Misc Soccer News

High Octane Match Ends with Another Late Winner against Owls

Union Omaha Signs League One Veteran Luca Mastrantonio

May 13, 2024 – United Soccer League One (USL1)
Union Omaha News Release

SPOKANE, Was. – It took the team Union Omaha had never faced to finally break their unbeaten run in League One play.

An end-to-end thriller brought more than enough action for viewers, and after Spokane came back twice to even the score, it went all the way to the end before Javier Martin Gil separated the teams for good in stoppage time.

Head Coach Dom Casciato spoke of their run of games after the match, saying, “I think four games in ten days has been a lot for the group, but we showed some good character, and some good football at times.”

The starting eleven saw many changes for this opportunity to rebound after the heartbreaker against Sporting KC. This included the first starts of the season for forwards Adam Aoumaich and Zeiko Lewis.

It was the other attacking players that combined for the opener, however. Lagos Kunga found Missael Rodríguez on what’s fast become a trademark diagonal run slicing through the backline. His lashed shot went right through the wide-spread wickets of Carlos Merancio to put the Owls on top early, but the lead wouldn’t last long. Minutes later, Kunga trekked deeper and deeper into his own territory to escape the Velocity press. Andre Lewis stuck his foot in at exactly the right time, in a spot where he then only needed to have a hit to equalize.

Unsurprisingly, a former Búho had his fingerprints all over this match as well. Luis Gil made his impact known from the off, winning a free kick just outside the penalty area that resulted in Wallis Lapsley needing full extension to make a save. In Spokane’s 58.4% first half possession, it was whenever Gil was on the ball that they felt most likely to break through the Omaha defense. Meanwhile, Rodríguez’s movement added extra bite to Union’s counterattacks, meaning both goalkeepers had to stay on high alert throughout.

That movement would yield another goal just after the restart. Halftime sub Marco Milanese lobbed a ball over the top which Ahmed Longmire headed away, but the defender also bumbled over Rodríguez to try and clear the danger. After the Chicago Fire loanee was tended to by the trainers, Pedro Dolabella stepped up to the spot. He needed every inch of the placement that saw the ball skid into the side netting, with Merancio guessing the right way. Still, it was 2-1 to the visitors… again, only briefly.

Spokane was selectively swarming the Owls all night long, being very smart with…

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