Blast romps

Cabral is lost

Forward tears ACL, likely out for season

Blast 8 KiXX 2

Pro Soccer


Blast coach Tim Wittman can be tough to please, but even he liked how his team played in last night's 8-2 win over the Philadelphia KiXX at 1st Mariner Arena.

The Blast controlled all phases of the game in delighting the crowd of 5,412 with its complete effort.

But the win proved costly as forward Denison Cabral suffered a torn anterior collateral ligament in his left knee and is likely out for the season.

Cabral entered the game tied for seventh in the league in scoring (11 points) after seven games. He had finished a long rehabilitation after tearing the ACL in his other knee last year, playing only six games.

The injury happened in the fourth quarter and dampened the mood in the Blast's locker room.

"I feel bad for him," Wittman said. "He busted his [butt] to get back and then this happens. Sometimes life is unfair."

Giuliano Celenza and Adauto Neto each had a three-goal game to spark the offense. Neto also had an assist to retain the Major Indoor Soccer League's scoring lead with 21 points (11 goals, 10 assists).

"We've got a lot of players that are fast and can hold the ball and are good finishers," said Neto, who turns 25 today. "We finished our chances when we had them."

Celenza's three-goal effort was his second in four games, and he took over the MISL lead in goals with 12. He's tied for fourth in points with 13.

"It was just a team effort tonight," Celenza said. "If you play good team defense, the goals will come. We had a lot of chances that come from playing as a team."

The Baltimore native scored the game's first goal and added two in the third quarter as the Blast (5-3) pulled away for its second straight victory.

The Blast controlled play much of the game and, at the end, had a 25-13 advantage in shots.

Both teams were coming off long layoffs - the Blast hadn't played in 12 days while the KiXX's last game was Dec. 10 - and needed to shake off some rust early. But the Blast kept pushing the KiXX back and never trailed.

Blast goalie Sanaldo was sharp in his second straight start. He made nine saves, including a leaping stop one minute into the game and a jumping punch-out late in the period. He completed his night with a fourth-quarter assist.

Philadelphia (3-4) hurt itself with three defensive mistakes in the second quarter. The KiXX botched a clear that Neto intercepted. He quickly fed Celenza, who sent a shot past Philadelphia goalie Peter Pappas for a 1-0 lead with 12:50 left in the half.

After John Barry Nusum tied it for the KiXX with 10:22 remaining in the period, the Blast scored six straight.

Pappas was screened by his own defender on a shot by Rich Daughtridge that gave the Blast a 2-1 lead with 8:38 left.

Pappas then helped the Blast take a 3-1 lead two minutes later. The goalie rushed toward the right boards for a loose ball, but Neto beat him to it, got around the keeper and sent a shot into the empty net.

Philadelphia 0 1 0 1 - 2

Blast 0 3 2 3 - 8

Second quarter: 1, Blast, Celenza (Neto) 2:10. 2, Philadelphia, Nusum (Kopp) 4:38. 3, Blast, Daughtridge (Bailey) 6:22. 4, Blast, Neto 8:22. Penalties: Morris, Philadelphia (dissent), 14:36. Third quarter: 5, Blast, Celenza 7:03. 6, Blast, Celenza (Kelly) (PPG) 12:34. Penalties: Bench (Wittman), Blast, (team misconduct), 1:22. Kopp, Philadelphia (tripping), 11:59. Fourth quarter: 7, Blast, Neto (Sanaldo) (SHG) 5:15. 8, Blast 7:33. 9, Philadelphia, Guastaferro (Morris) 14:14. 10, Blast, Neto (Bailey) 14:23. Penalties: Wakefield, Blast (tripping), 3:21. Shots on goal: Philadelphia 13, Blast 25. Penalty kick conversions: Philadelphia 0 of 0, Blast 0 of Shootout conversions: Philadelphia 0 of 0, Blast 0 of . Power-play conversions: Philadelphia 0 of 1, Blast 1 of . Goalies: Philadelphia Peter Pappas (18, 10, 8, 60:00)Blast Sanaldo (11, 9, 2, 60:00). A: 5,412. Officials: Mark Bailey, Tim Tyma, Jeff Gontarek.

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