By: Federico Pravettoni
On a chilly Saturday night at The Pit, the Golden Lions fell short to Beaman United FC from Nashville by a score of 3-1.
From the first minutes of the match, Beaman started strong and took control of the game with great spells of possession while the home side struggled to play their game.
After a few chances in the first 15 minutes, Beaman found the lead with a goal by Alphonso Gooden in the 22nd minute. The forward, assisted from the right flank, readied himself inside the box and finished with a great touch in the top right corner.
Beaman continued to dominate and came close to doubling the advantage with a header by midfielder and captain Kwadwo Poku.
Later, in the 30th minute, the captain found the back of the net in a 1v1 with Golden Lion goalkeeper Chas Cross, giving Beaman a 2-0 advantage.
The visitors continued to push as they maintained hold of the ball and looked to find their third of the night with Seth Poku, but stopped by an impressive cross to keep BGFC afloat.
In the second 45 minutes, the home side came out with a completely different approach and with just three minutes into the half, shortened the advantage with a goal by Jacob Liddy – who won the challenge with Beaman’s defender and finished with a shot on the ground in the bottom left corner beating BUFC goalkeeper Alex Rodriguez.
The Golden Lions made themselves dangerous again and came close to finding the equalizer.
In the 78th minute, however, Beaman found the third of the night off a devastating counterattack ended with a tap-in goal by forward Hayden Black, sealing the game to crush Bowling Green’s hopes for a comeback.
“We’re proud of our guys, it’s our first experience doing this,” said BGFC head coach Evan Sutherland. “They stayed together and gave it a fight tonight.”
Despite the loss, Sutherland believes this is a valuable experience for the team’s growth moving forward.
“It’s really about growing and getting this experience, these experiences, this is so valuable for these guys because like I said, we got a lot of guys that are 19, 20 years old,” he said. “We’re going to grow, we’re going to keep getting better and you know, see if we come back here next year and move forward.”
Beaman captain Kwadwo Poku has an interesting US Open Cup resume from his earlier playing days. In addition to his nine career tournament goals, he is one of two players to score a goal in three consecutive tournaments for three different teams at three different levels. Poku scored for the Georgia Revolution (NPSL) in 2013, Atlanta Silverbacks (NASL, Div. 2 pro) in 2014 and then for New York City FC (MLS, Div. 1) in 2015. He shared his thoughts on the game and the final result.
“It’s really important, it’s our first you know, I think for Beaman, it’s our first Open Cup game and obviously, everybody wants to be in the US Open Cup regardless of what level, so you know, the guys were determined to win,” he said.
With the win, Beaman advances to the third qualifying round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, to be played Nov. 19-20.
“It’s going to get harder and harder and harder,” said Poku. “You got to take it one at a time, you got to work day in day out because it’s not going to get easy, so, again, you know, we will train and we will do our best to get to where we want to get to.”