By Mike Pilosof
Photo by Adam Shrimplin
Garden City, KS-What a heartbreaking way to lose.
Jackson Brown sent a rainbow cross into the box where Djougher Oliveria drilled into the net, and Cloud County upended the Broncbusters 2-1 in two overtimes on Wednesday night.
"We did a bad job of clearing," Head Coach Corey Bryant said. "And that was the end result.
Give Bryant's team a lot of credit. It was less than a month ago that Garden City suffered their worst loss of the season to the Thunderbirds (8-0 in Concordia on Sept. 14). But the Broncbusters were definitely game in this one.
After playing to a scoreless tie in the first half, Garden City had a golden chance to take the lead five minutes into the second. Eduardo Filho beat two defenders into the box, but his shot sailed just wide.
After each team exchanged blows, the Broncbusters got on the board first. Lucas Martins corner deflected off of the post before Omar Estrada knocked the ball past Cloud County goalie Norberto Vieira to put the home squad up 1-0.
However, the celebration didn't last long. The Thunderbirds answered less than two minutes later, thanks to Heitor Moreira, who finally got one of his six shots on the night to squeak in, tying the match, 1-1.
After that, it was one great save after another. The Broncbusters Gabriel Melo denied Moreira in the 71st minute. Then he swatted away shots by Felipe D'Agostini and Shaqon Bryan in the 83rd before making a fantastic lunge to knock away Agostini's rocket with two minutes to play.
Melo made another great play in the first overtime, deflecting Agostini's 20-yard rainbow that just missed sneaking in. But the second extra session was a different story. With Cloud County on the attack, Brown lobbed a cross into the box for Oliveria, who rolled it past Melo for the game winner.
The Thunderbirds outshot the Broncbusters 21-9. Melo tied a season-high with nine saves.
Garden City is back home Saturday against Hesston. Match time is set for 6:30 p.m.