MIAMI, FL — Red Force FC defeated South Florida FC in the 2018 ASPL Summer Championship Finals on Sunday, August 19 at Tropical Park.
With both teams looking for their first APSL Summer Championship title, both South Florida FC and Red Force FC came into the match with something to prove.
South Florida FC came into the finals through a strong performance against Boca Raton FC winning that match 3-0. Red Force FC found its way into the finals facing off against rival FC Kendall and winning 3-1. Also on the line was the APSL scoring title and assist title with both teams having candidates. David Holguin of Red Force FC came into the final with a league-leading ten goals and five assists, right on his heels was Santiago Duque of South Florida FC with nine goals and five assists.
The match began intensely with both sides clearly wanting to come away with the trophy. Red Force FC had several opportunities early on but keeper Saul Martinez was able to keep them off the scoreboard.
South Florida FC was able to change the momentum minutes later with a great shot from Jose Sierra from outside the box but was ultimately saved Red Force FC’s keeper Anton Widen.
After both clubs trading off fouls, Sebatiani Derosier of South Florida FC had an excellent ball delivered to him into the box but was fouled in the box by a defender resulting in a penalty kick. Derosier was able to take the PK himself and went low and to the left with his shot which was saved by Widen. Towards the final minutes of the first half South Florida FC had another great look at net with a free kick from out the box, the shot was well-placed but clashed against the crossbar.
Red Force looked reenergized in the second half. Holguin took matters into his own hand and made some terrific plays one of which was a volley that was just off the mark.
In the 54th minute Sout,h Florida FC had a perfectly placed cross through the box which was able to find the head Faycal Oulahbibn to give the team from Pembroke Pines the 1-0 lead.
However, the lead would not last long as six minutes later Red Force FC was awarded a penalty and goal-scoring leader David Holguin buried the shot into the corner of the net.
As the second half came to a close, both teams were still tied at 1-1 and so the match headed to extra time. This was the first APSL Summer Championship match that has gone to extra time.
After a lackluster first half in extra time, the intensity picked up in the second half when Red Force’s Alvaro Franco gave Red Force the 2-1 lead late in the game after a beautiful assist by Holguin.
Just as time was set to expire and have Red Force crowned APSL Champions, South Florida’s Jorge Jaramillo Rodriguez equalized with a dramatic last-minute goal to send the APSL Summer Championship Finals to its first-ever penalty shootout.
Both teams made their first three shots, and after Red Force was able to make it four, it was up to South Florida FC to rebuttal. However, with a kick right down the middle, Widen was able to easily save it to give Red Force its first-ever APSL Championship.
With one goal and one assist in the match, Red Force’s David Holguin not only earned the APSL Trophy, but also the APSL Golden Boot and the Assist Trophy with 11 goals and six assists in the season.
About the APSL:
The American Premier Soccer League is an independent organization of soccer clubs, with the aim of improving, qualifying and publicizing the soccer in the United States.
The APSL is sanctioned by the Florida State Soccer Association (FSSA) as an affiliate of the United States Soccer Federation (USSF), the ruling body for soccer in the United States, and FIFA, the world’s ruling body for soccer.
The APSL has two seasons, one from March that runs through August, and another that runs from September to December.
The APSL is organized in a mostly decentralized structure and is managed as a team-run league. Each year the member clubs help elect a Commissioner, Treasurer and Secretary. Each team is individually owned and operated and is responsible for maintaining league minimum standards. New teams seeking membership into the APSL are subject to approval from an executive committee of existing team owners. Member clubs have the right to make localized decisions for their respective markets, conferences and regions based on what they believe is best for their particular region.