Two goals from Cancino, stunner from Diniz sees Legends FC win first match as a club

Published 8:15 am Tuesday, March 28, 2023

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Legends in the making. 

If Saturday served as an appetizer for what is to come, Legends FC has the goods to be a successful semi-pro soccer team right here in LaGrange. After falling 4-1 in their inaugural game, Legends got a chance to host its first home match at Callaway Stadium, beating Vinotinto Atlanta 4-2 in dramatic fashion. 

It looked as if Legends were going to settle for a draw after dominating the opening half of play, leading 2-0 at the break thanks to a pair of goals from LaGrange High graduate Jimmy Cancino. Vinotinto Atlanta got two goals late in the second half as Legends lost its grip on the game. 

The chance Legends were looking for came in the 88th minute when Renan Diniz stepped up and uncorked a sublime free kick from just outside the 18-yard box. The goalkeeper got the slightest of glances on the ball as it nestled in the corner of the net and relief broke out for the home side.

“I knew when it was in when it left my foot,” Diniz said. “I knew the goalkeeper was probably going to get his fingers on it, but he wasn’t going to be able to keep it out. 

For Diniz, it was a deserved first win for the home team, who created the more clear cut chances over the course of 90 minutes and change. 

Before Legends lost control of the game for a spell in the second half, the team was dominant and had a chance to score a few more goals when it was 2-0 but did not take their chances to put the game out of reach. 

It was all Legends early with Cancino breaking the deadlock within 20 minutes after opening kickoff, after he was awarded a penalty for being fouled in the box and buried the chance from the spot. 

“I haven’t scored at Callaway Stadium since high school,” Cancino said. “It really is crazy to think about.”

He got his second on the eve of halftime as Dennis Cole — who was magnificent for Legends on the afternoon, creating chance after chance — received the ball on the right wing, cut down the channel and delivered a perfect ball to Cancino who was open at the back post and put the ball in the roof of the net.

“The second goal is all credit to Dennis,” Cancino said. “I knew he was going to find me. It was an easy goal for me to score.”

Legends were seemingly in control of the match from there but could not kill the game off as Vinotinto Atlanta battled back.

Legends were able to get an insurance goal in extra time as Noa Wiegand was rewarded for 90 minutes of running up top by scoring his first goal for the club.

Legends FC is now 1-1 on the season. The team will return to action on Saturday away to The Strongest Atlanta. 

“It is really good to get three points from a tough game like that,” Diniz said. “It was important for us to score more goal today, and now we have to build on that.”