May 20, 2018
After a series of close games decided near the end, International Portland Select FC made sure that the result in this one would be decided early on, stomping Logoones by a score of 9-2.
Not much happened in the opening ten minutes, but then IPSFC fell into a habit which has plagued them all season long by conceding the opener. While Dustin Corea warned first with a powerful shot from outside the area that was parried away by the goalkeeper, the reds fell asleep on the counterattack and paid the price as a Logoones attacker pounced on a loose ball on the right side of the box and curled a left-footed shot into the far corner.
The goal seemed to awake IPSFC from their daze and they came right back on the attack. First, defender Jael Wettach-Glosser headed over from a few yards out on a corner kick before the team’s trademark high press forced a turnover in the opponent’s third, which sprung a quick counter. Gemachu Hemaya was played through down the left flank and his cross snuck under the diving netminder, where Joaquim Capuia was first to pounce and tap into an empty net.
Having levelled, the team’s confidence grew and they began to dominate the center of the pitch. Wettach-Gloser’s earlier miss served as a warm-up attempt, as he buried his next change off an almost identical corner kick delivered by Corea. Then, Pablo Salinas’ long-range blast was palmed over for a corner, but in the 40th minute he didn’t give the keeper a chance. Striker Nathan Pogue fought for, and won, a ball over the top, and with the keeper in no man’s land, Pablo Salinas first-timed a beautiful left-footed chip shot from 25 yards out into an empty goal mouth.
To close out the half, the squad would put together one of their best all-around goals of the season. Salinas won a tackle in the Logoones half and played it back to left-back Iván Cáceres, who in turn carried it forward and found an open Ali Salih on the left. The team calmly maintained possession, swinging the ball back around the back line until Wettach-Gloser sent in a subtle chip over a midfielder to Corea on the right sideline. Corea’s first touch was a perfect trap, and his second was a pass that unleashed Andre Ally down the wing. Ally took two touches down to the endline and sent in an inch-perfect cross to a streaking Pogue at the near post, who headed past a flailing goalkeeper.
With the match all but decided as the teams came out for the second half, IPSFC turned on the afterburners while Logoones were clearly already feeling defeated. The reds quickly made it 5-1 when Pogue first-timed a pass from Ashe Hemaya, Gemachu’s older brother, from the right flank into the net from near the penalty spot.
Minutes later, things really fell apart for Logoones, as IPSFC tallied three goals within three minutes of each other. First, Capuia blasted in a 20-yarder after a scrum before Pogue completed his hat trick after taking the ball off the feet of a Logoones defender and ripping a low, right-footed shot from the top of the box in off the far post. Corea then showed off his pace, starting his run near midfield and blazing by several defenders on the right before finding Pogue in the box to tap home for his fourth on the night. Corea would round out the team’s scoring by finally getting a tally of his one with a shot from the top of the area off an assist from Salinas.
Logoones would score a goal of honor off a careless turnover before the team’s calmly played out the final minutes. The three points could prove vital for International Portland Select FC, as the club sits in third place with one match to go, needing to finish in the top four to claim a playoff spot.
The regular seasons comes to an end on Thursday, May 31, with a match against FC Portland ’00 Boys at 8 pm. Come cheer on the lads as they look to clinch a playoff spot!