Photo courtesy of Saint Louis FC
SAINT LOUIS, Mo. - Forward Madison FC’s comeback effort fell short Wednesday night as the League One club lost, 3-1, to USL Championship side Saint Louis FC at Toyota Stadium. Madison dug themselves into a hole early, spotting the hosts a two-goal lead inside of the first six minutes of the match.
Paris Gee opened the scoring in the second minute, intercepting a failed clearance and slotting a low strike past Madison goalkeeper Brian Sylvestre. Guy Abend doubled Saint Louis’ lead four minutes later, pouncing on a loose ball inside the penalty area and knocking it home.
Down two goals early, Madison began to show life and threaten the Saint Louis goal midway through the first half. Shaun Russell found space down the left flank and cut the ball back into a dangerous area, forcing a Saint Louis defender to intervene. The attempted clearance bounced off the post and out for a corner kick. Nothing would come of the ensuing corner, but the Flamingos would open the scoring 12 minutes later.
Jeff Michaud played a one-touch pass attempting to spark a counter attack in the 38th minute. The pass was mis-played by a Saint Louis center back and fell into the path of Don Smart’s run. Smart drove at goal and fired a shot into the top corner to halve the deficit before halftime.
Madison continued to press for an equalizer as the second half wore on, out-possessing and out-shooting the USL Championship side, but it was the hosts who found the next goal. Russell Cicerone slipped his marker in the 73rd minute and nodded home a corner kick to push Saint Louis’ lead back to two goals, putting the game out of reach.
The loss knocks the Flamingos out of the Open Cup after they became the first League One club in history to advance to the third round. Madison continues league play this Saturday when they host Lansing Ignite.