September 28, 2002
MILWAUKEE, WI – An angel was on the field for the Milwaukee Rampage Saturday night at the Milwaukee Rampage Sports Complex as overtime substitute Sinisia Angelovski scored just his second goal of the year 16 minutes into overtime for a 2-1 win in front of 6,189 fans to give the club its second A-League title five years and a day since its 1997 championship.
A hotly contested match on a chilly night, the Rampage and visiting Richmond Kickers battled throughout the first 45 minutes without a score when Milwaukee’s John Wolyniec tallied the opening marker to send his team into the locker room with the 1-0 halftime lead.
Rivillo started the play with a long 60-yard ball from the left in the Rampage defensive third of the field to Wolyniec, who was outside of the three backs on the right flank. Wolyniec collected the ball and worked his way into the box. Unable to get a shot off, he cut across the middle of the box in front of all three defenders. Still completely marked, he made a quick spin reverting back to the right and took a right-footed shot from 10 yards as he cleared the backs, who had overpursued on the play. The shot skimmed just inside the far post outside of Pascale’s diving reach.
Richmond came out in the second half looking to equalize quickly but were unable to get any solid opportunities against the Rampage defense.
The equalizer came in the 59th minute when the Kickers’ Marco Ferruzzi converted a penalty kick. Ferruzzi sent the shot left as Popik dove to the right.
Five minutes later, Milwaukee also got a shot at the spot for the possible go-ahead goal when Wolyniec drew a penalty kick on a relentless solo effort in the box.
Trying to collect a long ball, a one-on-one battle with Peter Luzak started at the top of the box. Heading toward the right, Luzak gained possession, but Wolyniec dispossessed him on a tackle at the right edge of the box and began to work his way toward goal when he was taken down, earning a penalty for the Rampage.
Angel Rivillo was unable to convert on his first penalty kick attempt of the year, sending his shot off the crossbar. It was Milwaukee’s first miss from the spot on the year as the Rampage scored on all four during of the season.
The two sides battled back and forth through the remainder of regulation and the first 15-minute golden goal overtime period with several excellent chances each.
The battle created a man-advantage for Milwaukee when former Rampage player Khary Stockton was given a red card for a late tackle on Jason Russell three minutes into overtime.
Within the first minute of the second overtime period Angelovski provided the heroics with his 19-yard blast. The play started with Bobby Brennan sending the ball into Wolyniec, who was being marked tightly by Chris Fox. Both players got their foot on the ball, which squirted out to Angelovski for the winner.
Angelovski entered the match in the 97th minute. He had played only 10 minutes since the club’s 2-0 U.S. Open Cup loss against the Kansas City Wizards August 24.
Lone Rampage forward John Wolyniec was named A-League Championship Most Valuable Player for his goal and assist effort on the night. The veteran forward, who was called up by the Chicago Fire of Major League Soccer numerous times on the season, has provided clutch performances throughout the year. Wolyniec scored four game-winners during the season and one in the playoffs, his only previous postseason tally. Wolyniec has been the club’s lone forward since August 30. The 2000 A-League MVP Digital Takawira suffered a broken ankle August 30, 12 days after midseason acquisition Ranko Golijanin went down with a left MCL sprain.
Milwaukee defeated the Carolina Dynamo 2-1 via a shootout on September 27, 1997, the last A-League Championship match to go to overtime. The 1-1 tie was finished with Milwaukee winning the shootout 3-0.
Championship Game Summary
Richmond Kickers 1 :: 2 Milwaukee Rampage
MIL: Wolyniec (Rivillo) 45
RIC: Ferruzzi (pk) 59
MIL: Angelovski (Wolyniec) 106
Richmond Kickers: Ronnie Pascale; Khary Stockton (Ejection 93), Peter Luzak, Kevin Knight, Chris Fox; Tony Williams (Mike Burke 65), David Hayes (Paul Lekics 66), Marco Ferruzzi, Bryan Namoff (Ray Goodlett 104), Josh Henderson (Ihor Dotsenko 98); Kevin Jeffrey
Milwaukee Rampage: Dan Popik; Destin Makumbu, David Lara, Matt Bobo; Jason Russell, Jeff Bilyk (Dennis Fadeski 105), Steve Bernal, Miguel Saavedra (Bobby Brennan 70), Angel Rivillo (Craig Capano 99), Matt Behncke (Sinisia Angelovski 97); John Wolyniec
Stats (RIC :: MIL): Shots 11 :: 17, Saves 5 :: 3, Fouls 25 :: 13, Offsides 1 :: 0, Corners 9 :: 5
Cautions: RIC Williams 22, Stockton 56, Knight 62, Henderson 96; MIL Bernal 58, Wolyniec 62, Lara 68
Ejections: RIC Stockton 93