Baltimore make playoffs in dramatic fashion
The Ocean City Nor’easters knew going into the encounter that a win tonight gave them a chance at earning the best regular season record in the nation. Baltimore Bohemians entered the game knowing that nothing less than 3 points would put them into the playoffs.
A poor first half in terms of excitement was turned on it’s head during the second 45 minutes plus injury time. This compelling game ended in the most surprising circumstances with the Baltimore Bohemians goalkeeper Zachery Kane got the winning goal with a flicked header deep into injury time to make the final score 3-2 to Baltimore.
Chances were few and far between in a scrappy first half. The Nor’easters dominated possession and picked up the majority of the second balls but missed the cutting edge in the final third to put this game away early like they have done so many times this season. The PDL Player of the Week Dwayne Reid went close with a couple of stinging shots from around the edge of the penalty area. Long time player Kevin Curran also got forward from left back and saw his left footed shot flash across the face of the goal. At half time the score was still goalless with the Nor’easters enjoying the best chances and majority of possession.
The second half started slow but as the Nor’easters gained a foothold the confidence began to rise. After Asante went close after some fine work from Ken Tribbet and Reid and minutes later came the first goal. It was Tribbett on 62 minutes who opened the scoring when he spotted the keeper slightly off his line and whipped it over his head into the top corner from the right hand side of the Baltimore penalty area.
The second goal came just minutes later on 65 minutes as Frank Tweneboa converted a direct free kick from 30 yards. The chance came from a powerful run from Anthony Asante who was pulled down by a Bohemian defender. Tweneboa spotted the ball and put it up and over the wall into the bottom corner with dip and speed from that cultured right foot.
The Ocean City Nor’easters went 2-0 up but the plucky boys from Baltimore wouldn’t stop believing. Free scoring Bohemians forward Peter Caringi scored two in quick succession on 78 minutes and 85 minutes. This led to a long period of injury time that saw the goalkeeper come up for a corner, Nor’easters get 3 corners in a row with close chances and it was ended by a goal from the most unlikely of circumstances. Baltimore’s goalkeeper sauntered up to the Nor’easters penalty area in what felt like the 15th minute of injury time. The free kick came in and it was Zachery Kane of Loyola, Md who rose highest to flick the ball into the back of the Ocean City net. The final whistle blew immediately after the Nor’easters kicked off again.
The Ocean City Nor’easters won the Mid-Atlantic Division title last weekend after beating Reading United 2-1 but this will be a bit of a body blow heading into the playoffs. The playoff schedule is to be decided but it could mean a trip to Ottawa, Canada or a hosting job for Ocean City. The Ocean City Noreasters qualified for the 2014 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup by having the best regular season record in the Mid-Atlantic Division.