A topsy-turvy second half with three goals in the final four minutes of play ended in a stalemate as Cleveland SC and FC Buffalo finished with the 3-3. The defensive battle seen in the season’s earlier reverse fixture only lasted roughly 30 minutes when the Wolves struck with two first-half goals by attackers Kendall McFayden and Euan Bauld. Cleveland SC’s set-piece woes continued as both first-half goals were conceded from second opportunities following FC Buffalo corner kicks. Difficulties securing and clearing the ball led to easy tap-ins to give the away squad the upper hand.
Cleveland SC responded early in the second half by forcing a turnover and feeding the ball through Mike Derezic, who played a square pass to Admir Suljevic. The midfield maestro’s low shot was redirected into the left corner by Vinny Bell in the 54th minute. With only a couple minutes to spare, Suljevic played Bell into space as the forward drew heavy contact from the Wolves’ defense. A penalty was awarded and converted by Suljevic to tie the score, but the match was far from over.
On an FC Buffalo counter attack, Bayley Winkel fired a shot low to the left of Cleveland SC keeper Mikal Outcalt, who parried the ball into the path of Akean Shakleford for a well-placed shot to give FC Buffalo a 3-2 lead in the final moments.
Shockingly, the orange-and-black had one more opportunity left in them as Antonio Manfut’s corner kick was met by Coletun Long. With the initial shot saved, Declan McGivern dove towards the open ball to head home the match-tying goal, his second of the year.
Cleveland SC escapes the weekend with two come-from-behind draws to keep it within striking distance of one of the two East Conference playoff positions.
Contributor: Cleveland SC
Photo Credit: Tall Tower Marketing