Even after going a man down, defensively, VSLT was tough to break down.
“Their defensive line was really good…you can tell why they have one of the lowest goals against in the league,” Med City head coach Neil Cassidy said. “The passion from our team was there, the unity was there. We had the chances…we just couldn’t put them away.”
It was the away side that started brightly, getting a strike at goal in the 11th minute after a perfectly squared ball.
VSLT’s players relinquished that attacking swagger a bit after a 25th-minute red card reduced them to 10 men.
The sending off meant the Medics were able to become more offensive, but they did not really challenge the goalkeeper much. The Medics put in plenty of crosses, but could not get on the end of them.
It was not until the second half that the home side looked like scoring. One shot was sliced narrowly wide from an acute angle. Another, more gilt-edged chance, came from a low cross just in front of goal. Francisco Neto’s touch failed him and he touched the ball straight into goalkeeper Alejandro Quiriti’s hands.
Very often Med City would play down the wing, getting in cross after cross to no avail. The VSLT defense was quick and apt at cutting out passes and breaking up plays.
“It’s a tie but it feels like a loss,” Med City FC forward Claudio Repetto said. “Tonight was a great effort. We did battle and we tried every way to score.”
Even a man down VSLT had several half-chances from range. And, though they did not trouble goalkeeper Nate Levy much, the threat remained as VSLT sometimes played as though it still had 11 on the pitch.
“We have a group as a family,” VSLT head coach Angel Gracia said through a translator. “We are working with a lot of difficulties from the beginning. Because nobody gives anything to us, we leave everything on the field. Always. It’s a sacrifice from everyone.”
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