Loons Wash Away Iguanas
2-1 loss leaves Iguanas at .500 againUpdated Wednesday July 16, 2014 by Eric Thompson.
After conceding a late own goal for a disappointing draw against JAWA FC and getting their next game postponed due to weather, Iguanas were eager to get back on the pitch at Rich Valley Fields in Eagan to take on Minnesota Flying Loons. In their first matchup, the Loons erased a 2-goal Iguanas lead en route to a 3-2 victory.
At the beginning of the game both Iguanas and Mother Nature seemed out for revenge. In what has become a recurring theme on Monday nights throughout the summer, the weather was less than ideal with temperatures only in the 50's with heavy rain and wind. The conditions improved as the game went on but the slick field proved troublesome for both teams as they struggled to get possession in the first half. Each team had a handful of good chances but neither could capitalize in the first half hour. The Flying Loons finally opened up the scoring with about 10 minutes remaining in the first half after an Iguanas turnover in the midfield. A Flying Loons midfielder intercepted the pass and placed an incredible shot past Jason Radatz from about 25 yards out to give Flying Loons a 1-0 halftime lead.
The game was hard-fought by both sides throughout, but in the second half it became much more physical. The center referee was "letting them play" as hard collisions and questionable tackles from each team went uncalled. Flying Loons started the second half with a couple narrow misses, but Iguanas started to control the flow of the game and were finally rewarded around the 70th minute.
Iguanas were finally patient with one of their attacks and worked the ball to each side of the field instead of trying to beat the Loons defense with long balls. Chris Thueringer got the ball with some space on the right side of the penalty area and sent an excellent cross to the back post. Emmanuel Giddings out-leaped everyone in the box and put away the header to tie that game at 1-1.
The final 15 minutes were extremely intense and competitive as both teams fought for the victory. While Iguanas had the greater number of chances, it was the Flying Loons who got the three points at the end. A quick counter attack up the right side of the field ended with a great cross and shot combination that beat the Iguanas' back line and gave the Loons a late lead.
Iguanas did everything in their power to find their second equalizer of the game, but their final attempts went narrowly astray. Flying Loons held on for the 2-1 victory.
The loss drops Iguanas to 4-4-1 on the season and holding a precariously narrow lead for the fourth and final playoff spot in the division. They'll look to bounce back against Vandals, who edged Iguanas 1-0 in their first meeting this season.