Elizabeth, NJ- Mass United (0-0-3, 3pts) took on Ironbound Soul (0-0-2, 2pts) on Saturday in a cool and drizzly Elizabeth, NJ, coming away with a 1-1 draw. The result keeps both sides undefeated in the American Soccer League‘s inaugural season.
Scoring was opened early in the 8th minute when Ironbound’s Alex Christian struck a free kick perfectly into the top right corner of the net, notching the franchise’s first goal in competitive play and Christian’s first as a professional. The goal buoyed the Ironbound players and began a stretch of increased pressure but the United backline and keeper Olafur Gunnerson (3 saves) kept them at bay. As the half wore on United would respond with several opportunities of their own but would not equal the score until the final few minutes. After a flurry of pressure by United they earned a free kick outside the Ironbound area which Rigoberto Jiminez Chirinos bent around the wall and past a possibly screened Ironbound keeper to even things up.
The teams came out for the second half and wasted little time in pushing for the go-ahead goal, with several shots taken, three corner kicks, two free kicks, and an Ironbound goal waved off for offside, all in the first 15 minutes. The pace of action would slow slightly as the half continued but the intensity levels of both sides would not diminish as either side looked capable of taking the lead and the three points. United’s last best chance at grabbing the win was a shot by Carlos Diniz in the 85th minute but it was saved and the exciting contest would end even, a fitting result for an excellently played game.
MASS UNITED STARTING XI: