EDMONDS, Wash. — The North Sound SeaWolves went into halftime with plenty of momentum but a goal off a corner kick midway through the second half gave the Washington Crossfire a 2-1 victory in a Premier Development League game Friday at Edmonds Stadium.
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The game was the home-opener for the SeaWolves, who dropped to 1-2 after losing to the Crossfire (3-1-1) for the second-straight game.
“I thought we played better than them,” SeaWolves coach Alex Silva said. “We gave them the game. They were physical and we didn’t handle it well.”
The win pulled Washington Crossfire level with the Kitsap Pumas in the Puget Sound derby race for The Ruffneck Cup.
The match was indeed physical, culminating with a red card delivered to SeaWolves forward Abdul Aman for a pushing match with the Crossfire defense. The ejection forced the SeaWolves to play the final eight minutes of regulation down a man, and will cause Aman to miss Sunday’s matchup with defending PDL champion Kitsap Pumas.
“I told Abdul before the game that they are going to be physical with him and try to take his head out of the game,” Silva said. “And that’s just what they did. It’s a learning experience for him.”
The Crossfire took the lead in the 15th minute when Daniel Gray ran down a loose ball and shot past a diving SeaWolves keeper Claudio Lazar. Silva felt the play should have been called offsides but nevertheless it put North Sound down a goal.
The first half was delayed for about 12 minutes when SeaWolves keeper Claudio Lazar suffered a cut on his forehead in a collision in front of the net. Lazar stayed in the match with a bandage on his head.
The SeaWolves tied the match just before halftime when Aman glided through the Crossfire defense and finished for his second goal of the season. A minute later, he nearly gave North Sound the lead, firing a left-footed shot that was saved.
The Crossfire took the lead for good in the 73rd minute when Kellen Wantulok’s corner kick found a wide-open Adam Bonifacio, who headed it into the net for the eventual game-winner.
“We left him wide-open,” Silva said. “We didn’t mark him at all and we gave them that goal.”
The SeaWolves now turn their attention to Sunday, when they’ll play host to the defending PDL champion Pumas. Kickoff is at 3 p.m. at Edmonds Stadium.
“We’re playing together better, we’re playing the ball to our feet better,” Silva said. “We’re getting better, we just have to learn from this and not give away goals. But it’s early and we still believe we can make the playoffs.”
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