Photo by One Knox SC (@OneKnoxSC)
By Dominic Throngard
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – In between the river and the train tracks at Regal Soccer Stadium, One Knoxville SC lost by a score of 2-1 in Tuesday night’s USL1 contest against Union Omaha.
The match got off to a hot start with a booking for Junior Palacios of Omaha in the opening moments only to be followed by a One Knox goal from the free kick chance in minute ten. The cross deflected out and got slammed back into the box only to bounce around and eventually find Dani Fernandez to put it home as Omaha players pleaded for a handball. The team seemed to breathe a collective sigh of relief as the players gathered to celebrate as a unit in the corner. The relief only lasted so long though as the team gave away a deadly free kick just outside that eighteen that allowed Palacios to redeem himself and slam it home right through the wall. The rest of the half remained fairly ticky-tacky with each side picking up a bundle of fouls, Knoxville’s Crisler and Skelton also managed to pick up yellow cards for separate incidents. The end of the half saw a collection of great chances end up not panning out for Knoxville as they looked the deadlier side.
The second half dragged on as a slower affair than the first with the sides trading blows less frequently than the first as the fatigue began to set in. Knoxville’s new man Calixtro came into the match in the second half and earned a yellow soon after he came on. But the action truly began to pick up once Union Omaha’s Mastrantonio was issued a straight red card following a deadly, late slide tackle into an already sliding Villalobos. Knoxville rattled off two quick near misses shortly after, just barely unable to connect and score. Then at the death in the last possible moment of stoppage, disaster struck for Knoxville as Omaha’s Acoff connected from the edge of the box and buried the ball into the far corner of the net. Fittingly, the rain began to pour from the sky right as the contest concluded.
The team is still desperately looking for answers and it showed in this match as the six-match winless streak continues to drag on. Knoxville threw everything forward, but remained vulnerable to the counterattack throughout the match and got caught flat-footed a number of times on the defensive end, and just failed to convert some really well-crafted chances.
The hard times continue for now in Knoxville, but the team has the perfect opportunity to turn it around on Saturday at home against the Chattanooga Red Wolves who sit at the bottom of the league table. The match is slated for a 7:30 p.m. ET kick-off at Regal Soccer Stadium.