MLS Combine: Jabulani overturn deficit, beat AdiZero 2-1
LAUDERHILL, Fla. – Jabulani overturned a one-goal deficit to beat AdiZero, 2-1, in the second game of the 2011 MLS Combine's opening day.
The winning goal came in the 83rd minute from Uruguayan Paolo Cardozo. Jabulani's first goal was scored by Konrad Warzycha in the 37th minute, equalizing after Ecuadorian Joao Plata had opened the scoring for AdiZero in the 11th minute.
Jabulani began pressing from the opening whistle, as the forward duo of C.J. Sapong and Justin Meram troubled the AdiZero defense. Meram created space for himself at the top of the box, only to shoot high of the target.
Two minutes later, Jabulani missed another opportunity when the AdiZero defense failed to clear a corner. The ball pinged around in the box in front of Josh Ford’s goal, but the former Connecticut ‘keeper snared the rebound.
Against the run of play, Plata tallied the first goal of the Combine. (The earlier match ended scoreless.) On a quick counter attack, he cut in from the left hand side to the penalty spot and beat Jabulani goalie Bryan Meredith.
Despite going down a goal, Meram and Sapong continued to press for an equalizer, but it would be right back Kofi Sarkodie who would engineer Jabulani’s equalizer. Coming forward from his defensive position, Sarkodie tested Ford with a drive that the 'keeper denied only for Warzycha to follow up and slot home in the 37th minute.
Ford came up big once again, managing to palm away and effort from Sapong on a counter attack to keep the scores level heading into the break.
A wave of substitutes entered in the second half, and Jabulani dominated proceedings. Ecuadorian invitee and substitute Victor Estupiñán was a threat, driving the offense and testing Ford on a couple of occasions.
The lanky forward created Jabulani’s second of the game in the 83rd minute. Beating the offside trap, he just managed to find fellow Cardozo at the penalty spot, who blasted home into the unguarded net.
The next match for both teams comes on Monday, when Jabulani take on AdiPure at 11:15 am ET. AdiZero face AdiPower at 1 pm ET. Both matches will be streamed live on MLSsoccer.com.
AdiZero: Josh Ford; Bilal Duckett, Tyler Lassiter, Indy Smith, J.T. Murray; Tommy Drake, Michael Farfan, Stephen McCarthy, Joao Plata; Amani Walker, Steven Perry.
Jabulani: Bryan Meredith; Chris Taylor, Colin Givens, Bobby Warshaw, Kofi Sarkodie; Levi Houapeu, Konrad Warzycha, Alex Caskey, Jon Okafor; Justin Meram, C.J. Sapong.