Central Florida Men Win Dramatic Overtime Thriller Over Americans
ORLANDO, FL - It took just 29 seconds in the overtime period for Rapha Tobias to net the game-winner for the Central Florida Crusaders, as they beat the Memphis Americans 9-8 on Sunday night.
After tying the game up late with Maycon França scoring his third goal of the night, Tobias would finish off his hat-trick, beating Americans' goalkeeper Piotr Sliwa on the counter-attack, sealing an opening day win for the hometown team.
It was a long road to get to that point, as Memphis started the game strong with a goal from Maxi Galizzi in the opening five minutes. The Crusaders would respond with França's first goal of the game, followed up by goals from Eduardo Cruz and Victor Rada, taking a lead into the second quarter.
Giovanni Alvarado and Djordje Djordjevic would score two in a row for the visiting Americans to re-take the lead before Tobias netted his first two goals back for Central Florida. Memphis Head Coach Corey Adamson would add one back to make it 5-5 at the halftime break.
Memphis would start the third quarter on a tear, taking a commanding three-goal lead thanks to strikes from Djordjevic, Adamson, and Giovanni Alvarado, but again the Crusaders would battle back with Rada scoring at the end of the third and then França scoring two in the last six minutes of the fourth to send it to overtime.
The Crusaders will now have a week off before they host the Tampa Bay Strikers on Saturday, February 18th, while the Americans will travel to Fayetteville on the same day.