by Jim Fossell

St. Charles, MO (January 17, 2020) – After being down 5-1 at one point during the game, the St. Louis Ambush battled back to post a thrilling 7-6 overtime shootout win over Utica City FC Friday night at the Family Arena. The win improved the Ambush record to 5-5, while Utica City FC dropped to 6-3.

Utica struck first when Nate Bourdeau went on a breakaway, drawing Ambush goalkeeper Paulo out of the goal area, then Bourdeau passed to Ricardo De Queiroz Diegues, who fired a shot into the net. Utica went up 2-0 on an unassisted tally by Uros Momic, before the Ambush answered late in the first quarter when JT Thomas took a pass from Jonnathan Pachar and navigated a difficult angle with a skillful shot that found its mark.

The visitors went up 3-1 in the second quarter when a Bo Jelovac shot was saved by Paulo, who was unable to hold onto the ball, allowing Ben Ramin to run in and fire the loose ball into the back of the net. With no further goals from either team, Utica took a 3-1 lead into the halftime break.

Utica pulled away in the third quarter on goals by Bo Jelovac and Moises Gonzalez for a 5-1 lead heading into the final frame. The Ambush mounted a comeback, scoring three consecutive goals, courtesy of the second from Thomas, a goal by Duduca and Anthony Grant’s first goal as a member of the Ambush to close the gap to 5-4. Bourdeau got one back for Utica before the Ambush roared back with goals by Lucas Almeida, wearing the sixth attacker jersey, followed by Duduca’s second of the contest to tie the game at 6-6. The score remained knotted until the end of regulation, sending the duel into overtime.

Neither team managed a goal during the 10-minute overtime period, leaving the game to be decided by a shootout. Gonzalez shot first for Utica and missed. Duduca went first for the Ambush and scored. Jelovac went second for Utica and scored. Pepe went second for St. Louis and scored. After two rounds, the Ambush held a 2-1 advantage in the shootout. Christhian Segura went third for Utica. His initial shot was blocked by Paulo but the ball rebounded back to Segura, who fired off another shot that missed and came off the post and into Paulo’s arms, securing the shootout victory for the Ambush.

The Ambush host Utica in a rematch Sunday afternoon at 3:05 p.m. at the Family Arena. Sunday’s game will also include the popular mascot game at halftime, featuring mascots from local sports teams (including Louie from the Stanley Cup Champion St. Louis Blues), businesses and organizations participating in a zany and fun soccer match.

Single game tickets for the 2019-20 campaign are now on sale and can be purchased at the Family Arena box office or at Groups of 10 or more can purchase their discounted tickets by calling the Ambush office at 636-477-6363.