San Diego- Tommy Tate, David Banks, Jaime Munro, P.J. Brown, Kevin Legg, Carlos Calderson (Jason Annicchero '46), Mauricio Alegre (Emmanuel Ayim '75), Carlos Farias (Leighton O'Brien '100), Guillermo Jara (Shandley Phillips '38), Nate Hetherington (Brian O'Conner '77), Mark Baena.
Vancouver- Didar Sandhu, Jeff Skinner, Steve McCauley, Steve McDonald, Chris Franks, Geordie Lyall, Kevin Holness Joe Scigliano '90), John Sulentic (Robert Hall '97), Alfredo Valente, Tiarnan King, Jason Jordon (Domenic Mobilio '77).
Vancouver '12 - Chris Franks (Tiarnan King)
Vancouver '28 - Tiarnan King (John Sulentic)
San Diego '43 - Carlos Farias (Jaime Munro)
Vancouver '67 - Alfredo Valente (PK)
San Diego '69 - Carlos Farias (Kevin Legg)
San Diego '80 - Mark Baena (Kevin Legg)
Down Two Goals and Two Men, The Flash Rally to Tie Vancouver
The San Diego Flash were down by two goals, and down two men, but were able to rally and tie Vancouver 3-3 here in San Diego on Friday night. The Flash looked as lethargic as ever in the first half, but in the face of adversity they were able to pull it together and get the tie. Of course the win would have been better, but considering the circumstances, a tie was well worth settling for. I can only imagine how lousy it would feel if we had to play a shootout and lost after doing so much to tie it up.
Next to the Minnesota Thunder, the Vancouver 86ers have been the toughest team for the Flash to play historically. Last season Vancouver beat the Flash both home and away in consecutive games. And Vancouver had just come off a 3-1 victory Wednesday night against the Orange County Waves, so we had reason to believe this would be a tough one. But we also had reason to be optimistic, having beaten El Paso away 3-0 last week. This match was going to be a test for both teams.
But the Flash reverted to their previous form in the first half. Vancouver had most of the run of play for the first 40 minutes. The Flash looked as if each player was on a different plan. Mark Baena would make some blinding runs forward looking for the pass, and Carlos "Chile" Farias or Kevin Legg would hold on to the ball, dribbling around defenders, looking for the short pass. Eventually, Vancouver got their first goal, just like all the other goals the Flash has given up early.
The Flash weren't completely without chances. "Chile" had a good looking shot from about 30 yards out that came close. But in the 28th minute Vancouver's Tiarnan King dribbled along the right side of the penalty area, then pounded a great shot that hit the underside of the crossbar and ricocheted down the inside of the left netting. And Vancouver was up 2-0.
Just as it seemed like the Flash might quit, they started clicking. The Flash had some good passes strung together, and were in control. Perhaps Vancouver was playing back a bit to protect their lead, but in the 43rd minute Chile got off a great shot from about 20 yards out at the top of the penalty area, and drilled in past a diving Didar Sandhu. Momentum started to swing San Diego's way. Going into halftime it was 2-1 Vancouver, but San Diego had the feeling they could come back.
At the start of the second half the P.A. announcer told us that during halftime, defender David Banks had been issued a red card, and the Flash were going to play with 10 men. That sure was surprising. Apparently, as the teams were heading back to the lockers, some of the Flash and 86ers were exchanging a few choice words, and things got a little heated. One source told me Banksy actually headbutted a Vancouver player, and a referee saw it, and gave a red card. I saw Banksy after the game, and he didn't seem too happy about it, nor did he want to talk too much about it. But I must say I haven't heard of a player getting a red during halftime. Maybe it's happened, but it was new to me.
So since the Flash were down a defender, as well as their captain, midfielder Carlos Calderson was taken off and defender Jason Annicchero came on. But Jason would also be involved in a strange play. At around minute 65 Jason Jordan was on a breakaway that looked to be a great Vancouver chance, and Flash defender Jason Annicchero rushed behind him to slide in and knock the ball away. The referee thought it was a foul by Annicchero, and gave him a red card, and Vancouver a penalty kick. As a fan I was screaming at the ref, but after the game others told me it as a justifiable card. Flash coach Colin Clarke said it was 50/50, so I guess I can live with it. But it turned out to be a crucial goal.
Now the Flash were down to 9 men, and 2 goals behind. The task seemed huge, but the Flash were up to it. Everyone picked up their game, and the Flash kept going. Vancouver had the numbers advantage, but the Flash were able to control the ball. The Flash won a free kick above and to the right of the penalty area, and Kevin Legg took a short kick to the middle of the field where Chile was, and Chile ripped another beauty that made it to the back of the net. That really boosted everyone's confidence, and we felt the tying goal was not far away.
As the game went on the Flash continued to control, and finally Mark Baena got the ball near the goal, and everyone expected a blast on net, including the keeper Sandhu, but Mark nicely pushed it around him and just rolled the ball across the goaline. We had the tie, and the game ended. So we went to overtime.
It was interesting to note that Vancouver only brought 14 men total to the game. That only gave them three subs. The Flash were able to use all five of their allotment. During overtime the Flash once again had much of the control, having added the fresh young legs of rookies Brian O'Conner and draft pick Emmanuel Ayim. Both of those guys showed a lot of hustle, breaking up key passes from Vancouver, and generally making things difficult. Emmanuel had a chance for shot during the overtime, and managed to send it over the top of the American football goalpost that is behind the goal. But I look forward to great things from Emmanuel in the future.
So the Flash and 86ers finished tied, getting a point each, as well as a point each for scoring three goals. But there certainly is no love lost between the two. Each were pushing and shoving the other all night long. The rematch should be very interesting in Vancouver next Friday. I wish I could be there!