August 6, 2022 – United Soccer League Championship (USL) – Birmingham Legion FC Press release
BIRMINGHAM, AL Legion FC scored six goals at Protective Stadium for the second straight time in a big win over Atlanta United 2 on Saturday night, displaying their depth with five different goalscorers.
The party started immediately, with midfielder Enzo Martinez scoring Birmingham’s first goal of the night in the second minute. Thanks to excellent pressure in the final third, striker Juan Agudelo collected the ball in the box and made a precise reduction that gave Martinez an open net.
Striker Marlon Santos led his side in dribbling and duels on the night and added an effort that earned Birmingham a 37th-minute penalty after being brought down in the box. Forward Prosper Kasim came forward, went left and gave the Three Sparks their second of the night.
Before fans could pick up their half-time snacks from Protective, the Legion gave them two more goals to celebrate. In the 39th minute, an electric three-pass play between Santos, Kasim and Martinez broke Two-Nited’s back line. Two minutes after scoring his penalty, Kasim returned the favor to Santos and delivered an assist that gave the Brazilian an undisputed shot on goal to make it 3-0.
Just four minutes later, defender Jonny Dean sent a cross into the box that found the header from a leaping Agudelo, who slammed the ball past all Atlanta defenders into the bottom right corner to give fans locals three goals in six minutes. to play.
At halftime, BHM was up four, leading 14 shots to Atlanta’s zero. The Sparks didn’t park the bus in the second half, however. A final third interception from midfielder Matthew Corcoran in the 74th minute saw Agudelo pass it cleanly to Martinez for his brace, with Agudelo getting his second assist of the night. Martinez, as usual, showed the skill that took him to the top of the Legion FC scoring charts, racking up two goals, one assist and six created chances.
More pressure from the boys up front would lead to another goal in the 87th minute, as Martinez fed Sadik Balarabe, who cleanly took his chance to score on his Legion FC debut to give Birmingham six.
“It feels good [to score in a debut]”, Balarabe said. “Sometimes the first one is hard to get, so I’m happy to get it in my first game and help the team… Sometimes, obviously, it takes time to get it. getting used to a new team, but from my first day here the guys were very welcoming so that always helps. So I think we’re going to gel pretty quickly. I also tried to watch the games to see how the guys got along, so I’m just going to give the team my best to help, score goals and do my part.
“I’ve traveled to many places so it’s good to add another place to the list, and so far I’ve liked what I’ve seen. People are very welcoming wherever I go. going, so hopefully I can leave my mark in the team and in Birmingham.”
After a stellar performance tonight, Birmingham have scored twelve goals in their last two home games. This gives the Legion a significant boost to their goal differential (+15), which could make a huge difference in playoff position by the end of the season.
“I think our back line was really good,” head coach Tommy Soehn said. “I say almost flawless in a lot of ways. Maybe we haven’t been tested as much, but when they have been, they’ve done really well. That’s kind of our focus this year of us making sure we’re solid defensively. we said rest had to come, and it took longer than I wanted, but we keep adding pieces. [Balarabe] showed some of his qualities, he is not in good shape yet. But Enzo [Martinez] was selfless, Juan [Agudelo] had his best game. You’re starting to see some really chilled out guys and that’s important.”
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