COMETS TOP SIDEKICKS 7-3 FOR GAME ONE WIN IN TEXAS
ALLEN, TX. – The Comets (1-0-0) went to Credit Union of Texas Event Center for Game One of their Ron Newman Cup Playoffs quarterfinal matchup with the Dallas Sidekicks (0-1-0) and cruised to a 7-3 win in front of 1,606 fans Saturday night. Nacho Flores, John Sosa, and Lesia Thetsane each had multi-point games on the night. In goal, Nicolau Neto stopped 11 of 14 shots en route to the win for the Comets.
The action was end-to-end non-stop in the first half and the Comets outshot the Sidekicks by an 18-8 margin through the first 30 minutes. Goals, however, were at a premium with each team netting one before the break.
Julio Varela put Dallas up 1-0 in the first quarter on an assist from Bradlee Baladez with 5:54 to play in the opening frame. The Comets went on a power play following a blue card to Jamie Lovegrove for holding, but the Sidekicks defense was able to kill the penalty.
The first-half equalizer for the Comets came with 9:40 left in the half. The Sidekicks were trying to clear the call from deep in their defensive end and inadvertently sent it directly to Flores who was all alone at the top of the arc. A quick shot beat Dallas keeper Juan Gamboa to tie the game 1-1 headed to halftime.
When the teams returned to the field, the second half was nothing like the first. Kansas City outscored the Sidekicks 6-2 in the final 30 minutes, with three goals in both the third and fourth quarters on their way to the win.
Thetsane got the scoring started with a steal from Dallas defender Mike Jones and a quick toe-poke past Gamboa for the 2-1 lead with 10:25 left in the third. Less than a minute later, Sosa found the back of the net off a restart with a rocket from the left side and it was 3-1 with 9:42 left in the quarter.
Kansas City’s fourth consecutive goal also came off a restart. Flores crept behind the Dallas wall and redirected a pass from Sosa to push the lead to 4-1 with 7:00 to go in the third.
The Sidekicks’ next marker was the first of two power-play goals in the game, this one from Lovegrove to send the game to the fourth quarter with the Comets in front 4-2.
The first goal of the fourth quarter came when Benji Monreal chipped a pass to himself past a Sidekicks defender and scored from the right side to put the Comets back up by three at 5-2 with 9:49 to play in the game and that was as close as Dallas would be the rest of the way.
A little over four minutes later, with Leo Gibson in the penalty box serving a blue card for handling, James Togbah outran the Dallas defense and Sidekicks’ sixth-attacker Cody Ellis to net a shorthanded goal to make it 6-2 with 4:07 remaining.
With 1:59 on the clock, Sebastian Mendez finished the scoring for Dallas with their second power-play goal of the game and the score was 6-3 in favor of Kansas City.
The final goal of the game was the second of the night for Thetsane, this time he tapped in an empty-net goal with less than a minute remaining to seal the 7-3 win for the Comets.
The series now shifts to Cable Dahmer Arena on Tuesday, April 12 at 7 pm for Game Two of this quarterfinal series. Tickets are on sale now at www.kccomets.com.
1st – DAL Varela (Baladez) 9:05. Penalties – DAL Lovegrove (bc- holding) 10:37.
2nd – KC Flores 5:20. Penalties – DAL Ortiz (bc- tripping) 9:58; KC Marques (bc- 4 fouls in a half) 10:59.
3rd – KC Thetsane 4:33; KC Sosa 5:19; KC Flores (Sosa) 8:01; DAL Lovegrove 10:48 pp. Penalties – KC Bench (bc- too many men) 9:45.
4th – KC Monreal 5:10; KC Togbah 4:07 sh; DAL Mendez (Lovegrove) 13:01 pp; KC Thetsane 14:04 en. Penalties – KC Gibson (bc- handling) 9:48; KC Sousa (bc- pushing) 12:28.
Power Play – Comets 0/2, Dallas 2/4
Penalty Minutes – Comets 6, Dallas 4
Shots – Comets 30, Dallas 21
Attendance – 1,606