by Pat Clifton

KANSAS CITY (Feb. 12, 2020) – The Kansas City Comets defeated the St. Louis Ambush Saturday 10-6 at the Silverstein Eye Centers Arena to keep their playoff hopes alive and well. The pink jerseys auctioned off to the benefit of The Ally Kemp Educational Foundation agreed with Kevin Ellis, Kiel Williams and Gui Gomes, who netted two goals each.

The win sees the Comets to 8-7 on the season and past the Ambush into sixth place, two slots outside the playoffs with seven games to go. It also draws this season’s I-70 series level, with St. Louis and Kansas City claiming two wins each with two games left to play.

St. Louis led most of the first half. The Ambush opened scoring three minutes into the game when JT Thomas found Lucas Almeida just behind the Kansas City defense, beating the outstretched arms of Nicolau Neto.

The Comets caught a break around the 10-minute-mark when Alex Duarte tripped Adam James while he was on attack, leading to a blue card and a power play. Kansas City capitalized when Kevin Ellis was assisted by Kiel Williams, burying the tying goal.

Seconds after returning to full strength, the Ambush recaptured the lead. Pepe Junquiera rewarded a well-timed run to the back post by Anthony Grant, who tapped the ball into the back of the net to put St. Louis up 2-1.

Ellis pulled the Comets level again with his second goal. He won the race to the loose ball, creating enough separation from St. Louis’ Andre Braithwaite to get off the shot.

St. Louis went ahead again seconds after John Sosa was sent off with a blue card. The penalty kick was tapped directly to Duduca, who buried it upper-90 to put the Ambush up 3-2 midway through the second quarter.

The Comets went on the offensive immediately, pelting Paulo Nascimento with consecutive shots. The acrobatic keeper made a pair of diving saves before Gui Gomes found the back of the net to make it 3-3 going into halftime.

Kansas City extended its lead at the onset of the second half through a terrific individual effort from Gomes. He fought through two defenders to play a pass to himself off the wall, drilling a laser on the regather. The score extended the Comet lead to 5-3.

Hector Solorio was shown a blue card shortly thereafter for tripping, but the Kansas City defense survived the two minutes for a penalty kill. A second blue card, this one to Odaine Sinclair for boarding, did some damage with Pablo scoring off the set piece.

Seconds later, Leo Gibson fed Kiel Williams to erase it. Not a minute later, Sosa rolled one over the line after winning a scrum for the ball at the top of the arc, putting Kansas City up 7-4. Nacho Flores added to the lead just before the end of the third quarter.

With their playoff hopes dwindling away, the Ambush began to play desperately. Anthony Grant picked up a blue card for a dubious challenge and a yellow card for arguing about it. With Nascimento pulled forward for attack, Lucas Rodriguez managed to poke in a goal from more than half the field away and extend the lead to 9-4.

Williams netted his second goal late in the fourth quarter, followed up by a Thomas score off the shoulder of Rodriguez, moving the score line inconsequentially before the final whistle.