Our Millburn Millers almost won the only game they deserved to lose all season. They dominated Newark Academy, lost 2-1. They outplayed Columbia, lost 2-1. They controlled Livingston, lost 2-1. Today they were out-strengthened and out-matched but had their best chance thus far at a win, lost 2-1.
Unfortunately for the Millers, the sideline referee, who seemed to be in perfect position to make the call (go to 1:42:25 on the Livestream broadcast), missed a blatant handball by Montclair Striker, Edward Michalitsianos, that led to the game winning goal.
Let me set the scene. Millburn was outplayed the majority of the game with some signs of life here and there (primarily from Tyler Gould inspired attacks). Then in the last 20 minutes, with the game tied 1-1, Millburn started playing to win, while Montclair was playing to not lose. Millburn, despite many chances, was not able to score in those last 20 minutes, though, sending the game to overtime. In overtime, as I was explaining Millburn’s stellar play toward the end of regulation to the audience of the livestream, Montclair forced a turnover. They then played a quick, dangerous through ball to Michalitsianos who took a few touches toward Millburn goalie, Andrew Clark. Clark, by the way, played the game of his life, saving everything that went his way and more, except for one header where he really had no chance.
Anyway, Michalitsianos toed the ball, and Clark made an unbelievable save that ricocheted off his own thigh, directly and blatantly into the hand/arm of the Montclair striker. Only then did the ball get past Clark, allowing a layup of a goal for Montclair, the winning goal in a golden goal overtime format.
As my co-commentator L.J. Horowitz put it, “I am in utter disbelief”. He wasn’t in disbelief just at the missed call, which once again (I’m so shocked that I keep repeating myself) was ridiculously obvious, but also because for the fourth straight game, Millburn lost 2-1 in a game they could have won. The Millers could be anywhere from 4-0 to 0-4 right now, but realistically they should be 3-1, contending for the conference title. Now they are stuck asking questions.
— Tyler Gould of Millburn came off the bench midway through the first half and provided an immediate spark. He scored a tremendous near-post goal off a beautiful dribbling sequence and through ball by Senior Captain Jeff Plump.
— Millburn Freshman Christian Clark and Senior Captain Emre Duman also played terrifically the entire game at the center back positions. They were the only reason, along with Andrew Clark, that Millburn had a chance.
Watch the full recap here: