It was heartbreak in Charlottesville for FC Baltimore 1729. The club squared off against fellow expansion club Charlottesville Alliance FC Sunday for their second Mid-Atlantic Conference matchup. Unlike their last conference match where they soared on the scoresheet scoring five, FCB could not quite find the back of the net and they lost 1-0, dropping three points late.
The score line does not reflect what all happened in this game. Due to the pitch being very slick from the torrential downpour, players and the ball skidded a little more than usual. Some players did not have the control that they perhaps wanted. This surface helped contribute to five yellow cards, four of which were in the second half.
The only goal scored in this match was from the second to last kick of the game. In the 93rd minute Charlottesville made what seemed like one final push. The ball landed in the penalty box, and a ball pursuing Jade Mesias stormed in. His hand just happened to be a little too high, and the ball struck it, earning a penalty kick for Charlottesville. Captain Fernando Casero confidently struck the penalty kick past keeper Quantrell Jones, and shortly after the final whistle blew, promptly resulting in “You’ll Never Walk Alone” blasting over the sound system at Deberry-Bingler Field.
“I didn’t think our energy level was there in the first half, especially defensively when we turned the ball over, we weren’t there to recover right away,” assistant coach Mike Griffith said postgame. “Second half was much better, but we still weren’t good enough in the final third of the field. Created some opportunities, but our final run just wasn’t there.”
From the start, it was clear that Charlottesville Alliance FC had a set way of playing. The team sat back and didn’t allow much behind them. Every few minutes the Alliance would make a run of their own to clear the danger, and FC Baltimore would try to retain possession and make an impactful push, but they weren’t able to generate the number of chances from previous affairs.
The closest chance FC Baltimore had at scoring was in the 67th minute. A free kick was set up just outside the 18, with team leading scorer Jake Dengler standing over it. His kick soared past the keeper but it bounced off the woodwork and away from the action. A few more inches to the left, and it would have been his second free kick goal of the season, and his fourth goal overall.
If the devastating loss for FC Baltimore wasn’t enough, midfielder Grant Robinson went down midway through the second half with an apparent leg injury. Robinson had to be helped off, but the extent of the injury is still unknown.
Both FC Baltimore 1729 and Charlottesville Alliance FC hold three points in the table, but FCB still sit ahead of CAFC thanks to goal differential. This win for Charlottesville certainly makes the race for the Mid-Atlantic Conference crown a lot more interesting.
Contributor: Christian Taylor/FC Baltimore
Photo Credit: Andrew Kinback