HARRISBURG, PA. – The Los Angeles Blues tied hosts Harrisburg City Islanders Saturday night in a captivating and physical 1-1 draw in front of 1,393 fans at Skyline Sports Complex on City Island. Harrisburg’s Jason Pelletier scored his first goal of the campaign in the 19th minute, but Blues striker Cesar Rivera picked up his seventh of the season in the 43rd minute to earn his side a point.
Los Angeles tried for goal first as Jonatan de Leon set himself up for a right-footed shot from the right flank that just missed the goal wide left. However, the City Islanders would take advantage of a 19th minute free-kick at the other end, Jason Pelletier getting his first goal of the season from 45 yards out. The tally was originally credited to Andrew Marshall, but upon review it was judged that the defender hadn’t touched Pelletier’s cross into the area that thus sailed past everyone and into the side-netting.
Harrisburg midfielder Nelson Becerra would attempt to add his name to the score sheet around the half-hour mark as he cranked a left-footed shot from the top left corner of the box, but Dautt was up to the task. Los Angeles’ Cesar Rivera then scored his seventh goal of the season in the 43rd minute, receiving the ball from forward Peter Byers inches from the goal line and sliding the shot past City Islanders goalkeeper Chase Harrison near post to tie the match at 1-1.
Harrisburg’s Sainey Touray would take a crack at goal just after the hour mark from a beautifully played ball by Pelletier, but only to see his shot ricochet off the crossbar. As the second half progressed, the physicality increased, the Blues’ Gerardo Bravo and Peter Byers each receiving their second yellow card for automatic ejections in the 63rd and 65th minute, respectively.
In the 72nd minute, Los Angeles substitute Carlos Borja attempted for his first goal of the season with a right-footed shot from the left flank, but it flew just high of the frame. The City Islanders would show life in stoppage time as forward Jose Angulo served a ball to Touray to set him up one-on-one with Dautt, only to see the Gambian’s chip sail high as well.
The Angulo-Touray connection would attempt at goal again just seconds later with an Angulo cross and a Touray header, but Dautt was there for the save. In the final moments of the game, Pelletier struck the ball from the corner flag to defender Anthony Calvano’s head, but it was cleared off the line by the Blues defense to preserve the tie.
The 1-1 result was the City Islanders’ league-high sixth draw of the season, putting them at three points behind National Division first-place rivals Rochester Rhinos. The Los Angeles Blues remain in third place in the National Division, six points behind the Rhinos and three points behind the City Islanders, but with two games in hand on each.