GREENVILLE, S.C. - In a game which featured three high-quality goals scored from outside the box, Union Omaha outlasted Greenville Triumph SC to win 2-1 on Sunday afternoon at Legacy Early College, ending Greenville's perfect record at home and giving Omaha a massive boost in its pursuit of second place.
Omaha was certainly the more desperate of the two teams to pick up points, and the Owls started the game accordingly. They were rewarded for their enterprising play after 19 minutes through Christian Molina.
Driving down the left flank, Molina cut inside on his right foot and unleashed a spectacular curling effort. The shot swerved out of reach of Greenville goalkeeper Dallas Jaye before caroming off the top corner of the far post and in.
Noah Pilato answered for Triumph SC by leveling the score with an incredible strike of his own on 36 minutes. Omar Mohamed brought down a cross and laid it off at the edge of the area for the onrushing Pilato, who hit a powerful first-time drive that rocketed into the back of the net.
Yet the game still wasn't finished producing great goals. Just after the hour mark, Evan Conway scored with a pile-driver from 20 yards out to restore Omaha's lead. Conway's fantastic finish would end up being the match-winner, earning the Owls a crucial three points in the fight for the second and final berth in the postseason.
The match may well have been a preview of the League One Final. While Greenville secured its place in the title game weeks ago and clinched home-field advantage last night, the matter of who its opponent will be has remained unclear. This result provided some clarity in the postseason race by eliminating Chattanooga, New England and Madison, meaning only Richmond and North Texas remain alongside Omaha as contenders.
Head Coach Jay Mims' Omaha side can now clinch its spot in the Final with the combination of a win on the last day of the regular season against Fort Lauderdale CF and any dropped points by Richmond in the Kickers' last two matches.
Greenville Triumph SC: October 24 v. Orlando City B (A)
Union Omaha: October 24 v. Fort Lauderdale CF (H)