After Luis Tovar staked the home side to a quick 1-0 lead in the 11th minute of the Discoverers’ home game against Norfolk at Wilderness Soccer Complex on Monday, the scoreline remained the same through the first 40 minutes.
However, once action resumed in the second half, the goals began to pour in with regularity in what ended up as a 5-1 Columbus victory.
According to Discoverers’ head coach John Arlt, his side let down a bit once the game’s opening goal had found the back of the net.
“Our intensity level dropped after we scored so early on,” said Arlt. “We thought this was a team we could handle fairly easily, but credit Norfolk – they were more focused and we were a bit sloppy.”
In the 47th minute, Ivan Lopez netted the first of his two goals on the day to increase the Columbus advantage to 2-0, before scoring again only a minute later for a 3-0 lead off an assist from Alejandro Espino, who was also credited with a helper on Tovar’s opening strike.
Tovar made it 4-0 on a penalty kick in the 50th minute after a Norfolk player had been sent off by the referee for dissent.
Finally, after another Discoverer had been pulled to the ground inside the area, Caleb Esch stepped up to the spot and coolly slotted home for a 5-0 score.
Norfolk pulled one back on a late penalty of its own to ruin goalkeeper Alex Morales’ clean sheet.
Despite sending 24 shots at the Knights’ goal, Arlt wants his club to be more clinical when it comes to capitalizing on opportunities, he said.
“Five goals is pretty good for us,” said Arlt. “But, we need to do a better job of finishing our chances.”
Columbus (4-4) evened its record at .500 after beginning the current campaign with a three-game winning streak, followed immediately by a four-match slide.
“It was huge for us to get a win,” said Arlt. “Scoring those three early goals in the second half allowed us to rest some of our players with another game tomorrow.”
Next for the Discoverers is a road game at Hastings on Tuesday at 5 p.m.