Iguanas Belt Beer Engines FC, 3-1

Second straight win for Iguanas

Updated Tuesday June 10, 2014 by Eric Thompson.

Iguanas left the friendly confines of Vadnais Sports Center for two firsts of their 2014 season: their first outdoor game and the first game that started before 9:00 PM. They took on Beer Engines FC at Thresher Field on a very comfortable Monday evening in Eagan.

The natural grass playing surface was pretty long and was quite an adjustment from the fast track of the field turf at VSC. While Iguanas dominated the flow of play early on, they struggled to find their touch in the grass as shots missed the target or rolled harmlessly to the Beer Engines keeper. Other chances were stifled by Iguanas attackers stumbling over their touches while still getting used to the slower field.

About 20 minutes into the first half, Beer Engines FC proved that you don't always need to dominate possession to take the lead. In what was basically their first attack of the game, Beer Engines used a quick counter to get an odd man rush on the Iguanas defense. Goalkeeper Jason Radatz stopped the initial shot but a Beer Engines forward headed the rebound in to give Beer Engines a surprising 1-0 lead.

The goal invigorated Beer Engines FC and the rest of the first half was more evenly contested. However, it was Iguanas that would notch the next goal. After a series of quick passes to reach the attacking third of the field, Iguanas midfielder switched fields with a long pass to defender Eric Thompson. After initially looking to cross the ball into the box, Thompson noticed the Beer Engines keeper off his line and chipped a perfect shot just inside the far post to even the score at 1-1.

The rest of the first half was an up-and-down affair with both teams getting decent scoring opportunities. Iguanas scored again just before the break thanks to midfielder Brian Pearson. After a scramble in front of the net, Pearson stole the ball from a Beer Engines defender and quickly slotted home his team-leading fourth goal to give Iguanas a 2-1 halftime lead.

Iguanas kept their momentum going in the second half and got an insurance goal about 10 minutes after the break. Defender Nick Donnay sent a long throw-in to Kerry Burns, who made a quick cut inside and fired home his second goal in as many games to make the score 3-1 in favor of the visitors.

The final 30 minutes of the game had a noticeably slower pace and neither team could capitalize on the handful of opportunities they had. The final whistle blew and Iguanas had secured their second straight win while handing Beer Engines FC their first defeat of the season.

Iguanas return to VSC next week to take on Blast II, who are the defending Division 2 tournament champions. Blast II beat Iguanas in both of their 2013 contests by scores of 6-4 and 2-1.

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