Light showers Saturday evening didn't stop the crowds or the goals at the Mac, as the Sioux Falls Thunder (2-6-3) tied LC Aris FC (0-7-3) 2-2.
The grass was dry as the Thunder opened strong with a shot by Tyler Limmer in the third minute that skimmed wide of the post. But it was just several minutes later that Nataniel Alayew cut past the Aris defense and lofted a beautiful finish over the Aris keeper to make it 1-0.
Aris would retaliate almost immediately after, as a Thunder corner in the 12th minute led to a breakaway and an Aris goal in the 13th. The Thunder would put pressure on a weakening Aris for the rest of the half, playing through the rain that drizzled down. The shots mounted but the two teams went into the half tied at 1.
More chances for the Thunder followed, although Aris was not without their chances either. Despite Aris' lack of ideas other than boot-and-run, a breakaway in the 51st minute was dispelled by solid defending and stellar keeping from Mynor Enriquez.
Disaster struck for the Thunder as a missed header on the back line from another long ball gave LC Aris another goal. More rain burst down with another burst of chances, as the Thunder dominated the second half. Chances for Juani Mackrey, Tyler Limmer, and Ethan Glissendorf all presented themselves, but the elusive equalizer would not come.
As the clock ticked past the 90 minute mark, the Thunder pushed into the Aris half in a last effort to salvage the game. A bouncing ball found itself at the foot of Limmer, who cranked an upper 90 stunner that nearly burned through the net. The whistle blew just after the restart, and the game finished in a draw despite Thunder offensive domination with 22 shots to Aris' 5.
The Thunder will play their last regular-season game against Duluth FC next Friday at 7 pm. Stay tuned for a stream link for Thunder fans to watch.
Photos by Travis Gallipo Photography. This post sponsored by J&R Mechanical.