Jacksonville, Fla. – The Southern States SC made the long trip to Jacksonville, Florida but came up empty-handed in a top of the division battle with the Jacksonville Armada. The Stars were shut-out for a third successive game and were beaten by three second-half goals from the home team. Eduardo Coimbra opened the scoring and the excellent Jovoney Brown added to further goals to seal the win.
Despite the first half being an even contest between the first and second-placed teams in the division, the Stars were unable to break through in the second half and close the gap. Despite the Stars, Hector Grejeda making an early penalty-kick save, the home team rarely threatened as both teams sparred with each other. If the Armada had the earliest opportunity, the Stars had the last as they forced a number of corner-kicks in the final minutes of the half.
Once the Armada broke the game open with the first goal the Stars never really looked like pulling the game back and rarely troubled the Armada goalkeeper. The Stars pushed forward trying to grab a goal but as they did so they opened up their backline to the counterattack. The Armada took full advantage with two well-executed breakaways and two clinical finishes from center-forward Brown. The first was a deft clip over the diving Grejeda to finish a swift passing move and the second a delightful long shot over the despairing goalkeeper after a Stars defender had miscontrolled and presented him the ball some 35 yards out from goal.
The Stars fall to 4-3 while Jacksonville improves to 6-1. Up next for Southern States Stars is a trip to Panama City Beach where they will take on bottom team the Florida Roots who are still looking for their first win in NPSL play. Both teams are in their inaugural seasons.
(Picture – Armada’s Javoney Brown)