Jan 3 – Real Olympia vs Shamrock Celtic

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The home club, Real Olympia, had high hopes for a big impact as they kicked off against Shamrock Celtic in their first ESPL outing. At 2′, Shamrock Celtic Don Thomas earned a yellow card for holding onto Real Olympia’s Michael Bradfords. Any benefit was negated, though, as Thor Skjelstad at 23′ defeats the goalkeeper with a phenomenal shot just out of reach to bring Shamrock Celtic ahead early. The defenses on both sides were on their heels as the offensive maneuvers dominated the rest of the first half, seeing a combined 27 shots on goal by both teams, though no one was able to actually capitalize on them.

In the second half, the game was tied up at 78′ Michael Bradfords shoots right into the upper corner of the goal to score, allowing Real Olympia the equalizing goal. Both sides proved to be too much on defense, just opposite of the end of the first half. At 91′, extra time, Kip Nguyen earns a yellow card for holding Tim Bailey, allowing Real Olympia a penalty kick to take the lead… but Bailey has his kick sail high and the game ends without another goal.

The match draws 1-1.

“I couldn’t believe the result,” said Patrick Barnes, Shamrock Celtic team captain. “We got the early goal with Thor’s kick and we really had a run of great shots that just didn’t result in anything. The two yellow cards slowed things down and we’ll just have to do better next week.”

“They just kept holding us and we started using that to our advantage,” said Real Olympia captain Severus MacLain. “I couldn’t believe Tim’s kick went high, he had the keeper beat and that just was heartbreaking. We left a point on the pitch, definitely.”