PORTLAND - This weekend, Capital FC Atletico (3-2-1) rallied and got fans out of their seats by pulling out a 3-1 win against United PDX FC (2-5) at Oregon Episcopal School in Portland, Ore.
Atletico started the game with fierce determination, aiming to secure an early lead against United PDX, who just the week prior, beat Atletico 4-1 at Capital FC’s home stadium of Pioneer Sports Park.
In the 20’ minute, Atletico midfielder Diego Castillo showcased his skills with a as he confidently converted a panenka against United PDX goalkeeper Kash Oladapo, giving Atletico a 1-0 advantage.
The team's momentum continued to build, and just a few minutes later, midfielder Yutaro Tsukada capitalized on an opportunity and found the back of the net, extending Atletico’s lead to 2-0 in the 42’.
Throughout the match, both teams displayed a high level of intensity, resulting in numerous yellow and red cards being shown. The game became a thrilling spectacle, captivating the spectators and leaving them on the edge of their seats in the cold Oregon rain.
Capital FC’s dominance persisted, and on the hour during the 60’, Fumiya Shiraishi displayed his scoring prowess by adding another goal to the tally, making it 3-0 in favor of Atletico. The team was in control and playing with confidence.
Nevertheless, the game was not without challenges for Atletico. As the game continued, United PDX FC fought back, and in the 98’ United PDX managed to breach Atletico’s defense, reducing the deficit to 3-1. However, the men of Capital FC remained resilient, determined to protect their lead with the help of Atletico goalkeeper, Zack Andoh.
Andoh, is Capital FC’s youngest player, who recently completed his high school career at Lincoln High School. Despite only being 17, during the game, Andoh showcased his abilities on the field, making a significant impact in his first USL 2 pre-professional match helping the team secure the win. His performance this weekend (including a PK save) drew attention and anticipation for his future endeavors, as he is set to play for Division I soccer at the University of California Berkeley this upcoming fall.
“[This win] feels good,” said Andoh. “We’ve been working all week so it feels good. We’ve got a good group of boys, and it was just a good team win.”
In the end, despite the opposition's relentless efforts, Atletico stood strong, showcasing their resilience and team spirit. As the final whistle blew, Atletico emerged victorious with a well-deserved 3-1 win.
Another key contributor to Atletico’s win was centerback Ryan Keefe, an incoming junior at the University of Wisconsin, who provided valuable guidance and leadership to Atletico. Keefe's experience and expertise played a crucial role in guiding the team to success.
“We just had to come together as a group, we got back to the pitch, back the the training ground, got back to the fundamentals, and had a short term memory.” Keefe said. “I mean we learned our lesson. We just got back to work and clearly we showed together today. We showed up for each other and worked for each other, and that’s why we got a result today.”
The victory proved crucial for Capital FC as it propelled them to new heights in the Northwest League Standings. With this impressive win, Atletico climbed their way up to second place in the USL League Two Northwest Division rankings putting them in playoff potential. Their exceptional performance showcased their determination and skill, demonstrating that they are a force to be reckoned with in the league.
Capital FC Atletico will continue their USL 2 campaign this Friday against PDX FC at McCulloch Stadium at 7PM. You can get tickets here.
Following Friday’s match, Atletico will travel to Washington to face the Northwest League’s first-ranked Ballard FC on Friday, June 30th followed by Oly Town FC on Sunday, June 2nd. They will then return home Sunday, July 9, for a 2PM rematch against Oly Town FC at McCulloch Stadium in Salem.
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