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Ricardo Pepi scores brace to extend FC Groningen scoring run

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Ricardo Pepi has fit right into the plans at Dutch side FC Groningen with the American striker continuing his strong run of goalscoring form on Friday in Eredivisie action.

Pepi scored his first European brace in FC Groningen’s 3-2 home loss to RKC Waalwijk, giving him four goals in his last three club appearances. The Augsburg loanee has made an instant impact in Holland, becoming a regular contributor for FC Groningen.

Pepi’s first goal came from the penalty spot in the 14th minute, stepping up and scoring into bottom-left corner. His goal handed the hosts a 1-0 lead and some early momentum in front of the home supporters.

After Waalwijk flipped the scoreline in its favor at 2-1 in the 61st minute, Pepi took advantage of a great setup from Florian Kruger, blasting a shot into the roof of Waalwijk’s goal. It was Pepi’s fifth goal involvement since arriving in the Netherlands, and an important tally to tie things up at 2-2.

However, FC Groningen would concede a 80th minute winner to Mika Biereth to give Waalwijk a 3-2 road win. Pepi finished the match with 90 minutes played, one chance created, 7/13 duels won, and three clearances.

The 19-year-old will now aim to keep his impressive run of form going as FC Groningen travels to FC Twente on Oct. 16.

Comments

  1. The kid is in form and clicking at the right time. So glad he made the move to the Eredivisie! Vamos Pepi! #ChooChoo

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  2. The first one was a penalty.
    The second one is the type of goals that gets you into the final 26.
    The first two he scored was one on an uncontested header. The other was a heads up play when he hit the ground on a challenge and finished it from there.

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  3. That score there is kind of the best of Pepi. He does that little backwards over-the-shoulder touch to keep things in the mixer – he acts like he knew he had a guy there – and without hesitation he immediately wheels and finds some space and is ready to pounce all over the ball when it comes back. Really, really impressive vision and speed of thought, no hesitation, and shows that instinct for goal only a natural goalscorer has.

    I’d like to see him fill out and get bigger and stronger, I’d like to see his first touch get a little more polished, and I’d have liked to have seen a cleaner strike with the finish – I want that ball blowing out the back of the net – but hey, it was a goal, and the instincts and nose for goal he’s showing simply cannot be taught, you either have them or you don’t. I still think he needs to develop a bit before he’s ready to really show out in the Bundesliga but that right there is sort of the definition of “high potential”, and he’s doing it at a higher level and with a better team than you typically see in MLS, too, so there’s no question he’s progressing in a hurry and hasn’t near reached his ceiling yet. He’s still 19, yes?

    His game isn’t speed-based, either…he looks like the sort of player, physically, that could keep on improving into his 30’s. He definitely looks like a guy who could maybe help the USMNT for the next decade, maybe even longer.

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    • Agreed. Though I guess differ about the about the finish. From his technique, it looked to me like he very intentionally hit the the ball down into the turf with some venom. This ensures the ball stays on frame, and makes it near impossible to save even if the keeper gets a hand to it (which he did)/

      But whatever. For me, the thing I liked most about it was Pepi showing good awareness of his fellow attackers in the box. Combination play has not yet been a strong suit for him.

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