A polarizing match filled with surprise ended with a 4-4 draw between OSA FC and Spokane Shadow. Spokane scored an unanswered four goals by the 50th minute. Both teams set out
with similar positional tactics but after a few frantic minutes it was clear that the Shadow had the upper hand. Led by creators Jesse Retan, Karl Muelheims, and Micheal Ramos, the Shadow took the upper hand 10 minutes in with a cross into an unmarked forward who headed it home.
Scrambling to regain some composure and time on the ball, OSA fullback Edoardo Belfanti was able to catch a surprise cross quite powerfully but was denied by the crossbar. The Shadow, however, were not fazed and continued to compact themselves defensively and expand themselves offensively, cutting off space for OSA’s creative midfielders and forwards. Taking advantage of Micheal Ramos’ pace and skill on the wing, Spokane managed to create multiple counterattack situations eventually leading to their second goal after twenty minutes. Similar to the first goal, Spokane were able to find space on the wing and cross the ball to the forward, who finished the cross into the back of the net.
Down by two, OSA continued to push down the wings in an attempt to get one back before half, with midfielders Burke Fahling and Tyler Bjork constantly looking to find forwards Ryley Johnson, Cody Gibson, and Gabe Kellum who were marked persistently by Shadow’s back line. Packing in front of their box, Shadow conceded some of the ball to OSA’s midfielders who continued in the search for a shot. Near the end of the first half, Shadow were able to create another chance, which was finished quite nicely and increased their lead to three.
The second half began with no change to the OSA lineup, and a fervor of chances to bring the score back, however, Spokane once again took advantage of OSA’s desperation and gaps in the back line to set up a nice cross which was initially blocked but eventually put away in the
Down by four, the match looked to be all but over, and the Shadow seemed content to conserve energy and lower the rhythm of play. However, the introduction of goalkeeper Elmer Rodriguez, defender Wobi Torujo, midfielder Jay Weinman, and forwards Andrew Conwell, Yonathan Tselassea, and Vittorio Sasso gave OSA the needed energy and spark to get one back through a cross that was finished into Spokane’s goal by one of their own. Conceding the wings proved to be futile for the Shadow as it resulted in another goal conceded through a cross into Kellum’s path, and minutes later, Kellum was once again able to find the net with a stunning finish that easily beat the Spokane goalkeeper. Spurred by the dazzling combinations that came
from fullbacks Belfanti and Grimsby and wingers Sasso and Tselassea, OSA were able to equalize the score with a great finish from Sasso from the right of the goal into the bottom corner with less than 10 minutes remaining.
Contributor: Graham Hunter/OSA FC
Photo Credit: Nicolas Miguel and Lucas Meek