Allen, Texas – Andrew Coughlin’s second-half relief appearance sparked Utica City’s 8-7 come-from-behind victory in the shootout over the Dallas Sidekicks on Friday night at the Allen Event Center. Coughlin made five saves and stopped all three shootout attempts en route to the victory. Jake Schindler propelled the game to overtime with a dramatic goal with Dallas’ sixth attacked on the field and just 23 seconds left in regulation.
In the first quarter, the Sidekicks jumped out to an early 2-0 lead. Quick strikes from former Utica City striker Freddy Moojen and Luiz Felipe gave the home side the early advantage. City forward Moises Gonzalez expertly turned his defender and fired a low right-footed shot for his thirteenth goal of the season to cut the lead in half before the end of the first quarter.
Utica leveled the contest midway through the second quarter on a lethal counter-attack finished by Liam Callahan. Goalkeeper Matt Perrella saved a Sidekick breakaway and quickly fed a pass out to Callahan. The midfielder worked a quick passing sequence with Bo Jelovac before chipping over the Dallas keeper to even the score at two.
Goals from Felipe and Arthur Ivo restored the Sidekicks two-goal advantage into halftime.
Coughlin’s entrance in the third quarter sparked City’s comeback. The away side scored three unanswered goals in the third to finish the frame with a 5-4 lead. Jelovac, Schindler, and Gonzalez all scored for Utica City.
Gonzalez finished his hat trick in the fourth quarter with a right-footed blast as a Utica power-play expired. There was no quit in Dallas, however. The Sidekicks responded with three consecutive goals of their own to take a 7-6 lead with under five minutes to play. Utica was forced to pull Coughlin in favor of a sixth attacker. With 23 seconds left in the fourth, Schindler saved Utica with a blast into the upper-90, evening the score at seven apiece.
No goals were scored in overtime, and the game was settled in a shootout. Onua Obasi scored the lone shootout goal for Utica, with Coughlin going three-for-three in the shootout to seal the victory for City and the perfect appearance in Texas.
Utica City is back in action Friday, February 21 on the road at the Rochester Lancers. Kickoff at the ROC Dome is at 7:05 p.m. The game can be viewed on MASL.tv. Two days later they are back to home turf once again against the Rochester Lancers. Get your tickets for Soccer Sunday at www.empirestatetix.com or by calling 315-790-9070. Make sure to stick in your seats for halftime as over 15 mascots take the field for a Mascot Showdown. Kick-off on February 23 is at 2 p.m.
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