The Blast hadn't lost to Missouri during the Comets' two seasons in the Major Indoor Soccer League, but it couldn't withstand a furious rally, blew an eight-point lead and dropped a 12-10 decision before an announced 5,924 stunned spectators at 1st Mariner Arena on Friday night.
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1st Mariner Arena, University of Maryland-Baltimore, 201 W Baltimore St, Baltimore, MD 21201-2501, USA
"Obviously, it's a very disappointing loss," Blast coach Danny Kelly said. "It's a game we should have won, and we gave it away and let ourselves down. It's a tough one, but we just have to forget it and focus on a win [tonight against the Syracuse Silver Knights]."
The comeback from a 10-2 deficit began at the 9:19 mark of the third quarter, when the Comets' leading scorer, Geison, scored Missouri's first points since the first period on a freakish free kick that got through a wall of Blast players. From that point on, the Blast offense rarely threatened while Missouri (6-3) peppered goalkeeper Sagu, who entered the game as the league's leader in save percentage.
"I don't know if that was a turning point, but I thought it was a poor goal to give up," Kelly said. "Our wall splits, and they score. That's inexcusable. You can't give up those types of goals."
Three-point goals by Cristiano, with Lucas Rodriguez assisting, and John Sosa within the final 3:01 capped the turnaround, and the critical blow was a last-second save by Vahid Assadpour at the mouth of the Comets' goal after keeper Danny Waltman had been pulled.
"You make mistakes and you're going to pay the price," Sagu said. "We had an opportunity to finish the game and gave it away. It's really, really disappointing. Nobody wants to play like this at home."
Max Ferdinand led the attack for the Eastern Division-leading Blast, recording the third hat trick of his career while Baltimore built its seemingly secure lead.
The Comets had been averaging 17 points since their first loss to Baltimore, but their offense was under wraps until the fourth-quarter outburst.
Missouri 2 0 2 8—12
Blast 2 2 6 0—10
Goals: 1. Missouri, Junge (Assadpour), 5:34; 2. Blast, Ferdinand (Millwood), 9:26. Penalties: None.
Goals: 3. Blast, Ferdinand (Dos Santos), 7:14; Penalties: None.
Goals: 4. Blast, Noone (Garcia), 2:22; 5. Blast, Ferdinand (unassisted), 5:49; 6. Blast, Millwood (penalty kick), 8:33; 7. Missouri, Geison (unassisted), 9:19. Penalties: M, Gibson, 8:33.
Goals: 8. Missouri, Rodriguez (unassisted), 9:04; 9. Missouri, Cristiano (Rodriguez) (3-point goal), 11:59; 10. Missouri, Sosa (unassisted) (3-point goal), 14:28. Penalties: None.