Ponte Preta Runners-Up at Schwaben!
Three Team Chicago teams invaded Buffalo Grove this past weekend showing off an array of skills, abilities, and even a flair for celebrations as both age groups had a Team Chicago team in the championship game.
In the U14 Girls division, Team Chicago-Academy-Ponte Preta started off on Friday night under the lights against Schwaben’s U13 Nationals team. Being the first game of the season for both teams, it was a one where chances were tough to come by. The majority of Ponte Preta’s attack came along the flanks with their best chance being thwarted by a questionable no-call in the box.
The second half was more of the same until Schwaben played a nice combination through the middle before a 30 yard chip surprised everyone for the eventual game-winner. The rest of the game was a tense contest of Ponte Preta’s ability to score versus Schwaben’s stubborn defense anchored by their young and small but athletic goalie. The final score left Ponte Preta down 1-0 and with a taste for revenge.
The second and third group games were tougher than expected and proved to be good tests for the girls. 10 minutes into its game versus CFJ North Red, Ponte Preta was up 2-0 and looking for closure but they found the crossbar and the goalie, but not a goal to put the game out of reach. Proving the adage that a 2-goal lead is the most dangerous, Ponte Preta had a dogfight on its hands after letting up a goal in the second half. Thankfully, the defense held up. The last group game needed only a tie against a depleted Berwyn Blazers Swiss team, and TC squeezed through with a sub-par performance to a 1-1 draw.
Sunday’s final was a repeat of Friday’s game against Schwaben Nationals. Ponte Preta played an open game and attacked the wings, but this left them vulnerable to counter attacks. After a couple Ponte Preta errors, Schwaben was able to take advantage to get the go-ahead goal, and rode their ability to defend until the last minute. Credit to the Ponte Preta girls for their team never-say-die attitude as they pushed for a tying goal, but the touch of genius or good fortune never came.
In the end, all three Team Chicago teams left their mark on the Northwest suburbs through their skills, teamwork, and sportsmanship. Congratulations and thanks to all the players and their families who helped make this weekend’s fall kickoff possible.