Match Recap: MBFC 1 - 1 Cal United Strikers FC - 11.17.2021

Maryland Bobcats FC Draw at Home in Final Game of the Season
Published Nov 21, 2021

Written by: Kalin HIcks

In their final game of the season, Maryland Bobcats FC shared points with California Strikers United FC in a gruesome match with plenty of action on all sides. The result sees the Bobcats finish in 9th after an eventful season full of high and lows. 

The match started out strong for the visiting side as Cal United had three early shots on goal that could have been converted. League leading goal scorer Omar Nuno had 2 shots on goal that could have extended his significant lead in the leaderboard. 

 Thankfully, Christian Caulker, just one game removed from his return from injury, made two incredible saves to keep the game level. This was the theme for the majority of the night as the shot stopper stayed consistent in net and kept the Bobcats in the match.

After both sides had good chances to take the lead, the Bobcats struck first with a goal in the 25th minute. Captain Kay Banjo proved to be missed in the lineup as he received the ball just outside the 18 yard box and hammered the ball past the keeper and into the bottom left corner of the net. After scoring 4 goals in two games against Chicago House AC and Chattanooga FC, Banjo suffered an injury that kept him out of the lineup for two out of MBFC’s final three games. 

The remainder of the first half saw the Bobcats stay solid defensively despite an early substitution as Yaya Fane went down with an apparent injury. Fortunately, he was able to walk off the field under his own power and Morian Moussi came on to replace the Ivorian. 

Going into the second half, the home side came out aggressive even with the lead. Molley Karpeh Jr. and Tunde Akinlosotu both had great chances to add to the lead that came up just short. 

In defense Caulker and the front 4 of Dylan Ogletree, Jake Dengler, Morian Moussi, and Richard Froka remained solid and prevented Cal United from equalizing. 

The first Bobcat substitution of the second half came in the 69th minute when James “Pele” Sesay came on for Andy Alvarado in midfield. Since coming back from injury, Sesay has been a regular second half substitute bringing fresh legs and added speed to the midfield battle. 

In the 75th minute the Bobcats brought on fresh legs with three substitutions. Taylor Gray was brought on for Tunde Akinlosotu and Adam Yingling came on for Kay Banjo. Five minutes after, Khalid Balogun went in for Molley Karpeh Jr. in the 80th minute. 

After the 90 minute mark, extra time seemed to keep adding up with nearly 4 minutes of extra time passing and no indication of the referee looking to blow the whistle. After hanging on for so long, the Bobcats suffered a devastating error that saw Bryan De La Fuente level the score in extra time. Shortly after the ref blew the whistle and that was the end of the Bobcats’ first full season as a professional club. 

With the NISA table so tight, the club would finish in 9th place on goal differential as the clubs in 6th through 9th place all have 20 points on the season. Many within the Maryland Bobcats FC organization and fan base will tell you that the team played well above their placement. In a league like NISA, the end result for MBFC shows how crucial it is to secure positive outcomes every match. 

What ended up being a great atmosphere on a chilly November night left promise for MBFC as the club will navigate the off season in preparation for the start of the NISA Spring Season in 2022.


Maryland Bobcats FC: Caulker (GK); Ogletree, Dengler, Forka, Fane (Moussi 41’); Pato, Banjo (C) (Yingling 75’), Kao, Alvarado (Sesay 69’); Akinlosotu (Gray 75’), Karpeh Jr. (Balogun 80’) 

Substitutions: Olofinsua (GK), Moussi, Gray, Yingling, Cooper, Sesay

Goals: Banjo (25’)

Bookings: Dengler (38’), Kao (52’)


California United Strikers FC: Gamain Antoine (GK); Salguero, Bryant, Liborio Jr., Hogbin; Araneda, Kwak, Lopez (Thierjung 81’); Nuno, Medina, Contreras (De La Fuente 60’)

Substitutions: Barrera (GK), North (GK), Thierjung, De La Fuente, Kadono, Dallagnol Farias

Goals: De La Fuente (90+’)

Bookings: Barrera (35’), Araneda (47’)