Two Marcus Nagelstad debut free kicks rescued a 2-2 draw for Hartford against Loudoun United.
In the beginning stages Loudoun United looked the more dangerous side. Loudoun peppered Parfait Mandanda’s net with shots and in the 21st minute, the visitors won a free kick. A lofted ball to the back post was headed in by Shane Wiedt for his first career goal. Hartford did not trouble Loudoun United after conceding the goal, Athletic only registered 3 shots in total in the first half.
In the second half, Hartford made a switch that proved to be a decisive moment. Norwigen and former University of Bridgeport star Markus Naglestad entered the game for his debut. The excitement of the change was quickly drawn out when Loudoun United went 2-0 up in the 72nd minute. The dangerous Elvis Amoh fired in a rocket of a left footed strike past a diving Mandanda.
The game looked done and dusted until Hartford won a string of free kicks in a position outside of the box. The first free kick was sent over the bar from Danny Barrera. The second free kick however, the captain let debutant Naglestad take. In the 84th minute, the Norwiegan stuck it in the top corner to cut the lead in half!
Hartford won another free kick in the same area in the 88th minute, it was an easy decision who was going to take it. Naglestad stepped up and smacked the crossbar, Alex Dixon followed up and headed it in to tie it up! Hartford continued to press in extra time but couldn't find the winner, but thanks to Naglestad, Hartford walked away with a gracious point.
Hartford now sits at 16 points in Group F, tied with Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC at the top of the table. The Hounds come to Dillon Stadium on Friday night at 7 PM for a huge matchup. Tickets are still available, click here to get yours!
Shots (On-Target): Hartford Athletic 11 (6) - 9 (4) Loudoun
Corners: Hartford Athletic 4-6 Loudoun
Fouls: Hartford Athletic 14-22 Loudoun
Offsides: Hartford Athletic 2-2 Loudoun
Possession: Hartford Athletic 49.5%-50.5% Loudoun
Passing Accuracy: Hartford Athletic 70.8%-70.0% Loudoun
Saves: Hartford Athletic 2-4 Loudoun
22' - Shane Wiedt (Jeremy Garay) 0-1
74' - Elvis Amoh 0-2
86' - Markus Naglestad 1-2
89' - Alex Dixon 2-2
23' - Ali Ndour (Yellow)
28' - Harry Swartz (Yellow)
44' - Kairou Amoustapha (Yellow)
68' - Danny Barrera (Yellow)
69' - Matheus Silva (Yellow)
70' - Head Coach Ryan Martin (Yellow)
85' - Elvis Amoh (Yellow)
88' - Jacob Greene (Yellow)
HARTFORD ATHLETIC STARTING LINEUP:
35 (GK) Parfait Mandanda; 24 (D) Sam Strong (Aiden Mesias 72'), 4 (D) Kevin Politz, 3 (D) Matheus Silva; 33 (MF) Harry Swartz, 6 (MF) Arthur Rogers, 10 (MF) Danny Barrera, 8 (MF) Mads Jørgensen (Nicky Downs 72'), 16 (MF) Gabriel Torres (Markus Naglestad, 45'); 88 (F) Tyreke Johnson, 11 (F) Alex Dixon (Dre Deas 90+4')
LOUDOUN UNITED FC STARTING LINEUP:
40 (GK) Simon Lefebvre; 33 (D) Jacob Greene, 29 (D) Timothy Mehl, 5 (D) Shane Wiedt, 20 (D) Allexon Saravia (Eremuse Momoh 90+1'); 24 (MF) Jeremy Garay, 10 (MF) Michael Gamble (Ted Ku-DiPietro 58'), 7 (MF) Elvis Amoh, 21 (MF) Joshua Fawole (Christian Sorto 90+1'), 12 (MF) Kairou Amoustapha (Peabo Doue 82'); 9 (F) Ali Ndour