CARSON, Calif. (July 13) — A seemingly certain draw between Crossfire Premier and CASL Chelsea FC Academy was won in the final five minutes by Liam Kelly, as the Crossfire striker completed a solid attacking sequence to score and put his team on top 1-0.
In a battle in the hotly contested Group 1 of the U-17/18 age group, this match began with both teams attempting to play mistake-free soccer. Crossfire tested the CASL defense first with a flicked on header in the 11th minute, but the attempt went wide. Both teams chose to avoid the high balls and pass it out of their backlines, with neither goalkeeper sending a punt until late in the first half.
But when that long ball happened, Crossfire almost capitalized to go into halftime up 1-0. Receiving his goalkeeper’s long clearance at the top of the box, Kelyn Rowe held off a defender with his back to the goal. Seeing strike partner Kelly entering from the left, Rowe laid off a soft touch that Kelly beat his defender to but shot wide of the goal.
Shortly after the half, CASL used the right side of the field to build an attack that ended with a Charles Root pass across the box attempting to reach the onrushing Harrison Delbridge. Sliding towards the far post, Delbridge was a step too late, and the cross went harmlessly wide.
Crossfire tested goalkeeper Davis Griffin in the 60th minute, capitalizing on a turnover caused by Jose Garibay. Pressuring along the right side, Garibay blocked a clearance that fell to Kelly. Seeing Rowe along the left side of the field, Kelly switched the point of attack. Displaying good control, Rowe collected and cut inside to his right, firing low and to the right but Griffin was down in time for the save.
Kelly and Rowe kept giving the CASL defense fits, at one point drawing five defenders to mark the two of them near midfield on a CASL possession in the attacking third. They finally collected on their efforts in the 85th minute with a classic build-up. With both strikers running forward, Rowe collected a pass in stride from his midfield which attracted a defender. Running into space behind the closer, Kelly received the deft through ball from Rowe and calmly slotted past the onrushing goalkeeper.
The win puts Crossfire in second in Group 1 with three points, only one point behind FC Dallas. Group 1 will conclude in two simultaneous games on Thursday, July 15 at 7 p.m. PT.
Development Academy Finals Week Match Report
Match: Crossfire Premier U-17/18 vs. CASL Chelsea FC Academy U-17/18
Date: July 13, 2010
Competition: Development Academy Finals Week
Venue: The Home Depot Center; Carson, Calif.
Kickoff: 3 p.m. local time
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
Crossfire Premier 0 1 1
CASL Chelsea FC Academy 0 0 0
CRO – Liam Kelly (Kelyn Rowe) 85th minute
CRO: 0-Andrew Weakly; 58-Jose Ocampo (14-Haakon Taylor, 81), 8-Jack Ryan, 7-Joshua Smith, 1-Jordan Zogg; 12-Jose Garibay, 31-Louis Schott, 10-Brooks Kochman (30-Bryce Bacic, 46), 21-Jim Oganga; 2-Kelyn Rowe, 17-Liam Kelly
Subs not used: 4-Parker Powell, 5-Niccolo Piacentini, 15-John Krueger, 16-John Monroy, 18-Josh Phillips, 26-Quinn Grisham
Head Coach: Bernie James
CASL: 31-Davis Griffin; 14-Michael Forsyth, 11-Robert Liberatore, 3-Glenn Scott, 4-Eric Steber; 10-Charles Root, 2-John Patrick Rafferty, 6-Jared Girard, 8-Matthew Wescoe (5-John Pace, 46), 7-Alexander Givens; 17-Harrison Delbridge (16-Nader Jaibat, 69)
Subs not used: 1-Ethan Hall, 12-Ryan Metts, 13-Matthew Boyd, 15-Andrew Joyce, 18-Kyle Peterson, 19-Taylor Wyatt, 20-James Williams, 21-Kenneth Meyer, 22-Matthew Frongello,
Head Coach: Rusty Scarborough
Stats Summary: CRO / CASL
Shots: 13 / 10
Shots on Goal: 4 / 4
Saves: 4 / 3
Corner Kicks: 4 / 5
Fouls: 11 / 6
Offside: 2 / 0
CRO – Jim Oganga (caution) 19th minute
Referee: Reed Christy
Assistant Referee 1: Dean Fairweather
Assistant Referee 2: Corey Parker
Fourth Official: Eric Weisbrod