Jad Arslan’s brace led South Georgia Tormenta FC to a 3-1 win over Greenville Triumph SC in the final match of the regular season Saturday night at Erk Russell Park.
Greenville struck first as Carlos Gomez scored his fifth goal in four games in the 18th minute. Cameron Saul slipped Gomez through after a strong run down the left flank. With a defender sliding at his feet, Gomez calmly curled a shot past goalkeeper Pablo Jara and into the side netting of the far post to give the visitors an early advantage.
Tormenta FC answered quickly as Arslan scored his first of the night in the 26th minute. Daltyn Knutson served a teasing ball into the penalty area that goalkeeper Dallas Jaye came to claim but dropped, causing a scramble in front of goal. Charlie Dennis was able to knock the ball loose towards Arslan, and the midfielder smashed a shot into the open net to equalize.
Arslan and Dennis connected again in the 80th minute as Dennis deflected shot fell kindly into the path of Arslan’s run into the six yard box. Arslan struck a first-time shot on frame, forcing Jaye into a save, but the goalkeeper didn’t get enough on the shot and it snuck over the line.
Tormenta made it 3-1 in the 80th minute, with Conner Antley finding the back of the net for his sixth goal of the season. Ricardo Gomez picked Antley out with a perfectly placed lofted through ball in behind the Triumph back four. Antley dribbled towards goal before slotting the ball under Jaye to double the hosts’ advantage.
Saturday’s win was Tormenta’s first since July 24th. The South Georgia side will finish the season in sixth place, six points out of the playoffs. Greenville, meanwhile, will finish in third place and head to Michigan to take on Lansing Ignite FC in the first round of the League One Playoffs next weekend.
Conor Shanosky and Charles Boateng scored as the Richmond Kickers defeated Orlando City B, 2-0, Saturday night at City Stadium
Richmond broke the deadlock from a set piece in the 31st minute. Mutaya Mwape served a clever out-swinging ball towards a crowd of bodies at the back post and Shanosky rose above everyone to nod the ball past goalkeeper Christian Herrera to score his first goal of the season.
The Kickers doubled their lead minutes later as Boateng got on the end of Mwape’s low cross after the wide midfielder tricked his way past a couple of tackles on his way to the endline. The goal was Boateng’s second of the season, while Mwape recorded his fourth assist.
Richmond cruise to a win in its final match of the season, holding Orlando to just two shots on target throughout the 90 minutes. Akira Fitzgerlad made one save to earn his ninth clean sheet of the season.
Saturday’s match was long-time Kicker Braeden Troyer’s last as the defender announced his retirement earlier this week. The veteran captained his side to a win on the final day of the season and was substituted in the 93rd minute to a standing ovation from the crowd of 3,918. Richmond will finish the season in ninth place, 16 points ahead of tenth place OCB.
Chattanooga Red Wolves SC and Toronto FC II played to a 1-1 draw Saturday night at David Stanton Field.
Chattanooga opened the scoring early through Sito Seoane. Tony Walls played a good entry pass into center forward Greg Hurst who did well to bring it down and slip Seoane through. Once free on goal, Seoane made no mistake, curling a shot around goalkeeper Eric Klenofsky and into the side netting at the far post for his seventh goal of the season.
The Red Wolves nearly doubled their lead in the 26th minute after good hold-up play from Greg Hurst. With his back to goal, Hurst held off his defender and turned to create space for a shot, but his right-footed effort was just off target and struck the far post and stayed out.
Minutes later, TFC II tested Chattanooga goalkeeper Alex Mangels at the other end. Ayo Akinola burst down the right flank on a counterattack before finding Noble Okello unmarked near the penalty spot, but Mangels was equal to Okello’s strike, pushing it over the bar to preserve the hosts’ lead.
Jordan Perruzza eventually scored a late equalizer for Toronto after making a smart run off the back shoulder of the right center back in the 86th minute. Akinola read Perruzza’s run and slipped him through, putting him one-on-one with Mangels. Perruzza made no mistake, calmly tucking the chance away for his 13th goal of the season. The TFC II striker will finish the year one goal behind North Texas SC’s Ronaldo Damus for the Golden Boot.
The Red Wolves will finish the season in fifth place, three points out of the fourth and final playoff spot; while Toronto finishes in seventh place.
J.C. Banks’ first-half goal led Forward Madison FC to a 1-0 victory over Lansing Ignite FC and a place in the USL League One Playoffs Saturday afternoon at Cooley Law School Stadium.
After a strong start from the visitors, Forward Madison scored the game’s opening goal just before halftime. The chance initially looked to go by the wayside as Carter Manley just over-hit his cross, but Don Smart got on the end of the serve and kept it in play near the endline. Smart picked out Banks with a cut back and the midfielder tucked it away from six yards out for his fifth goal of the season.
Banks earned a penalty in the 57th minute after slipping through on goal and drawing Brandon Fricke into a lunging tackle. Madison was unable to take advantage from the spot, as Stefan Cleveland guessed correctly and kept out Smart’s effort at his left post.
The missed penalty did not come back to hurt Forward, as they held Lansing to just one shot on frame in the final 45 minutes as Ryan Coulter earned his second clean sheet of the season. Madison has not given up multiple goals in a single match since July 9.
In addition to clinching the club’s first ever playoff berth, the Flamingos’ 1-0 win Saturday afternoon snaps the Ignite’s 12-game unbeaten run which was the longest unbeaten stretch in League One history. Saturday’s loss was Lansing’s first on home turf since April 26. The Ignite still have a chance to host in the first round of the League One Playoffs, should Greenville Triumph SC fail to win tonight against Tormenta FC.
Madison, meanwhile, knows its playoff fate. The Flamingos will head to Frisco next Saturday, October 12 to take on the regular season title winners, North Texas SC.