2016 IMG Cup: Day 3 slowdown

2016 IMG Cup: Day 3 slowdown
by Chris Girandola
December 17, 2016
BRADENTON, Fla. -- The 2016 IMG Cup Boys Invitational: Super Group slowed to a crawl Friday with just two teams in action, as opposed to the multi-play pairings on the first two days. FC Florida gained its second victory to move into a first place tie with Deportivo Toluca, its opponent on Saturday.
 
Dennis Cabrera and Evensky Berleus each scored for FC Florida while Wesley Alexander made nine saves in the 2-0 victory over Black Rock FC. 
 
"It was another solid team effort for us," FC Florida coach Jelco Petrov said. "We had good spacing and we moved the ball from the back to the front effectively. We created some good chances. Wesley and the rest of the defense did a good job keeping them from scoring."
 
After Cabrera's first half goal, Black Rock picked up the pressure in the second half by sending more players on runs. While the strategy created increased opportunities on the offensive end, it left the back line exposed.
 
Berleus benefited from Black Rock's tactic when a stalled counter-attack created a situation in which Black Rock's players funnelled towards Sawyer Reese on the left side of the field, just past the penalty box. Reese crossed the ball to Berleus, who gathered the ball at the top of the box and rifled a shot to the opposite upper corner of the goal.
 
"That was a precision play with a professional finish," Petrov said. 
 
Black Rock had several chances to reduce the deficit but Alexander was up for the task at hand. 
 
"Our goalkeeper played the type of game, once again, in which you want from your top players," Petrov said.
 
FC Florida now will face Deportivo Toluca, who has been equally impressive in their two victories.
 
"They have some talented players who we match up well against and who matches well against us. It will be quite the battle."
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