Storm delivers Blast first loss

Road proves slippery as 1-0 lead becomes 4-1 deficit that rally can't overcome

Storm 4, Blast 3

Pro Soccer


Chicago -- After debuting with two convincing home wins, the Blast tested its revival show on the road yesterday.

It offered a strong opening act and staged a rally, but the Chicago Storm earned the positive reviews with a 4-3 Major Indoor Soccer League victory before 1,403 at the University of Illinois at Chicago Pavilion.

The road loss was the fourth straight for the Blast (2-1) dating to April.

"In the first five minutes, we could have had three or four goals and they just didn't go in," Blast coach Tim Wittman said.

"[But] you've got to give [the Storm] credit. They were trying to double up tonight and they were running, they were running and they didn't stop."

Blast midfielder Giuliano Celenza opened the scoring with his fourth goal of the season 1 minute, 23 seconds into the game on an unassisted shot past goalie Danny Waltman.

It was the only goal in what settled into a listless first quarter, during which each team came up empty on a power play.

Chicago tied the game 1:27 into the second period as midfielder Matt Stewart put a short shot past goalie Sagu. Less than three minutes later, Hungarian forward Mark Ughy gave the Storm a 2-1 edge with an unassisted goal.

Ughy, playing in his first game of the season, struck again after 26 scoreless minutes. This time, he powered a 20-foot shot into the Blast goal at 2:01 of the fourth. Midfielder Novi Marojevic supplied an insurance goal as he sent a free kick past Sagu at 8:06 for a 4-1 lead.

"Novi's not as fit as he wants to be, but he's working hard on defense and the other guys feed off him," said Storm coach Frank Klopas, whose team is now 2-2. "He made a big difference, not only offensively, but also by working hard."

The Blast pulled Sagu near the 12-minute mark and added attacker Danny Kelly in a bid to narrow the gap.

The gamble was successful, though it wasn't enough. Forward Adauto Neto ran his scoring streak to three games with his sixth goal of the season at 12:21. Celenza then put home his second of the night at 14:05 to cut the Chicago lead to 4-3.

"Tonight was a good lesson because the other two games came quite easy with all the firepower that we had [21 goals in two games]," Wittman said.

"They realize that's not going to happen every night, so you've got to change the game plan around and match the intensity."

The teams will play again at 1st Mariner Arena at 7:35 p.m. Saturday in the second of six meetings.

Notes -- Yesterday's game was the 200th in a Blast uniform for Kelly, now in his eighth Baltimore season and 14th as an indoor professional ... Veteran David Bascome limped off the field with 3:03 left in the first half after suffering a toe injury and did not return ... The Storm, which finished 18-21 in its inaugural MISL season, has beaten the Blast in five of six meetings.

Blast 1 0 0 2 - 3

Chicago 0 2 0 2 - 4

First quarter: 1. Blast, Celenza, 1:23. Penalties: Clanton, Chicago, holding, 4:59; Nelson, Blast, boarding, 12:40.

Second quarter: 2. Chicago, Stewart (Pernia), 1:47; 3. Chicago, Ughy (Ball), 4:25; Penalties: none.

Third quarter: Penalties: None.

Fourth quarter: 4. Chicago, Ughy, 2:01; 5. Chicago, Marojevic; 6. Blast, Neto (Tschantret), 12:21; 7. Blast, Celenza (Aristodemo), 13:05. Penalties: None.

A: 1,403.

Storm@Blast Saturday, 7:35 p.m. Radio: 680 AM

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