GOSHEN CITY FC: Spirited to shocked, Goshen City settles for 4-4 tie against Chicago Nation

May 5—GOSHEN — An electrifying start went by the wayside Saturday night when Goshen City FC allowed the tying score in stoppage time in the 4-4 home draw against a highly touted Chicago Nation FC club.

With four minutes of stoppage time to play with and holding a 4-3 lead, Goshen City continued to cling to the narrow lead down the stretch in the final half controlled by the visitors.

That was until the defense collapsed and relented the equalizer to Chicago's Isaac Sutton. The cheers for a final defensive stand turned to a hushed silence and shock as Goshen City (0-2-1) had allowed another favorable outcome to be erased in the final minutes.

"I'll take the blame," Goshen City coach Tyler Born said after the game. "I think that goal at the end of the first half gave Chicago just a little bit of hope, something to hold onto and I didn't have the guys ready to play in the second half to finish it up."

Goshen entered Saturday night having lost a 4-1 lead to settle for a 4-4 tie at Allegiant Hammond in the season opener and losing to Black Cat 2-1 after allowing a stoppage time goal.

Saturday's result mimicked those prior finishes. Goshen City FC got out to a 3-0 lead early, but lost momentum and were barreled over when the opposing team captured it.

"I think it was our own downfall," Born said. "Offensively I think there were chances we could've put away and passes for goals that we should have put away. I think we had them beat in that area of the game, but we allowed ourselves to let them stay in the game and get a result.

For a full crowd of nearly 300 spectators at the Goshen College Soccer Complex ready to witness Goshen City FC's home opener, the hosts couldn't have captured their attention and energy any earlier.

Speedy forward Tebello Ntene got the action going. Attacking from the right side of the field, Ntene booted a shot past the Chicago goalkeeper just two minutes into the action. It was Ntene's third goal of the young season.

Up 1-0, the Goshen City offense, which dominated and controlled the pace of play for nearly the full opening half, got on its horse again. This time, it was Lucas Bontreger who took charge of a free kick from the left sideline. Bontreger's boot landed at the feet of Ally Marley to found netting for a 2-0 lead at the ninth minute of action.

Chicago Nation was held to just five shots in the first half but it's second nearly cut the deficit in half. Clanging off the right post, Goshen recovered the ball and quickly turned up field. Ntene found himself streaking towards the goal again when Chicago Nation's goalkeeper Carlos Fernandez Demeneghi charged out from the box. Demeneghi blocked Ntene's initial shot, but when the ball bounded behind the keeper, Ntene slowly tapped in his fourth goal of the season for the 3-0 lead at the 24th minute.

"Exactly the start we were looking for," Born said. "The message was it's going to be one of toughest battles. The first 15 minutes are going to be the most important 15 minutes."

A stunned crowd was eagerly in the game and quickly celebrating the 3-0 lead on the four-time reigning Midwest Central champs. Goshen City FC had hammered the gas pedal and spotted themselves a three-goal advantage in its home opener.

Before half, Chicago Nation earned a sliver of momentum when Julian Pacheco placed one past in the 45th minute. Outshooting the visitors 12-5 in the first half, Goshen City was the more physically imposing team and had certainly caught Chicago Nation off guard.

But once the visitors were on the board, the tap couldn't be shut off. From the start of the second half, Chicago Nation was beginning to form into the team that beat Goshen City twice last year in mirror 3-0 victories.

Nation's Jasminko Dizdarevic placed one past City goalkeeper Gregor Rommelspacher on the game's lone penalty kick at the 49th minute. Bontrager quickly responded.

GCFC's local forward Bontreger scored his first goal of the season at the 51st minute when the outside-inside attack worked in his favor, attacking and scoring from the left side of the field to give Goshen a 4-2 advantage.

It was one of five shots the hosts got off in the second period.

"It was a much-needed goal," Born said of Bontreger's kick. "I think it helped calm everything down a little bit."

With Chicago continuing to amp up the offensive aggression, the shots continued to aim toward Goshen's net. The visitors misfired several times and struggled with communication issues before Zakhar Shkidchenko scored at the 64th minute.

Goshen City tried attacking on offense but were continually interrupted by the visitor's defense until Chicago Nation (3-1-1) scored the final goal of the night to suck the spectator's energy from the stands.

Born has highlighted the new offense and fast-pace style he wants to play with this season. It's worked well, but the late goals continue to shatter what could be a vastly different record three games into the 2024 campaign.

"We all, including myself need to be better in that situation to remember the job, remember what we're supposed to do in that situation in the game," Born said about the late goals. "It seems to be happening a lot so I've got a lot of figuring out I have to do and how I can fix that problem."

"I believe we have enough to go 90 minutes," Born said. "I think it's more of a mentality thing than an actual physical aspect. I think it's all in your head and how much you're willing to work."

Goshen City (0-2-1) earns a point from the draw but remains last in the Midwest Central South division with two points on the season. GCFC will return Saturday, hosting South division-leader Berber City FC (5-0-0).



Goshen City FC — 4

Chicago Nation FC — 4


GC — Tebello Ntene (2'); 1-0 GCFC

GC — Ally Marley (9'); 2-0 GCFC

GC — Tebello Ntene (24'); 3-0 GCFC

CN — Julian Pacheco (45'); 3-1 GCFC

CN — Jasminko Dizdarevic (PK, 49'); 3-2 GCFC

GC — Lucas Bontreger (51'); 4-2 GCFC

CN — Zakhar Shkidchenko (64'); 4-3 GCFC

CN — Isaac Sutton (92'); 4-4 Tied


CN — 5

GC — 3


CN — 19

GC — 17


CN — Mounir Alami (32')

CN — Jasminko Dizdarevic (80')

Reach Matt Lucas at 574-533-2151, ext. 240325, or at