FC Columbus opened its inaugural NPSL season Sunday afternoon against Milwaukee Torrent, securing its first NPSL point in the Great Lakes Conference following a 2-2 draw.
Following an early caution to FC Columbus’s Alusine Bangura in the first minute, the home team opened the scoring as Damani Camara got on the end of an excellent cross sent in from the wing by Bismark Agyeman.
Milwaukee found its footing following the goal, forcing a great save from Brennon Davis in the 33rd minute. A quick outlet started a FC Columbus counter that appeared to put the home side up 2-0. After discussion, the referees overturned the goal following a late touch on the ball by an offside Bangura as it was crossing the line.
A lapse in concentration by FC Columbus following the overturned goal saw Milwaukee’s Till Lammertz draw the away side level in the 36th minute.
Following the goal, the momentum seemed to have shifted to the away side until FC Columbus took back the lead just before half time. Some nifty individual skill from Bangura created just enough space for him to send a driven cross towards Camara, who was ready to smash home his second goal of the day.
Milwaukee came out of the gate looking for an equalizer early in the second half. Sustained pressure saw FC Columbus take a more defensive shape as they looked to take advantage of the counter again. Following a through ball by Milwaukee down the wing, Kangni Gabianou was shown a red card for a rough challenge in the 58th minute.
Down to ten men, FC Columbus continued to see pressure from Milwaukee until in the 64th minute, FC Columbus’s Vladimir Babaew was called for a foul on the edge of the box. Milwaukee drew level again on the ensuing free kick as the Drew Ruggles was able to beat the wall and Davis.
FC Columbus made a late surge to take three points following 73rd minute substitution that saw Michael Chilton come on for Bangura. Chilton would be denied by Milwaukee’s Agustin Rey in the 73rd and again by a recovering defender in stoppage time following a poor back pass by Milwaukee.
The home team would create one more chance late in stoppage time following a Milwaukee foul on the wing, outside the box. On the ensuing free kick, Midfielder Kevin Blackwood stuck the weld, where the bar meets the post, with an effort that, for a moment, seemed destined to secure three points for the home team.
Contributor: FC Columbus
Photo Credit: Kenan Le Parc