By: Bryan Giese
1-0 Effort Ends The Season; Columbus Playoff Hopes
When the Torrent men took the field this past Saturday evening, they were looking for one thing. After a terrible performance against Detroit City the weekend before, the men wanted to prove to everyone, including themselves that they were a team that could dominate an opponent. The visitors from Columbus would find out that Milwaukee was not about to lie down and hand them a playoff spot.
FC Columbus traveled to Milwaukee in need of a win. Three points in the standings would have secured them a playoff spot, finishing second in the conference to the Mighty Oak from Ann Arbor. It was clear from the opening whistle however, that the Torrent were not taking it easy. Milwaukee would dominate possession throughout the match; building out of the back, switching the ball quickly, and creating high quality chances.
Milwaukee spent the full 90 minutes playing an engaged and inspired style of soccer. Most of the match was spent talking each other up, discussing the flow and how to control any pressure Columbus attempted to bring at them. At times the match was a physical test of will, followed by a mental test of keeping their cool.
Second Half Gets Physical
Torrent defenders Elvis Barclay and Diego Bobadilla would be issued yellow cards late in the second half as the referee looked to maintain order. As the final minutes began to tick away in the scoreless battle, tempers began to rise. The center referee did a good job of calming things and letting the two teams battle in a controlled manor.
In the 88 minute, Isaac Pereyra would reward his teammates with the game winning tally. After a cross was played perfectly into the top of the 18, Pereyra would get to the ball a split second before the Columbus keeper. He would head the ball forward and watch from the air as it splashed the back of the net.
“I thought he was going to take my head off,” stated Pereyra. “I went up and saw his two fists coming at me. So I just closed my eyes and went (his heads snaps from the right to the left).”
“This was the most complete game, full 90 minute effort we played all year,” explained Coach Davi afterwards. “Never once did we let up tonight.”