or by calling the Legion FC Ticket Office at 205-791-7145.
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