Eagles, Cougars Season Opener Ends in 2-2 Tie
FAYETTE, MO -- The Cougars struck early when Marko Paunovic hit a shot from 35 yards out to put Columbia on top in the seventh minute. The scoring for the Cougars went quiet for the remainder of the half and the first 33 minutes of the second half. In the 79th minute of the contest, CMU's Guilherme Frota converted a penalty kick. Exactly two minutes later, Thyago Catharino gave the home team the upper hand when he blasted a shot from 40 yards out that beat Cougar goalkeeper Matt McKenna top shelf.
In the 85th minute, Cougar senior Andres Acosta found Rafael Ramos to tie the game up. The goal came off a corner kick and was headed in by Ramos for his first goal in a Cougar uniform.
Both teams threatened down the stretch, with each team hitting four shots in the final 20 minutes of play. The Eagles' Ricardo Valsien almost ended the contest in the 118th minute, but the ball rolled right of the net by one foot.
Central Methodist outshot the Cougars in the game 23-14, including 10-5 in the second half. Columbia held the edge in corner kicks, 8-3. Catharino led all players with seven shots.
Eagle goalkeeper German Schacht made four saves. Cougars' McKenna recorded three.
Central Methodist returns to the pitch on Thursday and will host William Penn University. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. CT. The Cougar men return to the field on Friday, August 31st when they travel to Des Moines, Iowa to take on No. 6 ranked Grand View University in the NAIA Game of the Week. The game is slated for a 7:30 p.m. start.