METROSTARS LOSE MASL THRILLER IN UTICA
UTICA, NY – Saturday, March 30, 2019
A power play goal by Mauricio Salles, his second tally of the game, with just over five minutes to play, broke a 5-5 tie and gave host Utica City FC a 6-5 victory over the visiting Mississauga MetroStars in an exciting Eastern Division contest Saturday night at a raucous Adirondack Bank Center in Utica, NY.
Playoff-bound UCFC started brightly as they jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead on goals by Joey Tavernese and Bo Jelovac’s first of two on the night within the first 3:00 of the game.
But Mississauga would storm back in the second quarter, scoring three straight to grab a 3-2 lead at halftime. Mo Babouli, with his team leading 21st of the season, beat Utica keeper Andrew Coughlin with a low shot to the far corner to open the MetroStars’ account. Then, late in the quarter, Josip Keran and Shaq Agard would score goals just over 2:00 apart to put the visitors out in front and silence the hometown crowd.
But early in the third quarter, UCFC equalized on Salles’ first of the game and 10th of the season. Just 66 seconds later, Babouli fed a pass to Darren Chambers who struck a left foot shot past Coughlin for Mississauga’s go ahead goal. Then, with just ten seconds to play in the quarter, Utica’s Freddy Moojen took a pass from Stephen DeRoux, turned and shot a low roller that banked in off the near post to beat MetroStars keeper Adrian Becic.
But just 64 seconds into the fourth quarter, Babouli and Chambers combined again to give Mississauga a 5-4 lead with Chambers slotting in a pass across goal from Babouli. That goal however was nullified less than five minutes later when a shot from Jelovac took a slight deflection off a MetroStars defender and escaped the grasp of Becic to bring the score level again.
That set the stage for the game-winning goal, which came with the MetroStars’ Sebastian Lopez in the penalty box. Gonzaga fed Salles from the corner and the Utica City forward netted his 11th of the season to complete the scoring in dramatic fashion. With time winding down, Mississauga pulled Becic in favour of a 6th attacker but they were unable to get an equalizer to force overtime.
The victory improved UCFC’s record to 16-6 as their rivals and Eastern Division co-leaders Baltimore Blast were playing in Harrisburg Saturday night. Mississauga fell to 4-19 on the season.
The MetroStars conclude their expansion season in the MASL next Saturday, April 6, when they travel back to Harrisburg for a final date with the Heat at the PA Farm Show Arena. Kickoff is 7:05pm (EDT).
MASL Match Report
Match: Utica City FC v Mississauga MetroStars
Date: March 30, 2019
Venue: Adirondack Bank Centre
Kickoff: 7:08pm (EDT)
Goals 1 2 3 4 F
UCFC 2 0 2 2 6
Mississauga 0 3 1 1 5