FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Two first-half goals by Jabulani keyed a 2-1 victory against AdiPower in Game 5 on the third and final day of the MLS Combine.
Alex Caskey and C.J. Sapong each scored in the first half as Jabulani finished the combine with a 2-1 record. AdiPower (0-2-1) provided a response through Ryan Kinne but finished as the only team to remain winless in three games.
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AdiPower conceded an early goal for the second game in a row. Caskey netted in the 3rd minute, finding himself in space outside the box, beating Joe Willis with a low, curling drive into the bottom corner of the net.
Jabulani continued as the better side in the first half though Sapong missed a chance to double the lead in the 12th minute. Paolo Cardozo played the ball into space for Sapong and his shot hit Willis’ post.
First chance of the game for AdiPower came in the 16th minute when Corey Hertzog’s shot tested Jabulani goalie Bryan Meredith, who tipped the shot over the bar.
Sapong doubled the lead in the 28th minute off a counter attack. Defender Bobby Warshaw brought the ball out of the back, finding Levi Houapeu in space on the right wing. Houapeu crossed centrally to Sapong, who beat Willis for his first goal.
Just before halftime, AdiPower struck back through Kinne. Michael Tetteh, advanced from his left back position, fired a low cross from the corner that Kinne touched past his college teammate Bryan Meredith.
Proceedings were even at the beginning of the second half as each team employed a new look.
Neither Hertzog nor Steven Beattie, who combined well to score two goals on Monday, could find the same rhythm in Game 5. Hertzog’s first touch let him down on more than one occasion when in dangerous positions.
Tired legs and lack of rest showed in the later stage of the second half had an effect as well, as the chances were few and far between. Jabulani almost put the game away when Justin Meram sent in a long diagonal ball for Victor Esptupinan who couldn’t get past Willis.
Substitutes Meram and Estupinan, leading the forward line for Jabulani in the second half, couldn’t extend the lead but the play in midfield and defense of Bobby Warshaw ensured Jabulani hold their lead.
Jabulani: Bryan Meredith; Billy Cortes, Colin Givens, Bobby Warshaw, Chris Taylor; Junior Burgos, Alex Caskey, Matt Gold, Levi Houapeu, Paolo Cardozo; C.J. Sapong
AdiPower: Joe Willis; Chris Korb, Rich Balchan, A.J. Soares, Michael Tetteh; Steven Beattie, Karl Reddick, Servando Carrasco, Marlon Gonchozo, Ryan Kinne; Corey Hertzog