Following Rockford FC's dominant home win over Berber City FC, the club hit the road again for another Midwest Premier League match, this time against Cedar Rapids Inferno. The clubs came into the game tied on points, with each winning 1 and losing 2, but RFC was ahead on goal difference.
The starting lineup stayed very similar to that of the Berber City game. The changes were Carson Davenport taking over in goal, Erik Manriquez stepping back into the midfield, and Pedro Acosta returning to the roster for the first time this year.
It was a quiet first half on the scoresheet. Rockford came out of the gates strong, threatening consistently but struggling to get solid shots off. The high press yielded some counter attacks, but it also allowed Cedar Rapids to burst through the gap left in the midfield when they broke the press. This allowed them to push forward in the second part of the half. No goals came of it, but it no longer looked like another RFC domination as they managed a few half-chances of their own. In the end, neither team managed to execute on those chances. The half finished 0-0.
Cedar Rapids picked up quickly where they left off in the first half. They began to control possession, sending in crosses and earning threatening corners. Davenport in Rockord's goal had to make more than one tough save to keep the game equal, but a corner midway through the half proved to be too much for the RFC defense. Cedar Rapids won in the scramble for the ball, knocking it into the net to give them a 1-0 lead.
This sparked a fire beneath the Gears. After holding little possession early in the second half, they pushed forward again and finally looked like the team that had beaten Berber the week before. Chance after chance threatened the Cedar Rapids goal, but they were coming to no avail. Until RFC found a chance on a corner of their own.
Way Too, typically a fullback, pushed forward for a corner in the last minutes of the game. The team was desperate for an equalizer after so many frustrating chances had missed. Like the Cedar Rapids goal, the corner turned into a bit of a scramble, and in that battle, Way Too found the ball and slotted it past the Inferno keeper. The game tied up 1-1, and there was little time left for anyone to score again.
This draw was a first for the club, as Rockford had yet to draw any game (competitive or friendly) since its founding. One point wasn't what the team had hoped for, but there were positives to take home after a long trip to Iowa with a goal in the dying seconds of the game. The players voted Way Too the player of the game for his goal and overall performance.
This draw keeps Rockford in 7th place in the MWPL West Conference, tied with Steel City and Cedar Rapids on 4 points. The mid table is tight, and the boys will be looking to push our way up it as they play at Chicago House AC on Friday, June 10th.
Way Too: 1 goal.
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