In their first match of the 2020-2021 MASL season, the San Diego Sockers (0-1) were facing a Kansas City Comets (2-4) squad that was missing eight players due to coronavirus protocol and were on a four-game losing streak.
Kansas City, however, had already played five games before their match with San Diego and had answers to every offensive strategy that the Sockers had.
Despite scoring the game’s first goal, San Diego wouldn’t score again until the fourth quarter as Kansas City took advantage of the sluggish Sockers offense en route to a 5-3 victory.
The first goal of the Sockers’ season came courtesy of defender Cesar Cerda. After Comets goalkeeper Nicolau Neto (12/15 shots saved) slipped following a mishandled shot from Felipe Gonzales, Cerda pounced on the loose ball with a one-touch shot into the back of the net.
— San Diego Sockers (@SanDiegoSockers) January 30, 2021
With a depleted bench, Kansas City focused primarily on their defense to limit the Sockers’ attack. Out of the 29 shots taken by San Diego, 26 of them were blocked by either Neto the Kansas City defense.
Meanwhile, the Comets tied the game in the second quarter after John Sosa snuck a pass off the wall and behind goalkeeper Boris Pardo (11/15 shots saved) to an isolated Adam James. Ze Roberto was the defender in the middle of the box and left James for mere seconds to assist Pardo, leading to the goal.
Two more goals in the third quarter to push the Comets into a 3-1 lead. The first coming on a counter-attack from Nick McDonald, while James scored the second after a rare turnover from Cerda.
The Sockers desperately attempted a comeback in the fourth quarter. It started well as a 1-2-3 interior passing play worked to perfection as Gonzales, playing in his first game since 2019, cashed in for his first goal of the season.
Kansas City regrouped after the goal to orchestrate the game-winning goal as Rian Marques slipped past the San Diego defense to fire off the game-deciding goal right under Pardo’s legs to push the score to 4-2. Another McDonald goal off the counter-attack increased Kansas City’s lead to three.
Even before the McDonald goal, San Diego opted for a six-man attack and saw success as Brandon Escoto sniped a low shot inside the post for his first goal of the season. Even with an extra man on the attack, it wasn’t enough, as San Diego was unable to claw back and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
The Sockers will look to rebound from the loss as they travel to Dallas to take on the Dallas Sidekicks (0-2) on Jan. 31 at 1 pm.