GAME OF THE WEEK: GOALFEST IN PORTLAND
It was a game of two halves. Host and visitor played the first half to a scoreless draw, only to have the floodgates open with a six-goal second half. It was the perfect day for soccer, but only the visiting team went home feeling it was a beautiful day. The home side picked up two postgame red cards from a sideline fight between teammates and soured what was already a disheartening defeat.
The first 20 minutes of the match was a back and forth affair with neither midfield playing strong enough to retain possession but both defenses holding strong. The best chance for the home side came from a free kick in this window. CD Aguiluchos USA committed a hard foul on Spartans and picked up the first yellow card of the match. This provided a dangerous free kick opportunity for the Spartans from about 30 yards out near the center of the pitch. Unfortunately the home team’s shot was caught up in traffic and CDA were able to clear their lines.
After 20 minutes of end to end action, the Spartans’ midfield began to gain control and retain possession. For the remainder of the half, Spartans found themselves with the ball more often, but weren’t any more dangerous than CD Aguiluchos were on the counter. Spartans’ only corner kick of the half was well taken, but the header was cleared off the line by the visitors.
CD Aguiluchos were able to reverse the momentum in the last few minutes of the match and their best chance of the half was the last shot taken. The last play was a corner kick taken by CDA. Although the kick went over most players CD Aguiluchos were able to keep the ball in the box and got a shot off, but it went inches wide left of the post just as the ref blew the whistle for half time.
Once the second half started it didn’t take long for the goals to start coming. Less than two minutes into the second half, CD Aguiluchos drew first blood and opened the scoring with a quick counter attack sequence and got past the Spartans defensive line and they put their shot past the keeper.
Shortly after, the Spartans kept the game interesting and secured their equalizer five minutes later. They got the ball and ran at the backline of CD Aguiluchos, breaking into the box before being taken down. The ref immediately blew his whistle and pointed to the spot. Spartans were able to convert their penalty with a hard shot into the bottom right corner and equalize.
Unfortunately, this would be the only goal they got as CD Aguiluchos made a few changes and began to find a weakness in the Spartans defense. The next five goals scored came from going at and getting behind the defense for open looks at goal.
For about 12 minutes it was a lot like the first part of the first half, where Spartans were doing everything they could to get forward and find a goal to gain the lead, but CD Aguiluchos were holding firm and hitting back on the counter.
In the 67th minute CD Aguiluchos broke through and regained the lead. A quick counter got them behind the defense, into the box, and the shot chipped over the keeper for their second of the night.
And the Spartans continued to fight until the 80th minute when it appeared that the backline began to crumble. CD Aguiluchos got behind the defense again and put their shot past the keeper for their third goal of the evening. And only five minutes later they got a penalty kick of their own which they converted with a low shot down the middle to get their fourth goal and put the game to bed. But they weren’t done yet.
In the 90th and final minute of regulation time CD Aguiluchos got through yet again and the Spartans keeper was unable to do anything to keep the ball out of the back of the net. Three minutes later the final whistle blew and CD Aguiluchos secured a 5-1 victory thanks to a very dominant last 15 minutes of the match.