Iguanas Blasted Out Of Playoffs
2-1 Loss Leaves Iguanas On The Outside Looking InUpdated Wednesday August 14, 2013 by Eric Thompson.
There's an old saying that states "Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades." Soccer obviously isn't listed in that saying. Unfortunately for Iguanas, they came close on Monday.
Close to getting a result against Blast II, who finished the regular season tied atop the Monday Division 2 standings. Close to qualifying for the playoffs after sitting in last place less than a month ago. Close to making up for a disappointing streak of losses and draws earlier in the season. But close just didn't quite cut it.
Iguanas were fighting back for most of the contest against Blast II. The playoff-bound home squad jumped out to an early 1-0 lead. Iguanas were on their heels early on but slowly started gaining more possession and scoring opportunities. Their improved play finally paid off about 35 minutes in when forward Paul Ross pressured a Blast defender into a turnover. Ross tightroped the end line and found Bozidar Djuranovic near the penalty spot, who fired a quick shot past the Blast keeper to even the score. The final minutes of the first half was a fast-paced, back-and-forth affair but neither team could gain the lead before the halftime whistle.
The second half was filled with "close" calls. Blast created a few great chances early on but either narrowly missed their shots or had them turned away by Jason Radatz, who had an amazing game for Iguanas. Iguanas had their fair share of solid buildup but couldn't quite find the critical finishing touch around the 18 yard box. Blast II finally broke through with about 15 minutes left in the game. A quick through ball found a streaking midfielder behind the right side of the Iguanas defense. He made a pass to his teammate at the top of the box, who was very close to being in an offside position. But the flag stayed down and he slotted the open shot home to give Blast II a 2-1 lead.
Iguanas charged forward and tried to get an equalizer for the last 15 minutes. Again, for the last time in the 2013 season, close didn't count. The final whistle blew and Iguanas lost 2-1.
The loss left Iguanas needing help from the two lowest teams in the division. Brit's Pub FC and Barcelona both needed a win or draw. Brit's Pub came through with a draw against ACME, but Barcelona lost to Beer Engines FC. The results meant that Beer Engines, a team that Iguanas throttled 6-1 two weeks ago, leapfrogged Iguanas into the fourth and final playoff spot.
It was definitely an up-and-down year for Iguanas, full of winning streaks, losing streaks, and even tying streaks. They will look to improve as they take on another season of Division 2 soccer in 2014.