Detroit is making a comeback. Chrysler recently launched a new, aggressive ad campaign touting the city’s underdog image with the tagline “Imported from Detroit.” Eminem is at the top of the charts after shedding his earlier rebellious image, and the Detroit Lions and Pistons are “¦ well, that’s another story.
At least the Motor City has the Detroit Red Wings and the Waza. Yes, you read that correctly – the Waza. Detroit’s professional indoor soccer club is making a comeback as well, albeit via a very controversial finish against the Lightning Saturday night.
Louisville took a four-game winning streak into Detroit Saturday, which included a win over the Waza in Louisville the previous weekend.
The Lightning have been on a roll, while the Waza have been quickly losing their grip on second place in the standings, and a coveted PASL playoff berth.
Saturday’s game resembled the teams’ previous meetings, with a hard-fought, physical contest between budding rivals. Detroit opened the scoring, but Louisville’s Mariano Gonzalez scored his first of two goals with four minutes remaining in the first period to make it 1-1. The teams battled throughout the half, but Adam Boyer’s hat trick helped the visitors open up a 5-3 lead.
Something happened after halftime to change the momentum. Detroit took the lead once again, then the two teams battled in a back-and-forth contest that went into overtime.
It was in overtime that the controversy began. Detroit had been sitting on five fouls, and a sixth foul would have put them a man down, with Louisville gaining a big advantage. Instead, Detroit continued to battle with just five fouls”¦and no additional calls against them.
The most baffling aspect of the lack of calls late in the game was that these two teams were engaging in one of the most physical games of the season. The Waza were beginning to resemble the 1989-90 Detroit Pistons with the physical play on the field.
It was a final controversial call (or lack thereof) involving a sliding deflection from Detroit that saved a sure goal, dooming the Lightning.
The call didn’t come in favor of the Lightning, and Detroit scored moments later to pull out a huge 10-9 win.
The win snapped Louisville’s four-game winning streak, and added fuel to the fire of this already heated rivalry. It also complicates
Louisville’s quest for a wildcard playoff berth, but the Lightning still have three games remaining. Win out, and a spot in the playoffs could belong to Louisville. Regardless, fans can’t count out the fighting spirit of the Waza. Just like the rest of Detroit.