The Shadow Men’s First Team played to a scoreless draw in their National Premier Soccer League home opener with current Northwest Conference leader PDX FC.
At home, the conference’s two unbeatens squared off for the first time. Both teams had chances in the first half, but the Shadow defense stood firm in the second and pushed the advantage in play to the hosts for the final half-hour.
Unfortunately, the Shadow were unable to find that final touch to nab the win, settling for a draw for the third time in four outings as they moved to 1-0-3 with the stalemate. PDX is now 2-0-1. The result allowed OSA FC to move into a tie for first with Saturday’s 2-1 win against Kitsap.
Both sides had dramatic close calls in the opening minutes that would have changed the contest. Just three minutes into the match a shot from PDX striker Francisco Lopez forced a save from Bryan Hernandez. Another three minutes later a corner served in from the left by Jesse Retan (Whitworth/Cheney) was nodded down by defender Spencer Wolfe (Whitworth) with pace only to see it denied.
As the first half progressed, the two sides continued to exchange looks.
In the 23rd Nick Hamer (Gonzaga/Mead) ripped a shot from the top of the box that was stopped by goalkeeper Oscar Torres with the rebound falling to Retan, but his effort from a tight angle went wide.
Lopez had a pair of chances for the visitors again in the 28th and 32nd. He found some space on the right side for the first, letting loose a rising shot from about 25 yards that looked bound for the underside of the crossbar until Hernandez grazed the ball with a deflection that slipped it just over instead. The second effort from the left side a few minutes later went wide.
In the 35th minute Jared Davis (CC Spokane) got the ball in the corner and slipped to Retan, whose service from the left touchline skirted through the six untouched. A foul by Kelly Kyllo (CC Spokane / Lakeside) at the edge of the box gave the visitors another chance in the 38th, but the free kick from Bennett Lehner flew high.
In the second half Johny Cortez (CC Spokane/Moses Lake) served the ball in from the right to Retan, but his finish from 14 yards slipped just wide right five minutes into the period. In the 82nd minute Denis Kalamar (Gonzaga) drove behind the defense on the right side, but a shot from distance flew just over the goal.
The visitors nearly stole the match in the final minutes with a blasted 40-yard effort from defender Israel Vega, but his effort also had just a bit too much height on it.
The result was the first shutout of the season for and against for both teams.