One week after surrendering a game-tying goal in the very last minute of extra time, South Georgia Tormenta FC was able to flip the script Sunday night, scoring their own late goal against Forward Madison FC in the 86th minute to steal 2-2 tie Erk Russell Park.
Trailing 2-1, Kingsford Adjei was able to take a long pass from Jake Dengler along the left sideline, beat a defender off the dribble and curl a shot to the far post past a diving goalkeeper to earn a point for both teams.
“I felt like we shouldn’t be behind so as soon as I got the ball I knew I had to be there for my teammates,” Adjei said. “Jake (Dengler) always finds me in those positions and I know my place so even before he kicked the ball, I knew exactly what I was going to do.”
Tormenta (3-3-5) was playing shorthanded Sunday night with several players out with an injury or suspended following their previous game against Northern Colorado. They also were without manager Ian Cameron who was issued a red card following the game against Norther Colorado.
However, Cameron was at the game was impressed with Adjei’s and the teams effort and late goal.
“There are a lot of tired legs on both teams out there and then you’re asking your attacking players ‘does somebody have that bit of juice left in the legs and if they get in a one-vs.-one situation can they finish it?’ and Kingsford’s worked very hard in training. Week in and week out he’s working and different types of finishes.”
Even though the game ended in a tie, Cameron felt that was a deserving outcome for both sides.
“We’re proud of the effort and Kingsford scored a fantastic goal at the end which felt justified because I don’t think we did, maybe, enough to win the game, but I don’t think they did enough to win the game. “I think it was a stalemate and I think it would have been a hard one to take had we lost tonight.”
Tormenta started the scoring in the first half off a corner kick. Adrian Billhardt’s pass floated just over the outstretched hands of Madison goalkeeper Phil Breno where Dengler was able to get a head on the ball and put it in the back of the net for his first USL1 goal to give South Georgia a 1-0 lead in the 13th minute. In a strange quirk of the season so far, that was Tormenta’s first goal at home in their fifth home match of the season.
South Georgia would hold the lead until shortly into the second half when Forward Madison’s (3-3-5) Alann Torres’ long pass was able to slide by Tormenta goalkeeper Pablo Jara where Michael Maldonado was able to finish to tie the game at one.
Approximately 26 minutes later, Forward Madison struck again. This time Rojay Smith was able to find space roughly 20 yards out to get a shot off. It deflected off at least one player and found the back of the net to give Forward Madison the 2-1 lead.
Four minutes later, Adjei would tie it up with his efforts.
“It’s a very good feeling,” he said. “You don’t want to lose a game like this. The league is really tight so to be able to help my team and bring us back to the game, it means a lot because I know it means a lot to them.”
Cameron said he was proud of how they were able to overcome the difficult circumstances entering Sunday’s game.
“With the amount of injuries and stuff that we have just now and we don’t have a deep bench at all. We’ve got both of our strikers are out. A lot of our attacking players and some defenders were out. All things considered, it’s a good effort by the boys to equalize late,” he said.
After 11 weeks, Tormenta currently sits in eighth place in the standings, but they are only four points behind Richmond for the league lead. They’ll face Union Omaha on Saturday in a rematch of a game earlier this season that saw the teams battle to a 0-0 draw.
Union Omaha will be coming off a quarterfinal match in the U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday.
“It’s really cool for USL1,” Cameron said. “First and foremost, we’re proud to watch Omaha do what they’re doing and we were unlucky not to be invited ourselves.”
“That said, next Saturday we anticipate having a few guys back healthy and a fuller squad and it needs to be all guns blazing and going at them with a lot of pace and power.”
Tormenta will host Union Omaha Saturday at 7:30 p.m