The MASL Championship is not a 1 game affair. It's a 2-day event. On April 7, 2017, the Sonora Suns beat the Baltimore Blast in Baltimore 4-2. On April 9, 2017, with the Championship on the line, the two teams returned to Hermosillo, Mexico for the second game of the home and home series. (If each team wins one, there would be a short mini-game to decide the championship.)
The capacity at Hermosillo Stadium, about a 6 hour drive south of Phoenix, Arizona, is 8,000 and there's barely an empty seat in the house. How can I be watching the championship in Mexico, you ask? Through the glorious wonders of modern technology. At 9:00 pm EST I turned on MASL TV and watched the live stream on YouTube. Halfway through the first quarter, there were about 900 people across North America watching the Live Stream:
Notes from Game 2 in Real Time:
Sonora scores first, a PERFECT, unstoppable shot. Suns up 1-0.
Blast tie it at 1-1.
End of Quarter 1, the score is tied.
Sonora scores when Pat Healey makes an own-goal. Yes, 2 time MASL Defender of the Year Pat Healey. It may not be the Blasts' night. (In Healey's defense, the goalie should have corralled that shot.)
Blast tie it back up 2-2.
Another Blast defensive lapse, Frank Tayou makes them pay. Sonora up 3-2.
The Blast will not give up, tie things up at 3-3.
There are now 1,161 watching the live stream and the Live Chat in the upper right is getting as chippy as the game itself.
Sonora goes up 4-3, knocking a goal through the wall.
As time expires, it appears Pat Healey is injured. But as I re-watch the feed, I'm confident Healey got away with a hand-ball that saved a goal. The Blast has not led for 1 second in this game.
As the half starts action, there's 1,135 on the live stream
Another perfect shot, this one from Damian Garcia to put Sonara up 5-3.
Handball by the Baltimore Blast goalie goes uncalled.
Sonora starting to pile on, up 6-3.
Baltimore chips away at the lead, now down 6-4.
Easy goal for Tony Donatelli, Blast down 6-5.
Frank Tayou barrels in another goal, Sonora up 7-5.
Oh my, 6'4" Andrew Hoxie drills an awesome shot into the upper right corner. Blast down 7-6.
1,260 on the live stream.
Baltimore will not give up! They tie the game at 7-7.
Twice play stops around the 9 minute mark. The refs obviously don't want to kick anyone out.
Sonora goes up 8-7, wait, no they don't. The refs take the goal away at the 5:23 mark, still 7-7.
1:00 left, still 7-7.
Scramble in front of the goal.... FRANK TAYOU scores with 18 seconds left. The crowd begins to chant MVP for Tayou.
Scramble in front of the other goal... who scored? Baltimore with 11 seconds left. The game is tied 8-8. 1,872 watching the live stream. DID ADRIANO DOS SANTOS NUDGE THE BALL INTO THE NET WITH HIS HANDS????
The Baltimore Blast are tied 8-8 and they still haven't led in this Ron Newman Championship Game.
Juan Pereira scores for the Blast to give Soles de Sonora their first home loss of the season 9-8. There will be a Mini-Game.
While waiting for the Mini-Game, I rewatched the last 30 seconds of regulation. It appears Santos, may, or may not, have touched the ball with his hand. The replays are inconclusive. The coach of Sonora though, is convinced that Santos used his hand.
What the heck are the Mini-Game Rules?
Thank you, Live Chat. They are saying a 15 minute period called a mini-game with no golden goals. Not sure how accurate live chat is.
After a shaky first half, Blast goalie William Vanzela has been playing much better in the second half, overtime, and mini-game.
Diego Reynoso makes a spectacular save to keep the score 0-0 shortly after 1:00 am EST. It has now been over 4 hours since the Game 2 kickoff. Reviewing stats on the MASL site, the Blast outshot Sonora 32-29 in their 9-8 victory.
GOOOAAALLL Blast! Blast take a 1-0 lead with goal by Vinicius Dantas. The announcer yells that the Blast are 5 minutes away from their 9th indoor soccer championship in their history.
3:33 left, Sonora needs more urgency.
Sonora put in 6th attacker.
30 seconds left...
20 seconds left...it may not be Sonora's night.
10 seconds left...
2 seconds left...scramble in the corner. Oh c'mon. Jonatas Melo, #23, took 2 swings at the Sonora player, then flopped on the ground. Instead of a direct kick 10 feet away, drop ball. Every call has gone Baltimore's way tonight.
Baltimore Blast are your MASL Champions!!!