Saturday, July 28, 2012
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Amid slick conditions, the Harrisburg City Islanders struck twice in the second half to capture a crucial 2-0 victory against fellow playoff contender, the Los Angeles Blues, on Saturday night at Skyline Sports Complex. Morgan Langley had a goal and an assist, while Lucky Mkosana had Harrisburg's second goal of the night.
A passing shower doused the pitch prior to the game and created tricky footing with which both sides had difficulty. Play was fast-paced from the beginning, with the City Islanders quickly taking control, outshooting the Blues 9-1 in the first half. A disciplined 4-5-1 formation and four saves from goalkeeper Jose Miranda kept the Blues even with Harrisburg for almost an hour, but Langley opened the scoring in the 54th minute as he found a ball that had trickled out to him just above the right of the penalty box. The ball found its way to Langley after Garret Pettis had lost the ball in a scuffle with his defender, and it took a fortuitous bounce that allowed the second-year pro to take a touch, and then blast over Miranda to put the Islanders up.
Thirteen minutes later, the Islanders struck again thanks to Langley. Stretched out wide to the right, he sent a crisp cross to a cutting Mkosana, whose header extended Harrisburg’s lead. Adrian LeRoy, who came on after Colin Zizzi left with a leg injury in the 24th, noted the importance of the win, one that comes at a critical time in the Islanders’ season.
“During the game we pulled ourselves together and got the result we needed,” he said. “It was pretty tough with the pitch; it was slick.
But it just makes you be more conscious, especially defensively – make sure you have sturdy ground and try not to make as many mistakes.”
The slippery field led to a number of sliding collisions and resulting cautions. Despite three Harrisburg players leaving with injuries, the Islanders managed to maintain their composure until they capitalized on Langley’s goal and following assist.
The win puts Harrisburg at 8-5-6, and in a tie for fourth place with the Wilmington Hammerheads on 30 points. The City Islanders will next host Orlando City on Wednesday at 7 p.m. LeRoy said his side was excited to face the USL PRO Regular Season champions and try to avenge a loss to the Lions earlier this season.
“They [Orlando] beat us when we played them at their home field… and we need the points, so it will be a great game.”
Los Angeles falls to 7-10-2 on the season. The Blues will end July and their road trip on Tuesday when they face Pittsburgh at Chartiers Valley High School at 7 p.m.