Iguanas Rally To 2-2 Draw With Blast II
Second half surge salvages pointUpdated Tuesday August 5, 2014 by Eric Thompson.
Last week, Iguanas left the field rather dejected after a 2-2 draw. Beer Engines FC scored a late equalizer to deny Iguanas of three important points.
This week, Iguanas left the field rather satisfied after a 2-2 draw. Which makes sense with how they opened the game against Blast II.
The match got underway right at 6:30 PM in St. Louis Park on a warm August evening, but it didn't look like Iguanas knew the game started until after 7:00. Blast II controlled nearly all of the action early on, winning every contested ball and dictating the action. When Iguanas were able to gain possession, they quickly squandered it with hurried long balls and very little movement off the ball. Blast II took advantage when a through ball into the box slipped past Iguanas keeper Jason Radatz. A Blast II midfielder got to the ball first and sent it into the open net to give Blast II the early lead.
About ten minutes later, Iguanas were able to get possession in the middle of the field but once again their lack of movement and Blast II's pressure forced a turnover. After a quick series of passes and a well-placed low shot, Blast II had taken a 2-0 advantage.
Iguanas finally started to play a little better with about ten minutes remaining in the first half, but they were unable to find the net and they went into halftime with the 2-0 deficit. Knowing that a loss might knock them out of the final playoff spot this late in the season, Iguanas knew things would have to change in the second half.
And change they did. Iguanas showed much more patience and composure in the second half, working the ball around the field instead of playing like there was some sort of soccer shot clock involved. About 15 minutes into the second stanza, Iguanas' smart passing earned them a free kick from about 30 yards out. Eric Thompson chipped a perfect ball over the Blast II defense, finding Aaron Rosenthal for an open header. Rosenthal placed his header down and just inside the far post, giving the Blast II keeper no chance as Iguanas cut the deficit in half.
The goal invigorated the team that was listless most of the first half and it showed for the remainder of the game. After missing a handful of great chances at an equalizer, Iguanas finally found one with about 15 minutes left in the game. Rosenthal sent a spot-on through ball to Josh Hanson, who sprinted behind the defense and slotted home the goal to tie the game at 2.
Hanson's goal turned the final minutes of the game into a track meet. Both teams did everything they could to find the game winner. Iguanas thought they had one, but it was called offside. Blast II had a few good chances as well but couldn't find the net. The game ended in a hard-fought 2-2 draw.
The point ensured that Iguanas held onto the fourth and final playoff spot in Monday Division 2--for now. They will play again less then 48 hours later against Brit's Pub FC on Wednesday night at 6:00. Their second game in three days is a makeup game from one that was postponed due to weather earlier in the season. With only two games remaining in the regular season, Iguanas likely need a victory Wednesday to give themselves a good chance at securing a playoff spot in a very heated race.