Burlingame Dragons FC Draw 1-1 with BYU
Dragons Hit the Post Five Times
The BYU Cougars seemed to live up to the old adage about cats in their third and final game with the Burlingame Dragons this season. These Cougars used up all of their nine lives as they escaped Burlingame with a 1-1 draw in front of 1,650 patrons on Saturday afternoon at Dragons Stadium. The Dragons draw leaves them in 2nd place in the Central Pacific Division and in good position to make the PDL playoffs.
The Dragons came out flying and were aggressive from the onset as they took the game to BYU and almost grabbed an early lead as forwards Danny Musovski and Brian Wright both had great chances to score within the first 10 minutes. Musovski’ had a shot rejected by the crossbar and Wright’s ricocheted off of a defender and struck the post, causing the Cougars to breathe an early sigh of relief.
The Cougars then settled in and began to stymie and frustrate the Dragons. The one constant in the first two games between the division rivals, was that BYU got on the scoreboard first. Saturday turned out to be no different. As BYU applied pressure, a miscommunication at the back between defenders Josh Morton, Josh Smith and goalkeeper Nico Corti led to a collision amongst the three, leaving the ball rolling towards the net. Forward Cameron McLaughlin pounced on the mistake and buried it home, giving the Cougars a 1-0 lead in the 38th minute. The Dragons continued to press at the end of the half, but went in at halftime down 1-0.
BYU would then routinely put 10 men behind the ball and absorb pressure during the 2nd half of play, forcing the Dragons to have to get creative to break them down. The Dragons proceeded to hit the post three more times in the 2nd half as opportunities were plentiful, but the deadly finishing touch that was needed seemed to elude the boys in green and white. Musovski, Wright and forward Christian Thierjung all had chances in the early portions of the 2nd half, but all came up empty.
The Dragons made some substitutions to continue to put offensive pressure on the Cougars and one of them paid off in spades. Coach Eric Bucchere inserted midfielder Romario Piggott in the 75th minute to provide instant offense and right away he delivered. A dangerous cross in the 77th was almost converted by multiple Dragons and in the 84th minute, Piggott delivered a stellar goal that would tie the game at one. The Panamanian dynamo ripped a shot into the lower right corner of the net from just outside the 18-yard box, giving the Dragons hope that they could steal a win with less than 10 minutes to go.
They almost did steal the win as Musovski steered a header just over the bar in the 88th minute off of a corner kick. The Cougars were then able to see the game out and escape with a 1-1 draw. The Dragons outshot the Cougars 18-2 and carried the play, but the Cougars stuck to their defensive game plan and came away with a point.
The draw keeps the Dragons (5-4-2- 17 points) in playoff contention, as they stay in the second and final playoff spot in the division. The Dragons are in pole position to capture that 2nd spot with three games left to play in the regular season. The Cougars (4-5-4- 16 points) remain one spot behind the Dragons, but with only one game left to play in their season, they will most likely need some help to make the playoffs.
Next up for the Dragons is the final game of the season series against the Central Pacific Division leading Fresno Fuego on Friday, July 8th. Game time is 7:00pm at Dragons Stadium at Burlingame High School. To buy tickets, please visit www.burlingamedragons.com.