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A Victory At Victory Park
Iguanas Blank Brit's Pub FCUpdated Tuesday July 23, 2013 by Eric Thompson.
As Police Chief Grady once said so eloquently and accurately in the movie Super Troopers: "Desperation is a stinky cologne". But for Iguanas, their desperation to stay relevant in the Division 2 table heading into the game against Brit's Pub FC finally resulted in sweet-smelling victory.
For the second time in four games, Iguanas faced a road pitch that was less than stellar. The field at Victory Park in New Hope, home to Brit's Pub FC, had the consistency of an old dirt road through the middle. The pitch wasn't the only concern before the game even kicked off--a handful of local police cars flooded Victory Park chasing a couple burglary suspects into a nearby field just before the game was scheduled to start. Iguanas and Brit's Pub finally took the field after the disturbance was settled down.
Just like their game against Barcelona three weeks earlier, it took both squads a while to get their footing both literally and figuratively. Iguanas seemed to be too concerned about rushing up the field with long balls instead of patiently building their attack and getting numbers up the field. Brit's Pub had more success stringing together passes in the midfield but their opportunities were squelched by the Iguanas defenders. Both teams did muster a few decent scoring chances in the first half including a shot off the crossbar on either side, but neither could capitalize and they went into halftime scoreless.
Iguanas knew they couldn't afford another tie if they wanted any hope at reaching the posteason. They came out focused, played with much more patience, and controlled the run of play throughout most of the second half. However, Iguanas kept getting stymied by the Brit's Pub keeper and errant touches in the final third of the field. As the 75th minute approached without a goal for either side, you could almost smell the desperation on the Iguanas players.
When the two teams met earlier in the year, Iguanas keeper Jason Radatz received a late red card for a challenge on a Brit's Pub forward in the box. The ensuing penalty kick allowed Brit's Pub to come away with their only goal of the game and a late draw. This time around it was Iguanas that would draw the PK. Bozidar Djuranovic made a great turn at the top of the box and broke in on goal as the keeper charged out. In what was nearly a carbon copy of the play from the first game, the Brit's Pub keeper mistimed his challenge and took Djuranovic out in the box. He was shown a red card and Iguanas were awarded a crucial penalty kick. Mackenzie Dykstra stepped up to the spot and calmly slotted the PK home to give Iguanas a 1-0 lead.
Brit's Pub FC was now down a man and a goal. They pushed nearly everyone up the field to try and find the equalizer. Despite a couple nervy scrambles near the top of the box, Radatz and the Iguanas defense held strong. With only a few minutes remaining, Iguanas tacked on an insurance goal on a counterattack. Josh Hanson found Paul Ross on a cross near the end line on the left side of the Brit's Pub goal. Ross chipped a nifty shot over the Brit's Pub backup keeper to seal the 2-0 victory for Iguanas.
The victory kept Iguanas' posteason hopes alive but they still have a lot of work to do in their final three games of the regular season. They currently sit two points behind their next opponents, Beer Engines FC, in the table; another win would help Iguanas leapfrog them in the standings. The two teams fought to a 2-2 draw earlier in the season.