Baltimore has cemented its dominance of the professional indoor soccer circuit for a second straight year, beating the Sonora Suns in Hermosillo, Mexico, in front of a crowd of 8,000 on Sunday night.
The championship game was actually two games. In North America’s Major Arena Soccer League, a playoff series offers a home game for each squad and a 15-minute tie-breaking “mini-game,” if needed.
In this series, Sonora beat the Blast 4-2 in game one on Friday night at Royal Farms Arena, putting Baltimore’s home squad in the never-fun position of possibly suffering defeat on their opponent’s home turf. However, Charm City’s stalwart indoor footballers came prepared for a chaotic final matchup.
Sonora led Baltimore 4-3 at the half on Sunday night, but Baltimore was able to bounce back in a rapid-fire second half in which the team forced Sonora into overtime. Midfielder Juan Pereira kicked in the OT-winning golden goal, giving Baltimore the 9-8 win. With a tied series, the teams faced off in a mini-game.
Blast forward Juan Pereira sealed the Suns’ fate by putting Baltimore up 1-0 with five minutes to spare. After holding the Suns off for the remainder, the Blast were declared champions in Mexico.
This was the second straight championship for the Blast, and the team’s 9th ever. It was also déjà vu for Sonora, which fell to Baltimore in overtime of game two in the 2016 finals.
It remains to be seen whether Baltimore will get its own professional outdoor soccer team. But with thousands appearing at Blast matches at Royal Farms Arena downtown and a consistently strong showing from the 2017 indoor soccer champions, Charm City isn’t suffering from any lack of soccer buzz.
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