On paper, the Comets first two games of the season looked to be a difficult ask in the new MASL. Opening the season with two on the road against a Dallas Sidekicks team that hadn't lost at home since they were reborn and then travel to Chicago to take on the Mustangs, the defending PASL champions. The Comets though made both games look easy as they beat Dallas 13-4 a couple weeks ago and then today topped the defending PASL champions 12-6 in a champion vs champion match ups.
The Comets got things going early as Max Touloute slotted a ball through to Vahid Assadpour who scored from close range to give the Comets the lead just over two minutes in. The Mustangs were agressive from the start, but struggled to break down the Comets defense. The Comets were finding space themselves on the counter and just over five minutes in doubled their lead. The ball got played in to Andrew Braithwaite at the back post, his first effort was off the glass, but the ball rebounded off his head and into the net to doudle the lead at 2-0. The Mustangs found their way back into the game soon after when Touloute was given a blue card. The ensuing shootout attempt was scored on the rebound by Efrain Wilo Martinez after Danny Waltman stopped his first effort. The Comets continued to look the better side and by the end of the quarter had restored the two goal lead as Brain Harris picked up a pass in midfield and raced down the floor and fired home.
The second quarter belonged entirely to the Comets as they asurted their dominance scoring three unanswered in the quarter to take a 6-1 lead into half time. The first goal came early on in the half as the Comets used the counter to their full advantage. Assadpour led the counter before dishing off to Leo Gibson. Gibson first overran the pass, but recovered and fired the ball home to make it 4-1. The Mustangs thought they'd made it 4-2 near the mid-point of the quarter, but one referee had blown the play dead while another allowed it to continue. The confusion caused the kick to be retaken. The Comets blocked the restart and the Comets countered with Touloute out racing the Mustang defense and scoring to make it 5-1. Braithwaite added a second, beating the keeper to the ball after he failed to hold onto it as the Comets went into the half up 6-1.
The third quarter saw the Comets continue their domination of the Mustangs as Gibson finished off a hattrick early in the quarter converting two shootout attempts in the first few minutes of the third quarter. Sandwiched in between those two goals was a nice back heel goal by Alain Matingou after some good work by the Comets. The Mustangs started to wake up and in the span of less than a minute cut the lead to 9-3 as Martinez picked his second of the night up getting to the ball before Waltman. Then Bryan Moya picked Waltman's pocket and scored. The Comets though were able to kill the momentum that the Mustangs had at that point by keeping possession of the ball. Late in the quarter, Stefan Stokic made it 10-3 knocking in a shot by Assadpour that was going wide.
The fourth quarter again saw the Mustangs work to cut the lead down early on as Martinez and Luis Ortega both were able to cut into the lead, Ortega's a nice long range effort when no one closed him down. Missouri answered with a long range effort of their own as Harris fired a shot that bounced off the wall, off the goalkeeper and into the net. Miguel Vaca made it 11-5 converting an ugly chance for the Mustangs. But with under six minutes left, the Comets finished out the scoring. Gibson was stopped on a shootout attempt, but Chicago goalkeeper, Jesus Flores handled the ball outside the box leading to a PK that Gibson stepped up and converted to make it 12-6.
The Comets will return home for their home opener next Saturday against the Milwaukee Wave.