'Rally Wings' score late to nab come-from-behind win over intrastate rival Omaha Kings FC, 6-5
WICHITA, Kan. -- The Wichita Wings rallied from behind three times Sunday to remain perfect in the opening weekend of Major Arena Soccer 2 play, defeating intrastate rivals Omaha Kings FC, 6-5, at Hartman Arena.
The game was the conclusion of the four-team, six-game "Heartland Invitational," which also featured the Amarillo Bombers and Colorado Inferno.
Wichita, which won all three games over the weekend, fell behind early 3-1 as the Kings got goals from David Rojas, Ali Sodal (who had seven goals in Omaha's three games) and Bobby Jaffrey.
Wichita's Cade Martin started the comeback with a goal with just two seconds to play in the first quarter, followed by goals from Jared Robbins and Kevin Ten Eyck to take a 4-3 lead to intermission.
Kings markers by David Rojas and Jack Bennett on a penalty kick gave Omaha its last lead of the game mid-way through the third period before Monreal got the equalizer with 4:59 to play in the third. Robbins got the game winner with just 1:44 to play.
"It was a great weekend of highly entertaining, highly competitive action," M2 Commissioner Chris Economides said. "Wichita (3-0) was a great host, and it was just a great way to kick off the M2 2021 season. The competitiveness of virtually all the games was really noticeable, and really highlighted the high-level of play we are expecting see throughout the league this spring as more teams start to come on line."
The Kings (1-2) were originally expected to play in Major Arena Soccer League 3 this year, but have been granted provisional status in M2 for the 2021 season, and more than held their own, defeating Amarillo in an 11-9 thriller on Friday and falling to Colorado on Saturday, 10-7, before taking the touted Wings to the final minutes of Sunday's match.
All six games of this weekend’s Heartland Invitational will be counted in M2’s regular season standings. Those standings will be based on a team’s winning percentage, a model similar to what the Major Arena Soccer League and other sports leagues are using in the short term since not all teams will be able to play the same number of games. Schedules will be announced on a month-to-month basis as pandemic conditions change and improve in individual markets.
Additional teams are expected to go active in the coming weeks and months, with teams having until April 1st to opt-in for the 2021 season. Teams will have to complete regular season play by early July. The official playoff structure will be announced after the April 1st cutoff date, however fans can expect the top 3-4 teams to compete, as the league office works through multiple scenarios to crown a champion for 2021.