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THE Orange Crushers played escape artists for the second straight game, this time settling for a 5-5 draw and evading an upset by a formidable Shotguns FC team in an IT&E Men’s Futsal League match at the Guam Sports Complex Gym Friday.
The FC Shotguns gave the Crushers an early 1-0 lead after the team’s attempt to clear the ball in front of the goal had resulted in an own goal. Moments later, back-to-back goals from Don Merfalen and Gil Andres put the Shotguns on top for the first time in the contest.
The Crushers stubbornly played catchup with the Shotguns through the half, eventually ending the first half of play deadlocked at 3-all on two goals by the Crushers’ Jaime Ortega and another by Andres.
Andres had the lucky strike for the Shotguns early in the second half, scoring two goals in the half’s opening nine minutes. Although the Crushers’ Marco Napoli had an answer about five minutes later, the Shotguns were able to hold down the league leaders for almost 10 minutes.
With the clock winding down, the Shotguns continued to increase their defensive aggressiveness, but a defensive foul with about three minutes left to play opened up an opportunity for the Crushers.
Instead of trying a shot past the Shotguns’ wall, the Crushers’ Jon Sardea passed the ball to a rushing Kyle Mesa on the left wing, who blasted his shot into the goal to knot the contest at five-all and saved his team from defeat.
With the draw, the Crushers are now tied for first based on points with the undefeated Quality Distributors. Quality handed the Paintco Strykers “A” team its second straight loss 10-5.
Quality was led by Shawn Spindel’s four goals. Andre Gadia and Spindel’s brother, Scott, each scored twice. Take Inoue and James Bush also scored for Quality. Caleb Barretto and Rico Espinosa each scored twice for the Strykers A. Hiro Asoshina scored the Strykers A’s other goal.
In other matches, Guam Shipyard defeated the Strykers B team 18-2 behind Aaron Jackson’s double hat trick. Donald Weakley and Ajay Pothen each scored four times and teammates Carlo Unpingco, Jared Quichocho and Christopher Reyes each scored once.
Shipyard’s other goal was a Strykers B own goal. Goals by the Strykers B’s Aaron Manglona and Keita Yoshida prevented a shutout victory for Shipyard.
The Cobras lost by forfeit to Doosan FC in the early game. The Cobras were not able to get their Guam Football Association player cards in time to the gym to play.
Futsal action continues Sunday with Doosan FC taking on the Strykers B at 1 p.m. The league’s teams will play their final matches Sunday before the league playoffs.