It was a high-intensity game with numerous breakaway opportunities for both teams, but the Rhode Island Reds FC managed to keep their postseason hopes alive, doing it in comeback fashion with a 2-1 victory over TSF FC on a steamy night at Polise Stadium.
Neither team would control possession for an extended length of time throughout the entire game. If either team held a distinct advantage at any point, it was TSF FC’s relentless pressure early in the game, maintaining its constant attack on the Reds defense. Any early Reds counter proved futile, as they tried to figure out TSF’s game plan.
TSF broke through in the 19th minute, as a perfect centering pass from Luis Mendoza was first-timed by Ritchie Barry into the back of the net. That gave TSF FC an early 1-0 lead.
That’s how the score stayed for the remainder of the half, as several opportunities were made to look rather unremarkable due to the fine work of Reds keeper Tony Billeri and TSF netminder Mateo Zabala.
The pace of the game remained consistent through the second half. Defender Keegan Nutt would prove to have been a vital substitution, however, as his intensity from the back was seemingly contagious. He was at the starting end of several counterattack opportunities and worked tirelessly down the left flank.
This renewed energy powered the Reds to tie the game in the 55th minute, as Max Colombo put the finishing touches on a cross from the reigning NPSL Player of the Week Fabrice Dogbey to tie the game 1-1.
The Reds went ahead for good in the 76th minute as Joao Nani Cardoso scored after a beautiful Toby Howell back-heel. That put the Reds up 2-1, which would be the final scoreline.
The creativity, intensity, and overall efforts by Toby Howell earned him March of Dimes Player of the Match for the Reds. For TSF FC, Ritchie Barry earned Player of the Match honors.
Contributor: Rhode Island Reds FC
Photo Credit: Julie Lach/Rhode Island Reds FC