Blast Shock Utica City in Shootout 5-4
Baltimore, MD - In what was the game of the season, the Blast needed a shootout to defeat Utica City 6-5 and keep their Eastern Division regular season title hopes alive.
The Blast enjoyed keeping most of the possession, but could not find a goal in the first quarter. Utica City would open the scoring as Lucio Gonzaga's shot deflected off a Blast defender into the goal. Midway through the first quarter, Juan Pereira would take a shot from the neutral zone that hit just wide of the top corner. Shortly after, Ibrahima Keita took a shot on the half-volley that almost found its way past the Utica goalkeeper. Jonatas Melo found the Blast's opening goal with seconds remaining in the first quarter, as his free kick shot deflected off a Utica defender and into the net. Both teams headed into the second quarter tied 1-1.
Freddy Moojen retook the lead for Utica City as he stole the ball and fired a tight angled shot past Vanzela for the 2-1 lead. Chris Sylla would strike back for the Blast as he tapped a loose ball past the Utica goalkeeper. Both teams continued to play patient and wait for prime opportunities to strike. The Blast found one of those chances just before halftime, as Adriano Dos Santos hit his shot just wide of the post. Both teams entered the halftime break tied at 2-2 with the Blast slightly outshooting Utica City 8-6.
Adriano Dos Santos got the Blast ahead for the first lead of the day, after he fires a shot on the volley past the Utica goalkeeper, to make the score 3-2. Jereme Raley would extend the Blast lead midway through the fourth quarter, as he put away Jamie Thomas' pass off the boards. Jereme Raley nearly scored his second goal of the game with seconds remaining, but the ball was cleared off the line by Utica City. The Blast would enter the fourth quarter with a 4-2 lead.
The Blast nearly scored their fifth of the afternoon, as Raley sprinted past several defenders and found Jonatas Melo in the middle of the box. The shot was cleared off the line by the Utica City defender. Nate Bourdeau would score his easiest goal of the season as Vanzela's missed interception left the goal wide open. Utica City would employ a sixth attacker with minutes remaining, and would find an equalizer through Freddy Moojen. The game would head to overtime with both teams tied at 4-4. Both teams had several chances in overtime, but the game needed a shootout to decide the game. Juan Pereira scored both goals in the shootout, while William Vanzela made three saves to give the Blast a 6-5 victory.
Juan Pereira lead the Blast in scoring with his two penalty shootout goals to win the game. Five Blast players totaled one point while goalkeeper William Vanzela made seven saves, including three in the shootout to give the Blast a win. The Blast are back in action Saturday April 6th at 7:05 p.m. for the regular season finale at the Florida Tropics, where the Eastern Division regular season title will be on the line.
MASL Match Report March 31, 2019
Baltimore Blast @ Utica City FC Venue: Adirondack Bank Center
Kickoff: 2:00 p.m. ET
Quarter 1 2 3 4 OT SO F
Utica City 1 1 0 2 0 1 4
Baltimore 1 1 2 0 0 2 5
Images from this story
Elton de Oliveira of the Baltimore Blast (left) battles Utica City FC
(Utica City FC)
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