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Match Recap: Real OP Exhibits Defensive Prowess In 3-0 Win Over Northland FC

Real OP (3-0-0, 9 points) secured an emphatic 3-0 home win over Northland FC on Saturday evening. Northland FC was coming into the match as #2 in the standings, while Real OP was #4

Real OP started the match with a more rotated squad, as they were missing starting right-back Moses Daung, starting striker Andres Chavira, as well as defender Danny Garcia, midfielders Daniel Olivier and Jason Duarte, and forward Roman Briseno. 

The match began with Real OP asserting their dominance all over the pitch, defending with strength and attacking explosively. Taking advantage of a few dangerous set pieces in the first 25 minutes, Real OP nearly scored on numerous occasions, but were unable to capitalize on the opportunities. Ashton Watson also nearly found the back of the net, following a fantastic display of speed and dribbling down the left hand side, however he struck the woodwork. Coming off of a corner, Victor Nichols dispatched a laser of a shot from the top of the 6-yard box, but Northland FC goalkeeper Austin Gordon produced a sensational one-handed save to keep the match scoreless.

In the 28th minute, the pendulum would seem to swing sharply in Northland's favor, as goalkeeper Kleber Meneses would miscalculate an incoming ball and catch it less than a yard outside the box, resulting in a straight red card for him. Northland FC looked to exploit on the following free-kick but would directly blast it over the bar. Being a man down, Real OP resorted to an even more defensive posture than usual, but would prove to use deadly counterattacks in the coming minutes. 

In the 37th minute, Ashton Watson would attack down the left-hand side and send in a cross straight through the Northland FC defense right to where a wide-open Victor Nichols smashed the ball into the back of the net to make it 1-0 for the hosts and his 3rd of the season. 

In the second half, Real OP maintained their supremacy on the match, squelching any chances Northland FC created, and attacking with precision.

In the 59th minute, Alan Perez whipped in a dangerous corner where Roberto Mugabe would head it back to the top of 6-yard box for Real OP captain Phill Otsyula to double the lead, making it 2-0 for the hosts. Just a few minutes later, on the edge of Real OP's box following some heated Northland pressure, the ball would bounce off of Alan Perez's hand, and the ref would promptly award Northland FC a penalty. However, Northland FC were unable to take advantage of this golden opportunity, sending the ball sailing over the woodwork. 

Watson would add a 3rd goal for the hosts in the 71st minute, and nearly added a 4th, but Northland FC goalkeeper Austin Gordon was up the challenge, producing an astonishing save to keep Real OP at 3 goals. Carlos Ruz and Davey Valentin-Rosalio would also have their chances to add to the score, but their shots were left inches wide of the post. 

The match ended 3-0 in Real OP's favor, a dominant showing of incredible perseverance for the hosts, winning 3-0 and obtaining their first clean sheet of the season after a wonderful defensive performance by the defense and incredible showing by goalkeeper Colin Cooper with his first start, all while missing key players and being a man down. Real OP now remains the only team undefeated in Select League play this season, and undisputedly maintain the league's best defense. They will face off against #7 ranked Lenexa City FC on Saturday, in an effort to further climb up the table. 

Real OP 3x0 Northland FC

Team               1st           2nd             Final

Real OP            1               2                   3

Northland FC    0               0                   0

Real OP Starting Lineup: Colin Cooper; Carlos Ruz, Phill Otsyula(c), Moe Oo, Roberto Mugabe; Alan Perez, Salim Omesa; Michael Nichols, Jason Stevenson, Victor Nichols; Ashton Watson

Subs: Abraham Lopez, Davey Valentin-Rosalio, Kleber Meneses

Goal Summary:

37" - 1-0 - Victor Nichols(Ashton Watson)                            Real OP

59" - 2-0 - Phill Otsyula(Roberto Mugabe, Alan Perez)        Real OP

71" - 3-0 - Ashton Watson(unassisted)                                 Real OP

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