On Sunday afternoon, the Mississauga MetroStars were in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to take on the Harrisburg Heat, again without captain Dwayne De Rosario,
Sunday’s game was the third meeting between the two sides this season, the first in Harrisburg. The previous two were in Mississauga, and were two of the three games that Mississauga has won this season, including their dramatic 6-5 win on February 17th.
Playing in front of an announced attendance of 1,078 at the PA Farm Show Arena, the MetroStars and Heat kicked off around 5 o’clock, and just over a minute into the match, Tavoy Morgan had already given the Heat the lead. Morgan picked up the ball on the edge of the neutral zone, took a few steps toward Adrian Becic, and slid the ball under the keeper, giving his side the early 1-0 advantage.
Ten minutes would pass before another goal would be scored, as Vesko Konov doubled the lead for the Heat at 11:58. Former Manchester United academy player David Mellor ran up the side of the pitch before kicking the ball off the boards beside the goal and into the the penalty area. David Velastegui tripped over the ball, leaving it in a perfect position for Konov to get a shot away, and the midfielder made no mistake from close range.
Julian Escobar scored a third for the Heat just 18 seconds after Konov’s goal, picking up a pass from Ricardo Carvalho to the right of the goal and firing the ball into the top right corner.
William Eskay rubbed a bit of salt in the wound with just 21 seconds left in the opening quarter, as he kicked the ball into the top of the goal with his first touch after Carvalho passed it off the boards beside the net.
The MetroStars stopped the bleeding a bit in the second, as Mo Babouli scored Mississauga’s first goal of the game with a direct free kick, once again proving that he is one of the best players in the league from set pieces. Despite the best efforts of the wall and the goalkeeper, Babouli managed to squeeze the ball into the right side of the goal.
Approximately five minutes after Babouli’s free kick, Eskay got back on the scoresheet, restoring Harrisburg’s four-goal lead. He drove in from the left side, before placing the ball into the bottom right corner.
Adrian Becic let Danny DiPrima’s shot slip through his hands with 41 seconds left in the 2nd quarter, meaning that the Heat entered the break up 6-1.
After the break, it was the MetroStars who struck first as Shaq Agard found the back of the net with a long-distance effort. The former Guyana international made some space for himself before firing the ball across goal and past the Harrisburg goalie from the edge of the neutral zone.
Daniel Villela restored the four-goal advantage at 13:57, and the Heat had a 7-2 advantage after 45 minutes. Before the quarter ended, Mississauga pulled Adrian Becic in favour of a sixth attacker.
Mississauga started the 4th quarter with the sixth attacker out again, hoping to pick up a few goals but they had to wait until the 09:23 mark, when Darren Chambers got a goal for Mississauga, sliding the ball through the goalkeeper’s legs. Eight seconds later, Ricardo Carvalho scored on the empty net, giving his side an 8-3 lead.
Josip Keran pulled one back for Mississauga at 11:07, slotting the ball home after Matthew Rios found him with a pass across goal. It was his 5th goal of the season, the most of any MetroStars defender.
Villela scored at 14:13 for the Heat, giving them a 9-4 lead, sealing the victory, prompting Mississauga to return Adrian Becic to the goal, removing the sixth attacker after over fifteen minutes of playing without a goalkeeper.
Matthew Rios added a goal for the MetroStars with ten seconds left in the match, but it was of course too little, too late. and the Heat ended up with the 9-5 victory.
The MetroStars now fall to 3-13 on the season. They are back home on Sunday, March 3rd for a game against the Baltimore Blast, and then take on this same Harrisburg Heat side at home on Saturday, March 9th in their penultimate home game. Both matches are scheduled for a 3:05 kickoff.