Calgary Finally Knows the Drill
At last... Monkey... Back... GONE!
Finally! Calgary tossed the proverbial monkey off its back with a thrilling 4-2 victory over provincial rivals Edmonton. Edmonton had beaten Calgary in their six previous encounters by one goal, two of the games being decided in overtime. But Saturday night, in front of another packed house, United outplayed a young Edmonton team to end the trend.
Calgary welcomed back star midfielder Nic Reyes and former youth international Patrick Kelly. Edmonton were missing a few senior players through injury and fielded a young team which included former CUFC teenager Dean Northover.
United took an early lead when Felix Napuri netted after playing a neat wall pass with Damir Jesic, just three minutes in to the first quarter. Jesic himself extended the lead with two minutes left in the quarter when he slotted home from close range. Calgary extended the lead to 3-0 when Napuri scored his fourth goal of the season from a Mike Ortega pass. With four minutes left in the half Scott Gilroy smashed home after Marcel Galaszkiewicz had brilliantly scrambled away a couple of close-in shots. 3-1, but more importantly Edmonton began to believe that they could come back.
And that belief grew a bit more when Ryan Presley reduced Calgary's lead further one minute into the third quarter. Memories of lost leads past began to penetrate the stands and apparently the United players psyche as Edmonton got more into the game. Galaszkiewicz was once again outstanding making a series of key stops. Calgary eased the pressure with a fortunate fourth goal seven minutes into the third, when top scorer Kyle Yamada took a pass from Jesic, cracked it past Edmonton goalie Tristan Ilko only to see it cannon off the goalpost. Luckily for Calgary, the ball struck Ilko in the back and bounced over the line.
From then on the game pulsated both ways. With one minute left the Calgary crowd once again sucked in its collective breath as Mark Slade took a two minute penalty for sliding in on Ilko. Edmonton pulled goalie Ilko and played with a sixth attacker (Chris Devlin) but United stayed calm and disciplined and shut the door denying the Drillers any last minute hope. In the end Calgary outshot Edmonton 46 to 28 and only outstanding keeping by Ilko kept the Drillers close.
With the two points from the win Calgary takes the lead in the CMISL with six points, two ahead of Edmonton and Saskatoon. There is still a long way to go but beating the Drillers for the first time in over a year will give the United players confidence as they head into next Sunday's clash with the Texas Outlaws - 4pm at the Subway Soccer Centre.
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Professional Arena Soccer League Stories from January 21, 2010
- Calgary Finally Knows the Drill - Calgary United
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