In a clash of Eastern Region teams, OBGC Rangers Blue 2001 (MD) and McLean 01 Green (VA) met on Day 1 of 17U Boys National Championships play and played to a 1-1 draw.
“We just didn’t seem ready for this morning,” said OBGC head coach Pete Wood. “We’ll make some adjustments moving forward but we’ll have to come back stronger tomorrow. “
After some back and forth play at the beginning of the match, McLean started controlling the match with a majority of the possession. The Virginia side had a great chance to take the lead as McLean’s Oswualdo Cruz was tripped in the box, drawing a penalty kick. Gonzalo Bartoli Pinero saved the ensuing kick as he dove to his right to keep the teams level.
McLean had another great chance after a miss hit goalkick played to McLean for a break. A big touch enabled Pinero to make a sliding save. OBGC had a couple chances late but could not break through the McLean defense and the teams headed into halftime tied 0-0.
McLean picked up right where they left off in the first half, putting the pressure on its Maryland opponents. McLean finally broke the deadlock on a fast break. Abel Luwis received a ball, sped up field, and played a long pass through to Jared DuBose. DuBose made no mistakes, finishing his opportunity to the back post to give McLean a 1-0 lead.
McLean almost made it 2-0, as a bending shot from the left side hit the underside of the crossbar, the ground, and spun out.
OBGC started to battle back late as McLean sat more players back allowing the Maryland team to possess more of the ball. A ball worked up the left side by OBGC was flicked on and fell into the center of the box to Sam Wells. Wells, spun and then hit a low ball to the bottom of the right to tie the game up in the 90th minute.
“It’s huge to get a point,” continued Wood. “You can’t lose your first game or you’re chasing it and it becomes very difficult. We’re all anticipating this will be a close group so that goal for us at the end today could prove to be a massive point.
With the comeback, OBGC earns a crucial point on Day 1 that could come up huge as it progresses through the group stages. OBGC’s next game will be against a familiar team from National League, Galaxy 2001 Blue (IL). OBGC will hope to repeat its 2-0 victory from National League while McLean will face off against defending National Champions, Tampa Bay United (FL).