July 13, 2012
By Brian Bauer
WHEATON, IL. – A month ago the Chicago Inferno squared off against the Cincinnati Kings and won the match 3-2 on the King’s home ground. They say that turnabout is fair play but the Chicago Inferno probably wasn’t interested in fair. Unfortunately for Chicago the exact same outcome happened in reverse as Cincinnati beat the Inferno 3-2 tonight at Wheaton College.
Cincinnati came out of the blocks running. Three minutes into the game, forward Branden Stelmak outran the Inferno defense before ripping shot low and inside the far post to give the Kings a quick 1-0 lead.
A half an hour later the Inferno retaliated. After a free kick was given just outside the top of the box midfielder Emir Zrnic lined up for the shot. The Bosnia-Herzegovina native unloaded on a ball that beat the goalie in the far right upper corner of the goal, scoring his team high seventh goal of the season and drawing the game even at one a piece. The game stayed that way into the half.
Ten minutes into the second half, Cincinnati forward Leon Powell was in the right place at the right time. As a Kings teammate shot the ball, Inferno ‘keeper Troy Osborne deflected the shot but it went straight to Powell who tapped it in to the net, recapturing the one goal lead for Cincinnati.
Powell wasn’t done yet. Eight minutes later he battled with Chicago defender John Mau for a loose ball. As Powell was falling to the ground he spun and let go a wild sideways right-footer that gave the Kings a decisive 3-1 lead.
The Inferno wasn’t done yet. With only four minute left in regulation, midfielder Damiem Rolon-Merette took a pass from John Mau in the center of the field approximately thirty yards from the goal. The Brazilian midfielder let go a guided missile that cleared the goalies outstretched finger tips and somehow went in right under the crossbar. Chicago cut the lead to 3-2.
Chicago had other opportunities. Even with 28 shots the Inferno couldn’t draw even with the Kings and fell 3-2.
The Inferno’s final regular season PDL game is Sunday, July 15th at 7 pm (CT) at University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in a true Chicago Derby as they square off against the Chicago Fire PDL.