By Dominic Throngard
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – One Knoxville SC drew 1-1 against Central Valley Fuego FC in a match where Knoxville will be feeling they should’ve picked up three points on Wednesday night in Regal Stadium.
The first half saw One Knox start hot looking far and away the better team with great attacking play down the wing. Central Valley looked helpless to stop the Knox advance as through balls kept finding their way behind the Fuego’s backline. Eventually, the boys in blue broke through, finding Jake Keegan slotted slightly behind the defense to pound the ball into the back of the net off a slight bounce in the 14th minute.
After the goal, Knoxville continued to move the ball with finesse into the final third and threaten the Fuego, but tides turned slightly and Central Valley was able to start creating their own chances by moving the ball in quickly, drawing fouls that turned into deadly free kicks with one of the bouncing off the crossbar.
The second half of the match saw much of the same with Central Valley looking a bit better than their previous performance at the start of the half. Eventually, a Central Valley attack found a player in the box who was able to draw a foul on what looked to be a questionable penalty call, although the tackle attempt was certainly less than impressive.
Jaramillo of the Fuego was able to step up and pass the ball into the back left side of the net with the keeper flying the other way in the 60th minute.
“I don’t think it was a penalty kick, so I feel very very gutted for the boys having done what they’ve done and had the consequences that they probably don’t deserve and the benefits are not with us when they should have been. So I feel as though we did everything in our control and had a bad decision go against us,” said One Knoxville’s man in charge, Mark McKeever.
After the penalty, One Knox continued to press hard racking up the corner kicks and shots with 12 corners total on the night but failed to convert from set pieces.
“I’ve got to acknowledge the fans because I’ve played for a few clubs in the USL1, and the fans here, it’s fantastic, it makes you want to stay here. It makes you want to do well because it makes us want to keep those guys coming back that are here, and also attract other guys to come watch,” said team captain Jordan Skelton, speaking on the support the team gets from the city.
One Knoxville SC will play next against South Georgia Tormenta FC at home on April 21 at 6 p.m. EST.