Forward Madison FC’s late second half collapse forced a 2-2 draw with Toronto FC II Wednesday night at Breese Stevens Field.
“Probably the toughest...draw of the year...just stupid,” Flamingos head coach Carl Craig said after his team lost a chance to pull the team back into USL1 playoff contention.
Toronto FC II defender Kobe Franklin’s right foot powered the ball from the middle of the box into the bottom left corner of the goal to knot it up at 2-2 in the 86th minute. Flamingos midfielder Aaron Molloy said a combination of factors played into that late goal and that the team is ready to hone in on that mistake.
“Probably fatigue, probably a little bit of...miscommunication,” Molloy said. “We’ll watch it as a team and analyze it and...correct it for next game so it doesn’t happen again.”
That late goal erased the Flamingos’ early second-half lead. Set up by a crisp assist from Flamingos midfielder Justin Sukow, striker Derek Gebhard booted an explosive right-footed shot from a difficult angle on the right side of the penalty box into the bottom left corner of the net to give Forward Madison FC their 2-1 lead in the 51st minute. After a five-game stretch where they scored one goal per game, the Flamingos have had back-to-back contests where they’ve scored two goals. Molloy said the offense’s productivity in this game came from the whole team’s strong desire to launch themselves back into playoff contention.
“All the lads been up for this game. There was a chance for us to really climb up the table,” Molloy said.
Craig said he was impressed by Toronto FC II Andreas Vaikla’s efforts, which included a whopping seven saves.
“Not going to see many goalkeepers like that here,” Craig said.
He said that the team will recover from the loss by focusing on the better aspects of the squad’s play.
“If we throw the disappointment of the two...poor goals to give up...behind us and we look at the positives, there’s an awful lotta positive football and good performances from us tonight,” Craid said. “I think we’re heading in the right direction. I’m confident we’ll get there.”
The Flamingos look to resume their winning ways against North Texas SC at Breese Stevens Field on August 21 at 7:00 p.m.