Monday, September 14, 2015
The Harrisburg City Islanders were a matter of minutes away from claiming sixth place in the USL’s Eastern Conference entering the final week of the regular season, but a stoppage-time goal by the Richmond Kickers’ George Davis IV denied them as the teams finished deadlocked in a 1-1 draw on Saturday at Skyline Sports Complex.
Still in eighth position, with two games remaining, the draw put increased pressure for Harrisburg to take a victory on Wednesday afternoon against FC Montreal ahead of Saturday’s final Keystone Derby of the season.
“We outplayed them, and I think we deserved to win that game,” City Islanders midfielder Jason Plumhoff told PennLive.com’s Jacqueline Kantor. “We need to work on marking our men. We can't give up a goal in the 92nd minute.”
In treacherous conditions caused by a continuous rain that fell for much of the day, the breaks appeared to be going Harrisburg’s way when Richmond missed a penalty kick just before the hour-mark. Moments later, the City Islanders had the lead as Brett Jankouskas’ audacious back-heeled finish found the back of the net.
Harrisburg had a chance to add to its lead with just under 20 minutes to go when Antoine Hoppenot got past two defenders on the left, but his ball through the six-yard area didn’t find a finishing touch. The City Islanders were left to rue that missed chance in stoppage time, when Davis’ header off Collin Martin’s cross from the right grabbed a late point for the Kickers.
Certainly, all is not lost for the City Islanders as they seek a fifth consecutive playoff berth, but with next Saturday’s clash against Pittsburgh looming, this past Saturday’s result could be one the side looks back on with disappointment if it misses out.
“We're still in it,” Plumhoff told PennLive.com’s Kantor. “If we win the next two games, we're still in, so we didn't hurt ourselves, but we didn't help ourselves, either."