Home NASL & USL FC Edmonton FC Edmonton surrenders late equalizer, spurns chances in Minnesota

FC Edmonton surrenders late equalizer, spurns chances in Minnesota

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NSC Minnesota keeper Joe Warren was victimized on FC Edmonton’s fluke opening goal, but was the hero down the stretch as the Stars came back to tie the Eddies 1-1 Monday in Blaine, Minn.

Warren was named the man of the match even though the goal he allowed wasn’t close to being FCE’s best scoring chance of the evening. But he made two key saves — one off Kyle Porter and another off sub Alex Semenets — in the final minutes to preserve the draw after Devin Del Do scored with less than 10 minutes to tie the game.

“We are sort of upset right now because we know that we should have won this game,” said FCE defender Alex Surprenant, whose second half goal gave FCE the lead. “We had two or three quality chances at the end and we couldn’t get that second goal.”

Surprenant opened the scoring nearly 20 minutes into the second half — a fitting goal as the Eddies had dominated play up to that point.

“I was standing in my usual position just outside the 18-yard box, waiting for the second ball,” said Surprenant. “I chested it down and shot, and I think it was going towards the goal, and it hit someone on the shoulder and deflected the other way.”

The Stars’ equalizer came off a counter. As the Stars’ players’ flooded forward, the ball was crossed to the top of the box to Tino Nunez. He fought off FCE’s Kyle Yamada and was able to turn and lash a shot towards goal that keeper Rein Baart dove to stop. But the rebound came right to the feet of Del Do, who shot the ball right through the net. But there was no confusion if the ball had gone in or not, as the referee signaled for the goal right away and Del Do was windmilling his arms in celebration right after the ball left his foot.

Minnesota keeper Joe Warren grabs the ball.

But, FCE’s players didn’t think Nunez had beaten Yamada fairly to that ball.

“It was a clear foul on Kyle Yamada,” said Surprenant. “It was a bodycheck.”

But, Edmonton had three wonderful chances to win the game in the dying minutes. First, Porter drove a shot towards Warren’s near post that the keeper did well to save. Then, Semenets was left alone at the far post and had the chance to volley home the winner, only to miskick his attempt. And, finally, Semenets put an inury-time tap-in chance right at Warren.

So, by giving up a late goal, FC Edmonton comes away with a draw that feels like a loss. Yes, the Eddies are still comfortably in second place in the NASL standings, and a draw on the road is never a bad result, but this is a game that saw Edmonton carry the play and carve out far more great scoring chances than the home team.

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