The Comets and Blast played a fast paced first quarter but it was the second quarter that did the Comets in tonight in the first game of the MISL championship series at the Independence Events Center. The Blast out scored the Comets 8-0 in the second as they completely out played the Comets and hit on the counter, putting on a bit of a clinic on both ends of the field. The Comets fought back in the second half but couldn't overcome the poor quarter.
The game started with a frantic pass and inside 30 seconds the Blast had the lead. Mike Lookingland played a pass towards the back post where Cristiano tried to break it up, but only put it into the path of Tony Donatelli. Donatelli turned on goal and beat Danny Waltman to make it 2-0. The Comets came back down the field and found an equalizer less than a minute later. Byron Alvarez collected a turnover from goalkeeper William Vanzela and fed the ball to Vahid Assadpour in the corner. Assadpour returned the pass and Alvarez slotted it far post to tie the game. Shortly after that though the Blast retook the lead. After Leo Gibson got caught in possession at the yellow line, Max Ferdinand led a 3v1 break on Waltman. Ferdinand fed it to Aduato Neto who tucked it into the empty net to make it 4-2 Blast. Th Blast continued to push the game and around the midway point of the quarter Neto had the ball deep in the Comets corner but he was able to get the ball out to Ptah Myers who put the ball high on Waltman to make it 6-2. The Comets attacked for much of the rest of the quarter but with all their possession they were unable to get many shots on goal.
In the second quarter the Blast again started things quickly again. Just a minute into the quarter the Blast scored again. After a turnover in the Comets end Neto fed the ball to Donatelli who beat Waltman to the far post making it 8-2. The Comets continued to push the game with plenty of possession, but it left them exposed in the back and just over a minute after going down 8-2 they were down 10-2 as Myers led a fast break feeding it across to Lucas Roque who touched the ball past Waltman and into the net. Before five minutes were even played in the quarter the Blast scored another one. After Coady Andrews made a decent slide tackle in his own defensive third the ball went to Machel Millwood who roofed the shot against Waltman to make it 12-2. Up to that point the Waltman had yet to record a save as the Blast had gone 6 for 6 shooting. Finally with just over 7 minutes played Waltman finally made a save on a break by Myers. But the rebound fell back to Myers who played the ball to a trailing Neto who beat Waltman to make it 14-2 Blast. The Comets had plenty of possession as the rest of the quarter wore on as the Blast were content to sit back and absorb pressure. Vanzela made 5 saves in the quarter to keep the Comets off the board. The Comets also shot themselves in the foot, passing up decent shots looking for better ones that never came. Seven of nine shooting by the Blast made the Comets pay for mistakes.
Comets came out after the half time break again pushing the game and just under 3 minutes in had pulled a goal back. John Sosa raced down the wing and fired a ball off the wall into the middle where Milan Ivanovic tapped the ball home to make it 14-4. Forty seconds later though the Blast had pulled another one back as a rebound off a save from Waltman found Donatelli who played it into the middle for Myers who beat Waltman to make it 16-4. The Comets continued to push with most of the possession being in the Blast defensive end. With just over five minutes played the Comets pulled another back as Ryan Junge toe poked the ball from under Ferdinand's foot and into the net to make it 16-6. The Comets continued to push it as Waltman pushed up the field. And 7 minutes into the quarter Waltman fired a shot that was going wide, but Lucas Rodriguez deflected the shot into the net to make it 16-8. The Blast tried to hit on the counter, but the Comets defense showed up in the second, as did Waltman who made a number of good saves to keep the Comets within 8 the rest of the quarter.
In the fourth quarter the Comets continued to be the aggressor, looking to continue the come back. The Blast defense was strong, keeping the Comets off the board. Just before the 8 minute mark in the quarter it was the Blast that added another goal off a restart. Mike Lookingland fed the ball to Millwood out wide and he fired the ball past Waltman and into the net making it 18-8. Shortly after that the Comets pulled Watlman going with the 6th attacker. The Comets kept the ball plenty during that period and eventually got one back with just under 5 minutes left when Assadpour found Alvarez who fired home from just inside the 3 point line. The Comets won the ball back shortly after the Blast kick off and went back to the 6th attack and again found the net. A shot by Sosa was saved by Vanzela, the rebound fell to Gibson who volleyed the ball home to make it 18-12. The Comets kept with the 6th attacker looking for another goal, but the Blast finally hit on the counter as Adriano Dos Santos broke out and fed the ball to Donatelli, who finished his hattrick from 3 point range into the empty net to make it 21-12 which is how the game ended.
The Comets now head to Baltimore needing to again to the double on the road to try to win the championship. It'll be a tough ask for the Comets to do it on the road again. They've beaten Baltimore there once this year, but that's been the Blast's only home loss this year and the Comets only win over the Blast this year as well.