RSL-AZ U16 falls in Penalty Kicks to PTSC Timber Wolves
The RSL-AZ U16s battled in a back-and-forth match today with PTSC Timber Wolves of Winnipeg, Canada. With the match finishing 2-2, but teams scored in the second of the two 10-minute overtime periods, sending the match to penalty kicks. The Timber Wolves keeper was able to save two, giving the Canadians a 4-3 shootout win.
With a howling wind in their faces, RSL-AZ gave up a goal just 9 minutes into the game on a counter-attack that was seemingly against the run of play. RSL-AZ continued to maintain possession for most of the half, although it took a series of corners at the 25-minute mark to really generate the first chances on goal. On the 4th successive corner, Dylan MacVane knocked in a second ball to level the game at 1-1.
After the break, RSL-AZ controlled the game with the wind at their backs. After a free kick was awarded just outside the Timber Wolves Box in the 70th minute, Joss Goss hit an excellent shot on goal that the keeper could only parry. Ben Spencer pounced on the loose ball and buried it in the net for a 2-1 RSL-AZ lead.
Just five minutes later, a PTSC forward capitalized on a ball that the RSL-AZ defense failed to clear and slotted home an equalizer to make it 2-2 with 20 minutes to play.
RSL-AZ had chances at in the last 15 minutes to win the game, but could find a way past the Timber Wolves keeper.
In the first of two 10-minute overtime periods, RSL-AZ had the wind but couldn’t find a way to create good scoring chances. With 2 minutes remaining in the first overtime, the Timber Wolves saw their squad reduced to one as their left midfielder deliberately stomped on Alan Rivera in retaliation for a foul. The referee didn’t hesitate to show the player red, and the Canadians were down to 10 for the remainder of the game.
In the second overtime, RSL-AZ gave up an early goal after allowing a long clearance to bounce and the Timber Wolves forward pounced on it and buried the ball for a 3-2 lead. RSL-AZ answer minutes later with their own goal off of a corner kick that Luis Chavez nodded in… sending RSL-AZ level at 3-3 with only a minute to play.
Things started ominously in penalty kicks as Alan Rivera’s spot-kick was saved. PTSC Timber Wolves didn’t miss and when Luis Chavez took the fifth kick for RSL-AZ and was saved, the match was over… with the Timber Wolves winning 4-3 in penalties.
Disappointed, RSL-AZ U16s are knocked out at the quarterfinal stage.
The long bus ride back to Arizona starts early Saturday morning, and the both teams return immediately to training and focus on next weekend US Soccer Development Academy matchups with Pateadores (away) and Cosmos Academy West (home).