With a dominating performance on a cold Saturday night in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Beaman United FC defeated the Nashville Knights for 12-1, in its final match of the UPSL regular season.
The team led by Gift Ndam, Michael Reed, and Kwadwo Poku lined up in an organized and cohesive manner, outplayed the Knights in every part of the field and found the back of the net three times within the first fifteen minutes.
Forward Ryan Roussel led the dance with a tap-in opening goal on an assist by midfielder Brandon Gonzalez within two minutes of playing time.
Minutes later, Beaman repeated the play with Michael Jones Jr. who served Alphonso Gooden a golden opportunity in the box to make it 2-0.
Good connecting passes in the midfield, the core and soul of the team, and quick switches were key to Beaman’s success in the first part of the half.
In the 13th minute, fullback Juan Penagos, taking advantage of the Knight’s misposition, played a swift throw-in to send Roussel to goal, who finalized on a 1v1 with the Knight goalkeeper, finding his second of the night.
Roussel, with a performance full of quality, scored again but his goal was called offside before hitting the post minutes later.
This was not enough to discourage the striker, who on the duo with Penagos, did it again for Beaman from the left with a right-footed shot to hit the bottom-right corner.
Leading 4-0, Beaman’s game was now downhill.
Another combination play in the 31st minute between Penagos and Roussel bore Gooden’s second of the night, while a minute later a beautiful, curved effort from outside of the box by Gonzalez hit the post and entered the goal.
Despite the big goal advantage, Beaman did not slow down and scored in a myriad of different ways, finding the goal on the penalty spot with Seth Poku.
With five minutes left into the first half, Gooden was stopped by the goalkeeper on his attempt to find the hat-trick. Seconds later, through perseverance, well-timing and positioning the Jamaican native redeemed himself to send Beaman on an 8-goal advantage at half-time.
Quick touches and purposeful off-the ball movement allowed Ndam and Poku’s team to control the Knights and sow chaos around their defense.
As the second half started, the Lions continued the possession game while looking to maintain the clean sheet.
After running up and down the flank for the whole game, assisting his teammates, Penagos was able to find his goal within the opening 10 minutes with a powerful, left-footed attempt.
Despite conceding the Knights a goal on a rebound off a freekick, Beaman capitalized on three more goals in the remainder of the match, two with Gonzalez and the last goal with Jones Jr., sealing the match for the Lions with a total score of 12-1.
“It’s always important to win a game of football,” said coach Kwadwo Poku. “Obviously, this is the last game of the regular season, we want to finish off strong and be ready for the playoff game, so credit to the boys, they got the job done and focus on the next one.”
Jones Jr. is on the same page.
“We did our job that we needed to do tonight to keep moving forward,” he said.
The team pressed well but can improve on communication, said Jones Jr.
“But as the game of soccer, you make mistakes. It’s what you do afterwards that really matters in the game of soccer, so after we make that mistake, we just need to back each other and try to win the ball right away,” he said.
Before focusing on the UPSL playoffs, Beaman will hit the road this week to play Kalonji Pro-Profile in the 3rd Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Qualifier Sunday at 7 p.m. ET at the Shiloh Generals Stadium in Snellville, Georgia.
“Our system doesn’t change,” said Poku. “Trying to win a game of football and we’ll go there and try to get the job done.”
This article was written by Federico Pravettoni.