2-2 Draw for Jackson Lions FC and WC Predators

By Jackson Lions FC

Sunday, May 19th offered up some incredible weather for an NPSL Keystone East Conference matchup, and the four-goal thriller that took place between Jackson Lions FC and WC Predators did not disappoint in the slightest.

The action started almost immediately with the Lions taking an early lead through an Ian Abbey stunner in just the third minute.  Abbey’s ambitious strike from 20 yards hit the post, ricocheted off the back of the WC Predators’ goalkeeper, and found the net, setting the high tempo that would remain for the rest of the match.  The young winger now has four goals in three matches of conference play.

WC Predators responded quickly, however, with Tom Smith seizing on a scramble in front of the Lions’ goal following a set piece in the ninth minute.  This goal clearly bolstered the visitors’ confidence, and they pushed forward hoping for a positive result.  The Predators earned a penalty 20 minutes later when Lions defender James Watson pulled down an attacker.  Ryan Kugel converted confidently, giving the Predators a temporary lead.

Undeterred, the Lions leveled the score again just three minutes later.  Walter Calderon set up Dave Nigro, who scored from roughly 15 yards out.  The quick succession of goals exemplified the intense back-and-forth nature of the first half, which concluded with the score tied at 2-2.

The second half saw the Lions apply tons of pressure on a WC Predators side that had seemed content to absorb pressure and counter.  Jacob Rubinstein, who came on in the 56th minute, made a noticeable impact as the Lions began finding success by floating balls to the back post for him to put back across goal.  This resulted in some dangerous moments for the WC defense with Rubinstein even hitting the bar on one occasion.  

Matthew Fuentes, after pushing into a central role, also added to the pressure when he tested the WC Predators keeper on the half volley.  Despite hitting the woodwork multiple times, the Lions just could not muster up the goal they needed to clinch the victory.

Honorable mention should also go to the performance of Jackson midfielder Nestor Cabrera, whose awareness on and off the ball combined with a calmness beyond his years makes for an exciting talent to keep your eyes on for the remainder of the NPSL season.  He was at the heart of some of Jackson’s lengthiest spells of possession, orchestrating the match with his passing and movement. 

Looking forward, Jackson Lions FC prepares to face Atlantic City FC away on Saturday, May 25.  With their resilient and attacking gameplay, the Lions aim to convert their dominance into victories in their future matchups.


Photo Credit: Tyler Andreas


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