April 1, 2018
In one of the crazier matches that have taken place in recent OPSL history, International Portland Select FC and Kells FC Swoosh battled to a 5-5 draw on Easter Sunday.
After a dominant first half that saw IPSFC head into the break up by three goals, Kells roared back to spark a second half full of attacking action.
Things started off quickly as netminder Broden Schull made a nice kick save in opening minutes and Joaquim Capuia had a goal called back for offside. Striker Nathan Pogue continued where he left off last game by giving IPSFC, wearing their black kits, the lead in the 7th minute. Capuia sent in a nice through pass, beating Kells’ high backline, and Pogue ran onto it before calmly sliding it past the keeper.
The duo struck again 15 minutes later, as Capuia found Pogue with space near the top of the box. The forward took a touch and blasted a left-footed strike just inside the left post.
Things then slowed down for a bit – for the only time in the entire match – as defender Esteban Cruz mad a great sliding block on Kells midfielder Freddie Braun to maintain IPSFC’s two-goal advantage.
The high press exhibited by the side in black began to pay dividends right before the half. First, midfielder Dustin Correa had a double chance that was denied by goalkeeper Juan de Dios Inzunza, but he would prove instrumental in the team’s third goal minutes later. A quick counterattack saw Oscar Torres with the ball at the left corner of the box. He sent a low pass to Correa, streaking through the middle, who with a deft heel-flick, left Pablo Salinas alone to smash home at the far post.
IPSFC were feeling pretty good as they went into the break, but Kells FC Swoosh were not going to go down quietly and finally got on the board ten minutes into the second half through Braun. After a Capuia shot went straight at Inzunza, Ricky Schramm started make his presence felt with his first of four goals, as his right-footed strike with the outside of his right foot found the back of the net. He levelled minutes later after beating a defender and slotting it by goalkeeper Jason Daniels, on for the second half.
International Portland Select FC were able to retake the lead less than five minutes later. Left back Iván Cáceres made a nice step to steal the ball in the midfield and played a probing ball into the box for a streaking Pogue, who got to it just before the Inzunza, who tripped him up and was whistled for a penalty. After Correa calmly blasted it into the side netting, the referee ordered him to take it again due to too many players encroaching in the area. The netminder made the save to the other side, but Correa was first to pounce on it and bury the rebound.
After substitute Miguel Gomez skimmed a 40-yard blast off the top of the crossbar, Kells bounced back once again and tallied two more quick strikes through Schramm, taking their first lead of the game in the 83rd minute. However, IPSFC weren’t going to go quietly into the night, as Pogue finished off his hat trick and nabbed the team a point with a clinical finish from the right side of the area in the 89th minute.