The Comets finally grabbed their first lead of their rebirth history and at the half last night against Omaha looked to be on their way to their first win as well. But the Comets were unable to hold the lead and a scoreless final half for the Comets saw them fall 14-10 to the Vipers.
Early on, the Vipers were the one dictating possession, and were able to make that pay off less than two minutes into the game as a shot from Chile Farias squirmed through the hands of Danny Waltman, through his legs and just over the line giving the Vipers the lead. The Comets were able to get a little more of the ball after the initial pressure from the Vipers, but were unable to get much possession overall. Around the midpoint of the first half MO got themselves on the board off of a free kick. The ball was played across the 3 point arc to Leo Gibson who fired in a blast that landed in the far corner giving the Comets their first lead at 3-2.
The Vipers continued to maintain their control of the game, holding possession and keeping MO from being able to clear their defensive lines, similar to what the Wave did last week. Ibrahim Kante did a fantastic job of keeping Jamar Beasley in check throughout the game. The bigger Kante was able to effectively neutralize Beasley's speed throughout the game. The one thing Kante really showed is exactly what the Comets are lacking, especially defensively. They lack a big defender with bite that can be an annoyance to the opponents attackers and be a bit of a bruiser.
The Vipers possession paid off almost half way through the second quarter as they retook the lead on a great run by Victor Quiroz who laid the ball off to Paulinho Le Petit who buried the ball into the upper corner making it 4-3 Vipers. Shortly after the goal, the Comets found themselves on the power play as Johnny Torres was given a blue card for tripping. The Comets took advantage as they set up their offense around the 3 point arc. Once again a ball across the arc led to the goal as Vahid Assadpour slid a ball to Geison Moura who blasted the ball into the lower corner giving the Comets the lead again 6-3. The Comets continued to press, and Assadpour got in with a goal as Byron Alvarez worked down the left and slotted a ball into the middle that Assadpour just poked into the net after the goalkeeper had committed to Alvarez. With just over a minute left, the Comets again found themselves on the power play as the Vipers were caught with too many men on the field on a free kick, a fairly poor card to take in that situation. Once again the Comets took advantage, this time through Alvarez, as Moura found the former MVP whose shot made it past the keeper and was knocked into the net more so by the Vipers defender.
In the third quarter, the Vipers continued to pressure, but Waltman came up big in the Comets net as he had since giving up the first goal of the game. The Vipers kept pressuring but Waltman made some big saves, unfortunately he kept getting let down by his defense as they were unable to clear their lines and the Vipers were able to hold them in their own end. Late in the 3rd, the Vipers pulled a goal back, as a pass by Farias deflected off of Assadpour and into the net.
In the fourth, the Comets fell asleep right from the start as Stefan Stokic was easily dispossessed by Frederico Moojen. Moojen moved around the Comets defense and found Shaun David who beat Waltman to make it 10-8 after only 13 seconds played in the 4th. It took less than 6 minutes in the fourth for the Vipers to find the equalizer as Ricardinho found Chico Parisotto to tie the game at 10. With six minutes left, the Vipers found the winner and it was one of the best goals I've personally ever seen. A long throw from goalkeeper Jose Bontti into the Comets end found an unmarked Farias who amazingly biked the ball past Waltman and into the net. The best way I can describe it is to have you look at this goal, but make the field longer, have the keeper throw it, and have the keeper be a little more active. An amazing goal that even brought Comets fans to applaud the goal. Things got worse for MO as they pushed to find an equalizer again, as Alvarez picked up his 3rd blue card in two games for the Comets with just over 2 minutes left in the game. The Vipers at that point appeared set to kill the penalty themselves as they spent much of the time passing the ball around themselves, but with about 20 seconds left on the power play, Ricardinho fired a shot into the net to make it 14-10 and totally kill the game off.
A major collapse by the Comets in the second half, but it wasn't totally unexpected. The Vipers controlled most of the game and if not for some good goalkeeping or blocks, the Vipers likely could have run away with this game. The Comets main struggle is in the defensive third. As I mentioned earlier, they lack a big bruiser, someone that can muscle up and annoy the attackers for the opposing team. The other problem is a lack of foot skills from the defenders, too many poor give aways and inability to get the ball out of their own end when they collect the ball. As a former defender those parts have to bother coach Kim Roentved.