Blast pull together late, beat Comets

Healey, Neto make up for team's sloppy play with late goals

December 11, 2010|By Glenn Graham, The Baltimore Sun

When Blast midfielder Pat Healey hammered home a chance directly in front of the Missouri Comets' open net with just under ten minutes to play Friday night at 1st Mariner Arena — giving the home team its first lead since the game's opening moments — there was a touch of relief.

To that point, the Blast made things difficult for itself with uncharactristicly careless moments on defense early and frustrating times at the other end.

With Healey's easy finish and forward Adauto Neto scoring his second goal minutes later to provide the eventual game-winner, the Blast came away with a come-from-behind 13-12 win over Missouri before an announced crowd of 6,236.

"We made it a little difficult on ourselves, but we grinded it out and we worked hard as a team and what was important is we got the positive result," said Neto, who was making his first appearance following knee surgery. "Now we have to focus on the mistakes we made and try to improve on them and get better as a team."

The Blast improves to 3-0 in the Major Indoor Soccer League, while Missouri falls to 1-4.

"You just got to keep focused, you got to believe, you can't give up and you have to work harder," Neto said. "When things are not working offensively, you've got to do your best to defend and play as a team. Sometimes the results are going to come, sometimes not and today it came, so we're just happy we got the win."

Flat and trailing, 10-4, when Comets forward Tiguinho scored with 1:33 to play in the third quarter, the Blast found something positive to build on 26 seconds later when forward Max Ferdinand proved opportunistic with a 3-point goal on a Comets' giveaway to cut the lead to 10-7.

The Blast took over in the fourth quarter, getting a goal from forward Giuliano Celenza 1:24 in to cut the lead to 10-9 before Healey and Neto provided the necessary cushion. The Comets scored a meaningless goal with four seconds left to close out the scoring.

The home team played sloppy defense in the first quarter and struggled to finish on easy scoring opportunities in the second, which resulted in an 8-4 halftime lead for the Comets.

After taking an early 2-0 lead on a restart goal from Neto, the Blast yielded two three-point goals — the second by Comets' midfielder Geison Moura following a a giveaway near midfield with goalkeeper Sagu caught off his goal line — that led to an 8-4 deficit going into the second quarter.

The score stayed that way at the halftime break with the Blast failing to put away a number of chances in front.

During the halftime intermission, former Blast standout Doug Neely received a warm ovation as he was inducted into the team's Hall of Fame. The defender spent eight years playing in Baltimore and was a four-time All-Star.

glenn.graham@baltsun.com

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