The St. Louis Ambush got the best of the cross-state rival Kansas City Comets for the second time in as many days when they won a 6-3 duel Sunday at the Cable Dahmer Arena in Independence, Missouri. The match was the regular season finale for both teams. The win gave the Ambush a final regular season record of 10-12-2, and the Comets finished at 13-9-1. St. Louis also defeated Kansas City 8-3 Saturday night at Axius Field at The Family Arena.
Kansas City got the lone goal in the first quarter when Rian Marques scored in the third minute of the game. The second period remained scoreless until just past the twelve minute mark when the Comets went up 2-0 on a restart goal by Lucas Sousa. St. Louis scored their first less than 30 seconds later when a Marcel Berry shot came off the wall and was pounded in by Lucas Almeida. At halftime, Kansas City enjoyed a 2-1 lead.
St. Louis knotted the score when Pepe Junqueira sent a long pass to Almeida, who was able to tap it in goal in the fifth minute of the third stanza. The Ambush took a 3-2 lead 38 seconds later when Will Eskay was able to get a shot by Comets goalkeper Nicolau Neto. Robert Kristo caught Neto too far out of goal in the eleventh minute and put a long shot into the net to give the Ambush a 4-2 lead. Eskay tallied his second of the contest when Neto came out to challenge him, but Eskay successfully eluded the Comets’ keeper and scored from the corner at 12:13 to make it a 5-2 game.
The Comets got one back when Rian Marques took a pass from Neto, went around Ambush defender Sam Guernsey, and put the ball on target in the seventh minute of the final frame to make the score 5-3. St. Louis scored one more with just under two minutes remaining when Neto came out, tripped Greg Kranz, but Guernsey dove at the loose ball and headed it into the empty goal for what would be the final score of 6-3.
William Eskay was the man of the match on offense for St. Louis, scoring two goals of his own and adding an assist on Kristo’s game winner. On defense for St. Louis, goalkeeper Pollo Cortes turned in another stellar performance, making 17 saves on 20 save opportunities (.850 Sv%).
The Ambush did what they had to do this weekend to keep their playoff hopes alive, winning two against Kansas City (who has already captured the Central Division title). It’s now down to a game between the Ontario Fury and San Diego Soccers, who play tonight. If Ontario posts a regulation win, the Ambush are eliminated from the playoffs. If Ontario loses (no points) or wins in overtime (two points), the Ambush would finish one point ahead of the Fury and earn a playoff berth.
If the Ambush make the playoffs, the first round home game will be Friday, April 8 at 7:35 p.m. CDT at The Family Arena. Fans can stay current on all Ambush news by visiting the team’s official website, stlambush.com and on social media outlets.