LAKELAND, FL — The San Diego Sockers, presented by Kaiser Permanente, played a hard, physical game and took a second-quarter lead, but fell to the Ontario Fury by a final score of 5-1 in a neutral-field match played in Lakeland, Florida at the RP Funding Center. Franck Tayou led the undefeated Fury (3-0) with his third straight hat trick to start the season, as Ontario continued their run atop the table during the 2021 MASL campaign.  

Tayou netted a natural hat trick in the fourth quarter to seal the victory, and has nine goals in only three matches played. Maicon de Abreu added three assists for the Fury, while Justin Stinson and Jorge DeLeon contributed goals. Claysson de Lima (3-0) stopped 10 of 11 shots in net.

The Sockers (1-2) saw their only lead come late in the second quarter, after a foul-filled opening half started off with a scoreless opening frame. The Fury killed two San Diego power plays in the first quarter without surrendering a shot, and nearly converted a 2-on-0 break at the end of a Sockers power play, only to see goalkeeper Boris Pardo (1-1, 12 saves) make a combination save to keep the game at 0-0.

San Diego’s third chance on the power play came when Tayou was shown a blue card for four personal fouls in the half. Slavisa Ubiparipovic netted his first goal of the season from the left wing just before the man advantage expired, converting a long entry pass from Marcio Leite with a power move away from the defender and a finish inside the far post. The Sockers led 1-0 with 2:43 left in the half. 

Ontario turned up the pressure and were rewarded when the Sockers were unable three times to escape their defensive zone. Justin Stinson stole a pass at midfield and out-raced his defender to the near post, finishing a give-and-go with Maicon de Abreu (three assists) with a smooth, low shot inside the far post, good for the equalizer with just :51 left in the half. The Sockers and Fury were tied 1-1 after thirty minutes.

San Diego came out of the locker room and generated a number of opportunities that did not develop into shots on goal, but put offensive pressure on the Fury. After weathering the storm, Ontario saw a long ball go downfield to Uzi Tayou 1-on-1 with the defender. His side-wall pass came to DeLeon up the middle, who gave Ontario the lead for good at 6:29 of the third quarter. The Fury took a 2-1 lead into 45-minute break. 

The Sockers were victims of their own mistakes as the lead widened. After killing a power play late in the third quarter, San Diego was shown a second blue card in the opening seconds of the fourth quarter, as a clearance pass hit Kraig Chiles’ toe as he was stepping off the bench, but before his running mate had left the field of play. The resulting penalty was too many men on the field, and Tayou found a rebound down low for his first of the night at 1:39 to make it 3-1. 

A Tayou shot deflected off Ubiparipovic went over Pardo’s hand on a misdirection to make it 4-1  at 7:42, and Tayou scored against six attackers at 14:19 to close the scoring. 

San Diego returns to action on Friday afternoon against the Florida Tropics (7-2), themselves smarting after a 7-6 overtime loss to Tacoma earlier on Thursday. The 4pm kickoff is free to watch on the Major Arena Soccer League events page at facebook.com/MASLsoccer/events.