Corpus Christi FC came back from behind three times, as the Sharks managed to salvage a point on a wet evening in Houston, as Karlo Lopez scored one of the goals of the season in a hectic climax against AHFC Royals.
Corpus Christi FC traveled to Houston to face off with AHFC Royals on a Friday night showdown, six weeks after the two faced off in CCFC’s USL League Two season opener, where the Sharks were victorious 5-2, thanks to an Ollie Wright hat-trick.
However, things were different over in their neck of the woods this time around, as opposed to the demolition which prevailed on the Coastal Bend.
From the get-go, the Royals proved to be a much different and improved opposition from the first day, and as a result of their reenergized capacities, the home side got off to a flyer, with the longe range effort finding it’s way to the back off the net, giving them a deserved lead early on.
Although the hosts started so well, the Sharks responded in a similar fashion after the goal, as Stefan Lukic, Wright and Arthur Rogers began to dictate the tempo in the Royals half.
Despite the resurgence from Dr. Sebastian Giraldo’s men late on, the half finished with the men in blue on top and a goal to the good, but with the Sharks circling…
After a much-needed team talk at the break, the lads came out with a new sense of urgency and style in the second 45.
As time went on, Lukic and Wright began to create chances, with the Englishman having two efforts denied by the keeper – who was in spectacular form all night – seconds into the restart.
However, soon after, Wright and the Serbian combined once again in beautiful style to lay the ball of magnificently for Rogers, who netted his second of the season, and the London-born brought the game level to 1-1.
With the Sharks on top, their momentum was quickly cut short, as the Royals retook the lead soon after Rogers’ goal, forcing Giraldo to ring the changes, bringing on Alain Peralt, Noah Wagner and Karlo Lopez.
The boss’ substitution’s heavily impacted the game, with Wagner and Lopez adding a missing piece of the puzzle to the attacking flair, just as their fresh legs began to trouble the Royals’ backline.
As the second 45 was reaching its climax, the men in white and the Royals conjured up one of the most breathtaking ends to a USL League Two game this year.
With the Royals retaking the lead, you felt the sense of belief and urgency sparkle through the Sharks’ play, and as Karlo Lopez set the ball down for the free kick, you felt something could happen… and it did. Lopez whipped the ball far post, past the keeper, bringing CCFC level once again in wonderful fashion.
Now, with the Sharks going for the win, the bodies pushed forward, Nick Tunic joined the attacking output, and the free-flowing Giraldo-esque style began to shine.
However, it took the Royals just three minutes to capitalize on the attacking mindset of the away side, as they retook the lead once again.
In the dying embers, it looked as if the Royals had salvaged the win, in front of a hungry shark squad, but, with a little luck on our side, OG Stevic smacked the ball towards goal from distance, and the ball looped over the keeper from the deflection to bring it to 3-3 in dramatic fashion.
It was a stunning goal from the Serbian, which captured the point for CCFC and climaxed an almighty 10 minutes in Houston.
With the Sharks picking up the solitary point, Sunday’s fixture against Houston FC becomes more important in the march for the playoffs. Be sure to stick around our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for all the live coverage of the match this weekend.