The 98 Boys Black might be running out of space on their trophy shelf. Coach Paulo Neto’s team, one of the strongest in the club, has won three consecutive tournaments. This time, it was the top bracket of the Red Diamon Vulcan Cup, as the squad prevailed in a rematch from last November’s state title game with Brentwood. In a hard fought victory, the 98 Boys Black scored two second half goals to claim the title.
Game one of the tournament didn’t offer much hope for the team. Although they won 1-0 over the HSC Phantoms 98, it was a lackluster performance. Rust from nearly three months since their last tournament play was readily apparent.
Momentum shifted in the second game. The 98 Black battled BRSC of Louisiana under the lights in an electric evening match. Trailing 2-0 at halftime, it looked as if the FC Alliance team was dead in the water. Instead, the boys rose up and ripped their way back into the tournament with an exiting 3-2 win.
In the third game, the 98 Black needed a win or draw to advance. The early Sunday morning contest ended as a 1 – 1 tie with NASA Elite, one of Georgia’s top teams. From there, it was off to the title game for FC Alliance.
Next tournament action will be in April 2012 at the Open Cup in Decatur, Alabama. The tournament has opened a lot of eyes in the regional soccer community, as it has attracted a number of international teams.