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USL eCup Matchday Report – Toros Take Title for Opening Week

By NICHOLAS MURRAY - nicholas.murray@uslsoccer.com, 05/09/20, 8:03PM EDT

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Kibato completes perfect run to sit on top of overall leaderboard after victory over Hartford

Rio Grande Valley FC claimed victory in the Final of the Play-In Bracket of the USL eCup: FIFA20 Edition on Saturday night, defeating Hartford Athletic 4-0 to claim 1,000 points in the overall standings to close out of the first week of the six-week tournament. 

Three Things that Mattered

1. It was a great night for the two players who had separated themselves from the pack to square off, but in the end Rio Grande Valley FC’s Kembo Kibato shone brightly again to roll off a 4-0 victory with Brazil against Hartford Athletic’s Tyreke Johnson and Scotland. Kibato and the Toros have certainly been dealt a great hand with Brazil as their squad for this tournament, but the control and ability to time passes around the penalty area against another very good player in Johnson made Kibato the toast of the tournament so far. Now he’ll look to make it two-for-two next week as the top seed in Division A.

2. There was one key moment for Hartford that might have made a difference in Saturday’s clash. Moments after the Toros took the lead five minutes before halftime on a blistering finish by Neymar Jr. to the top-right corner, Johnson opened up a chance of his own to equalize. The shot rang off the bottom of the right post and was cleared to safety, and the halftime whistle then blew to stem any potential momentum. Unfortunately for the Athletic, that chance proved their only shot of the game, and while it’s still probable that RGVFC would have gone on to win, we were also left to wonder what might have happened if the sides had gone into halftime leve.

3. We were hoping to see a bounce-back performance from Austin Bold FC’s Valeri Saramutin after his heavy Semifinal defeat on Friday, and the man delivered. A 3-0 win with Italy against OKC Energy FC’s Arun Basuljevic and Portugal earned third place – and 600 points on the leaderboard – for Austin in the opening week. That happened thanks to Saramutin controlling the tempo expertly with accurate, patient passing that gave him 55 percent of possession and limited OKC’s potent Portugal attack to two shots. This win should give Bold FC’s squad some confidence going into Division A next week.  

Highlights Central

Results

Final
Rio Grande Valley FC (Brazil) 4, Hartford Athletic (Scotland) 0

Third-Place Game
Austin Bold FC (Italy) 3, OKC Energy FC (Portugal) 0

Leaderboard

1. Rio Grande Valley FC – 1,000pts
2. Hartford Athletic – 750pts
3. Austin Bold FC – 600pts
4. OKC Energy FC – 300pts
T-5. Greenville Triumph SC – 200pts
T-5. Union Omaha – 200pts
T-5. New York Red Bulls II – 200pts
T-5. Saint Louis FC – 200pts

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