PAPILLION, Neb. - A Sebastián Contreras penalty for Union Omaha canceled out an early header from Forward Madison FC's Eric Leonard, as two clubs vying for position in the League One table settled for a 1-1 draw on Wednesday night at Werner Park.
19-year-old attacker Michael Vang scored Madison's opener in a 4-0 win over Tormenta FC last week, and the Flamingos' new addition again played a key role in finding the team's first goal on Wednesday.
Vang floated in an inviting ball from a free kick in the 8th minute, and Leonard rose above the Omaha defense to head the ball beyond Union goalkeeper Rashid Nuhu.
Union Omaha found the equalizer from the penalty spot 20 minutes later. Club captain Contreras took responsibility for the spot kick and dispatched it confidently, waiting for Madison goalkeeper Philipp Marceta to commit before chipping it to the opposite side of the net.
The two sides played a physical second half, with the best chance after the break falling to Omaha's Ferrety Sousa. The Owls' Ethan Vanacore-Decker smartly nodded a cross back into the path of Sousa, but he couldn't quite find his balance and smashed his shot just wide.
In the 83rd minute, Forward Madison center back Josiah Trimmingham was shown a second yellow card for a challenge just outside the area, meaning the Flamingos would have to survive the final seven minutes plus stoppage time with 10 men.
Madison Head Coach Daryl Shore brought on defender Eli Lockaby in place of attacker Paulo Jr. to lock things down, and despite a few late nervy moments, the visitors were able to preserve the draw and take a point back to Wisconsin.
The result maintains Union Omaha's unbeaten start to life in League One, with the Nebraska club keeping hold of second place and moving within five points of leaders Greenville Triumph SC. Forward Madison rise to sixth place with the draw, three points behind Omaha.
Both teams return to action on Sunday.
Union Omaha: August 23 v. North Texas SC (A)
Forward Madison FC: August 23 v. Orlando City B (H)