By FC Golden State
It seemed like it would be a long night for the visiting FC Golden State team. After the long bus ride from Southern California to Mesa, Arizona, FCGS had to quickly focus on the challenge of facing the second-highest scoring team in the Southwest Conference in FC Arizona. The visiting team looked to have been affected by the travel as the home side was one step ahead of them in every facet of the game. It wasn’t long until Arizona was able to get on the scoresheet thanks to a defensive mishap by Golden State defender Gabriel Enrique Silva. Attacking midfielder David Alton took the ball on the breakaway and raced onto the box to pierce a low shot past Golden State’s Enzo Robertoni. That was Alton’s first goal of the season and FC Arizona’s 12th in six games.
That was easily the game’s most exciting period all the way up to halftime. For FC Golden State to get any sort of result, they had to wake up for the second half.
That didn’t seem to be the case as the home side was unlucky not to add a second and instead hit the post within the first ten seconds of the second period. It was another uncharacteristic turnover by the visiting defense that almost cost them the game. Things only got worse for the away team when center back Kevin Riascos, who was playing against his former side, got a red card for pulling his man down on a 1v1 breakaway.
After the red card and a few tactical changes by Golden State head coach Bob Friedland, the visiting team woke up and dominated the last 25 minutes of the match.
“They dug deep in the second half,” said the visiting team’s head coach. “They were fighting for what they believe in which is the team and to put the best out in the field.”
Right when the game seemed to reach its boiling point, Golden State winger Alvaro Madrigal decided to take matters into his own feet. Madrigal controlled the ball from 20 yards out and made a brilliant move to evade two defenders and curl the ball past the goalkeeper to tie the game up. It was his second goal in as many matches, both being candidates for goal of the young Golden State season.
The last ten minutes really felt like any team would steal all three points. But, in the end, there wouldn’t be a game-winning goal from either team. For the circumstances of the game, it had the feeling that the away side was happier with their one point than the home side could admit. That is certainly a sentiment that Friedland had after the game.
“It was a hard-fought game that seemed to be fair to be a tie,” said Friedman. “Given that we had ten men…I thought that they (Golden State) played hard.”
After this draw, both teams continue to be the only sides to not taste defeat with FC Golden State only playing three games while FC Arizona have gone six games without a loss. Given the early success with both teams, this single point can have the possibility to have heavy repercussions at the end of the season. It’ll be a while until both teams meet again. May 5th is the return date and it will be FC Golden State’s turn to enjoy being at home while FC Arizona do the long trek of crossing enemy state lines.
Photo Credit: Aaron Mendez