Kings Come from Behind in Thriller to win 13-12

Omaha, NE — It was a back to back thrilling weekend series for the Omaha Kings and New Mexico Runners.  Both teams traded leads throughout the four quarters of their final match, but it was the Kings who prevailed, thanks to some late heroics by Leo Mejia, leading the team to  win 13-12.

December 18, 2021  |  Written by Joseph Reina

Goals were exchanged almost consecutively throughout the first quarter, as the Kings struck first with a goal from Pedro Augusto, followed by two goals for the Runners, scored by Alejandro Garcia and Sergio Fuentes. Omaha responded with three more goals from Manuel Lira, Rodrigo Barajas, and Bobby Jaffrey to re-take the lead before New Mexico got one back with a goal from Jobany Villalba.

The honors were even in the second quarter. Leo Mejia, Murilo Ceruli, and Manuel Lira scored for the Kings while Jaxn Rogers, Sergio Fuentes, and Alexander Stillinger added to the Runners goal tally, making the score 7-6 going into the second half.

With just under three minutes to go, Leo Mejia completed his hattrick, giving the Kings the lead for the final minutes of the game.

The second half of the match kicked off strong for New Mexico, with four goals in the third quarter courtesy of Jobany Villalba and Alejandro Garcia, each scoring twice. Omaha however, managed to keep themselves in the game with two goals from Rodrigo Barajas and Tomaz Rossi, bringing the scoreboard to a nail-biting 10-9. 

The Runners would extend their lead to begin the fourth quarter with a goal from Seth Gordon.  The Kings would answer with an attack, in the form of two goals in quick succession from David Rojas and Leo Mejia to draw the game level.  New Mexico found another breakthrough soon after thanks to a fourth goal from Alejandro Garcia. Omaha continued their rally and found the equalizer through midfielder Bobby Jaffrey’s second goal of the night. Finally, with just under three minutes to go, Leo Mejia completed his hattrick, giving the Kings the lead for the final minutes of the game. New Mexico pushed but were unable to find the goal they needed, as the Kings took the win with a final score of 13-12. 

The Kings are on the road for their next match against the Wichita Wings, on January 2, at 5:00 pm CST.  Follow the Omaha Kings on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for updates and how to watch the game.

Photography by Morgan Denson

ABOUT THE MAJOR ARENA SOCCER LEAGUE 2 (M2)

The Major Arena Soccer League represents the highest level of professional arena soccer in the world. The MASL is a 4 tier pyramid league consisting of professional and semi-professional men’s arena soccer teams.  The Omaha Kings play at the professional level in the MASL 2 (second tier), backed by the Major Arena Soccer League (top tier).  The remaining pyramid consists of the M3 (third tier and semi-pro), and the PASL (fourth tier and amateur).  For more information about the MASL 2, visit the website at the link below:

 

ABOUT THE OMAHA KINGS FC

The Omaha Kings FC are the only Men’s Professional Arena Soccer team in the state of Nebraska, proudly representing the Major Arena Soccer League 2.  The Major Arena Soccer League represents the highest level of professional arena soccer in the world. The club embodies a grassroots focus, consisting of mostly local talent seeking pathways to play soccer at the professional level.  Launching in 2019 in the Premier Arena Soccer League (PASL), the Kings built a huge momentum and in the two short years of their existence, were granted to Pro status at the M2 level in the Major Arena Soccer League (MASL).  The Kings wrapped up their M3 inaugural season bringing home the first ever National Championship title in the history of the M3 Arena Soccer League. The M2 team finished out their provisional season in July, with a 6-8 record, rallying 5 straight wins through the latter half and missing the wildcard playoff spot by just one match.

 

The team’s practice field is currently Off The Wall Indoor Soccer Facility (110th & Harrison).  The club was founded by Argentinian native Emmanuel Viel and his wife, Omaha native, Natalie Viel (Troutman).  Serving as General Manager is Carlos Viel, a former professional soccer player from Necochea, Argentina.  Head coach is Emmanuel Viel, with Assistant Coach and Bellevue native, Brian Locke.

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