Iguanas, Dunesday battle to 2-2 draw
Each team secures a hard-fought pointUpdated Thursday May 19, 2016 by Eric Thompson.
In 2015, Iguanas dropped only three games in the regular season. Two of those losses were to Dunesday, the only team that finished ahead of Iguanas in the Monday Division 2 table and went undefeated until the Division 2 final. Dunesday outscored Iguanas 8-1 in their two matchups, which meant Iguanas had their work cut out for them if they had hoped to earn their first points of the 2016 season.
On a cool and drizzly evening at Century College, both teams started the match with back-and-forth attacking. Neither team could break through early on thanks to some lingering early season rust and sound defense. Finally about 30 minutes in, Dunesday struck first after a run up the left side got behind the Iguanas defense. An excellent cross finished by a well-placed shot past Jason Radatz gave the visitors a 1-0 lead. Dunesday started to ramp up the pressure and control more of the ball as halftime neared.
But just before half, Iguanas found an equalizer thanks to a quick counterattack. A great series of passes left the ball to Kerry Burns on the right side of the penalty area. Burns crossed the ball to the back post and found Jeremy Leinberger, who nodded the ball past the near post to make the score 1-1 as the teams headed to halftime.
Unlike the first week where Iguanas scored a late first half goal only to come out flat and concede two more goals, they struck again early in the second period to take the lead. After some Iguanas pressure resulted in a quick Dunesday clearance in their own area, Doug Humphrey intercepted the ball about 35 yards out and saw the keeper off his line. Humphrey launched an amazing shot over the keeper and into the net to give Iguanas a 2-1 lead just five minutes into the second half.
The remainder of the game was fast, frenzied, and physical. Dunesday pushed up on the flanks trying to get the game even again while Iguanas counterattacked and created excellent opportunities of their own. With about 15 minutes remaining, Dunesday was able to tie the score which another quick cross-and-shoot connection to an unmarked attacker. Both teams had their chances for a late game-winner but neither could equalize. The final whistle blew on a hard-fought 2-2 draw.
Iguanas are now 0-1-1 on the season and will look for their first victory next week against Jogo Lento.