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Photo courtesy: Aiden Armstrong

Rodrigo Robles Leads Asheville City SC to 4-0 Victory Over Athens FC With Two Goal Performance

By Mitch Stone, 05/29/24, 7:15AM HST


Photo courtesy: Aiden Armstrong

On Tuesday night, the men of Asheville defeated newly-founded Athens FC 4-0 on the back of a Rodrigo Robles brace. With the victory, the Blues remain in first place in the South Central Division with nine points, two points above Dothan United. 

Following two straight victories against Southern Soccer Academy, Asheville City SC looked to record their third win of the season in their first ever matchup with Athens FC. Coach Scott Wells made five changes to the squad, rotating in Mao Wong and Casper Svendby at back, while bolstering the midfield with Rodrigo Robles, Kemy Amiche, and Luke Jeffus. 

Heading into the match, Coach Wells wanted to continue to apply heavy pressure early on, and Asheville did just that. The Blues’ high press set the tone early, creating numerous problems for Athens FC, including several turnovers and a costly goalkeeping error. In just the third minute, Rodrigo Robles dispossessed Athens FC goalkeeper Dagoberto Romero and coolly snuck the ball past him for Asheville’s first goal of the night. 

In the 14th minute, the men of Asheville nearly found their second goal, as Sebastian Tregarthen took a clever touch around an Athens midfielder and played a wonderful through ball with the outside of his boot to Lewis Johnson, who missed the shot just wide. Despite Tregarthen not adding to his goal tally during the match, he was able to cause all kinds of issues for Athens as he dropped into the midfield for service, allowing Robles and Amiche to run in behind. 

The Blues grabbed their second goal in the 39th minute off a spectacular piece of play from Ryan Bauer and Lewis Johnson. Following a clearance from a corner, Bauer received the ball and intricately flicked it up to Johnson, who split the Athens backline and slotted it into the bottom right corner for his first goal of the season. 2-0 to Asheville at the half. 

Despite a quiet start to the second half in which neither team had many chances, Asheville finally recorded their third goal in the 65th minute. Tragedy struck the Athens backline yet again, as a lucky bounce from a 50-50 challenge landed right to Robles, who quickly took it and smashed it into the left corner for the brace. He moves up to three goals on the season.

It only took three more minutes for Asheville to find their fourth goal of the evening. Coming straight from the training ground, Tregarthen slipped the ball past two defenders to an unmarked Iziah Vignali, who calmly finished it into the left corner to secure the victory for the Blues. 

While the attack was ruthless throughout the match, the backline deserves its credit too. Athens FC struggled to create any kind of opportunities going forward due to the physicality and composure of the Asheville defense, which has only given up one goal all season. 

Following the victory, Coach Wells stated “whoever we’re playing, no matter what the conditions are, whether it’s at home in front of our fans and in our stadium or it’s away in front of 5,000 fans rooting against us, our boys are just focused on our identity and our process and what we all want to achieve.”

The men of Asheville will face East Atlanta FC at Greenwood Field on Saturday at 7:30pm. East Atlanta FC currently sit in third place with 4 points. 

The women of Asheville play on Wednesday at 7:30pm at Greenwood Field against Athens FC, who currently sit winless in last place of the South Central Division. Athens has given up a whopping 25 goals so far this season.