For the second time in 10 days, South Georgia Tormenta FC emerged as a winner over SC United Bantams.
The first match was a defensive struggle and a 1-0 win for Tormenta while Tuesday's match in Columbia, S.C. had a few more fireworks in store in a 3-2 Tormenta victory. Either way, Marco Micaletto once again proved to be a nightmare for the Bantams.
Micaletto rocketed home the only goal in the May 26 affair in Statesboro. On Tuesday, Micaletto netted a penalty kick in the 56th minute to even the match at 2-2. In the 85th minute, a poorly executed goal kick by the Bantams resulted in Micaletto launching a free run up the right side. He barreled into the box and let loose a low shot that beat SC United goalkeeper Roberts Edwards to the far post for the game-winner.
"We had to battle," Tormenta coach John Miglarese said. "I don't think we played our absolute best tonight, but we stuck with it. (United) probably should feel like it deserved more tonight, but we made a big play when we had a chance at the end."
Tormenta ended the night on top, but spent much of it playing from behind.
Even play to begin the match was shattered when the Bantams struck in the 24th minute. Tormenta controlled the pace of play throughout the rest of the first half, but couldn't get a clean shot on net.
The breakthrough finally came in stoppage time when Toni Soler slotted in a perfect corner kick and Jerry Saint-Vil was waiting to put the ball in on the back post to level things up at halftime.
Bantams regained the lead on one stellar counter-attacking strike early in the second half, but then seemed to fall back, content to try and defend for the rest of the night.
Tormenta quickly leveled again as a foul in the Bantams box set up Micaletto for a penalty. Edwards read the shot correctly by diving low and to his right, but Micaletto put too much pace on the ball and the shot glanced off of the keeper and into the net for another tie game.
Micaletto's second strike in the 85th should have put Tormenta's mind at ease, but the side had already used all of its substitutions and a late injury to Nick Wells forced Tormenta to play out the final few minutes of regulation — plus several more in stoppage time — with just 10 men.
"It was just bad luck where we hed just used our final sub," Miglarese said. "I give our guys credit. We dug in and got three points on the road. We'll rest tomorrow and then start to ramp up for the weekend."
Tormenta returns home for a Saturday matchup against the Myrtle Beach Mutiny, which Tormenta defeated last month in the U.S. Open Cup.
Tormenta will enter the weekend in first place in the Deep South division of the Southern Conference, leading Peachtree City and Mississippi Brilla by two points each.