The Missouri Comets moved back into first place with a win Saturday but the Chicago Mustangs did not make it easy for the home team. The Comets led going into the fourth quarter 5-1 but Chicago was not done yet.
Former Mexico National team player Adolfo "Bofo" Bautista scored four and half minutes into the final quarter but Leo Gibson quickly scored to restore the lead. Chicago's Trajche Lostovski was assisted by Bautista to narrow the gap at 7:14 and Lucas Rodriguez countered at the 10:05 mark.
The rest of the match was all Chicago as the Mustangs' Bofo Bautista scored three more times to make it a one goal game, including one while on the ground.
"A lot of things to work on," Chicago head coach Armando Gamboa described his teams play after the match. " We played the last six minutes; they were the more focused team in the first and second quarter."
The win moved the Comets (13-3) back into first over Chicago (13-4) in the central division with Milwaukee (10-6) trailing in third.
Good start, weak finish
"I've got to say it was a great game overall," Comets head coach Vlatko Andonovski explained after the match. " It was a great win but it was bad closing for us. I was not happy with the way we closed the game. The first forty minutes I thought we played like a championship team. The last 20 minutes we did not look like a championship team and we only have four gamse to fix that, to get the last part. We are obviously doing well in the beginning; we are doing well in the middle of the game, we just have to close the game. We did a good job against Baltimore, we closed it perfectly. We cannot have any letdowns, we have to have consistency all the way through going into the playoffs."
With the Comets controlling so much of the game, the obvious question is what happened that caused everything to go awry. Andonovski pointed to some Comets not making the correct decisions. "It was a lack of discipline by a couple players in the decision making process. Robert Palmer, Leo (Gibson) and Max (Touloute) made decisions that impacted the flow of the game. It doesn't necessarily mean they made mistakes that cost us the game but their decisions impacted the flow of the game. Once they got us off our rhythm we did not have enough time to get back into that rhythm and finish the game."
Tough end to season
Andonovski wanted the end of the season to be tough to ready the team for the playoffs and he has his wish. After beating Baltimore and Chicago at home, the Comets now go on the road to face Baltimore, Milwaukee and Syracuse before returning home to host Baltimore for the regular season finale.