PLYMOUTH, Mich. -- Two former Blast players - Carlos Farias and Sanaldo - helped to knock off the defending Major Indoor Soccer League champions on opening night.
And then they hugged their former teammates at midfield to celebrate the Detroit Ignition's first win in its first-ever game.
Farias' goal with 25 seconds left gave the expansion Ignition an 8-6 victory last night over the Blast, ruining the Blast's attempted comeback from a three-goal deficit and delighting a sellout crowd of 3,944 at Compuware Sports Arena in suburban Detroit.
"They came out on fire," Blast midfielder Denison Cabral said. "We knew it was going to be tough."
"Very disappointing," said Blast assistant coach David Bascome, who assisted Giuliano Celenza's goal that tied the score 6-6 with 5:53 left.
Farias' goal followed just seconds after a free kick in the Blast's end and in the midst of a powerful offensive push by the Ignition.
Until that point, the Blast had dominated the second half after a strange opening half in which the Ignition outhustled the Blast and had a 6-0 lead on three goals - the MISL awards two points for each goal scored within the three-point arc this season.
Sanaldo (12 saves) shut the Blast down in the opening half and made a brilliant diving save against Celenza on a penalty kick in the third quarter, deflecting the ball with his right arm.
"We knew they would come out flying," Blast coach Danny Kelly said. "They took it to us."
But the Blast came alive in the second half, with Celenza speeding up and scoring the Blast's first goal with 6:05 left in the third quarter. Twenty-four seconds later, Carlos Garcia made a nice move into the Detroit end and beat Sanaldo to his right.
With 5:53 left in the game, Celenza completed the turnaround with his second goal.
"I give our guys a lot of credit. They came back and tied the score," Kelly said. "In the second half, we got our legs under us, started moving the ball around."
Detroit coach Mark Pulisic knew six points wouldn't be enough, "Not in the indoor game," he said, "with the two-point rule."
The Ignition quickly regained control. Jonathan Greenfield hit the left post as he broke in on Sagu. With less than a minute left, Jamar Beasley - who scored one of Detroit's three first-half goals - caught the keeper out of position but pushed his shot wide.
But Sagu could not avoid trouble forever. Farias didn't miss.
"Sometimes you don't get the bounces," Bascome said. "The ball is bouncing around. That's just how it is."
Afterward, Pulisic breathed a sigh of relief as he chatted with Farias, a forward who led the MISL with 34 assists last season for the St. Louis Steamers. He played in Baltimore in the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons, scoring 44 goals.
"We were fortunate to weather the storm against a championship-caliber team in Baltimore," he said.
Detroit is perhaps especially fortunate to have faced a Blast team that admittedly played well for only one half.
"We can't wait," Bascome said. "We can't wait until the second half to make it happen."
Blast 0 0 4 2 - 6
Detroit 4 2 0 2 - 8
First quarter-Det: Moreira (Djersilo), 5:57. Det: Djersilo (Beasley), 13:23. Penalty: B, Wakefield, 11:57. Second quarter-Det: Beasley (unassisted), 3:34. Third quarter-Blast: Celenza (Tschantret), 8:55. Blast: Garcia (unassisted), 9:19. Penalty: B, Sagu, 3:58. Fourth quarter-Blast: Celenza (Bascome), 9:07. Det: Farias (unassisted), 14:35.