Report: Real Maryland 1- Bermuda Hogges 2
After two weather delays and three and a half hours, Real Maryland fell 2-1 to the Bermuda Hogges in their final home game of the season. The game was ended in the 76th minute because the stadium lights are required by law to be shut off at 11:45pm.
Despite playing well and controlling possession for long stretches of the game, the Monarchs once again failed to win, stretching their winless streak in USL-2 play to 11 games.
Bermuda got off to a brilliant start when John Barry-Nusum suddenly struck a beautiful 25-yard shot past Maryland goalkeeper Emilio Zelaya. The goal seemingly came from nothing and shocked all the players on the field other than the goal-scorer.
The Monarchs regrouped shortly after the goal, and started pressing for an equalizer. Forwards William Brindley, Ronald Cerritos, and Nilson Perez each had opportunities in the next 10 minutes, but they were unable to convert.
By the 19th minute the weather had deteriorated, and play was postponed due to multiple lightning strikes nearby. Over an hour later, the players returned to the pitch to resume play.
The Monarchs kept their good play going from before the break, and came forward in waves for the rest of the half. In the 40th minute they were rewarded for their pressure when Perez received a ball from Muner Hassen, and his shot on the turn was partially deflected, bouncing the ball into the Bermuda net to tie the game.
The teams went into halftime level, but the game was postponed again in the 49th minute after another massive lightning strike. This delay made it impossible to finish the full 90 minutes before the lights at the Maryland SoccerPlex are shut off, so the game was determined to finish around the 75 minute mark.
After the restart, the Hogges gained the upper hand and dictated play. Substitute Victor Ramirez created several chances for Real Maryland, but they were unable to keep up any consistent pressure. Zelaya was called into action on numerous occasions and made several fantastic saves to keep the game tied.
The Hogges took the lead in the 70th minute when Kevin Richards slipped in behind the defense on a free kick and slotted past Zelaya. The Monarchs pleaded for offside, but the linesman kept his flag down.
Maryland’s last chance came two minutes before the final whistle when Devlin Barnes’s cross from the right reached Perez at the top of the box after a Bermuda defender slipped on the wet field. Another Hogges defender was able to recover, however, and block Perez’s shot out for a corner, where Maryland’s attack then fizzled bringing the game to an end.
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