FCB’s USL debut a wild comeback draw

Photo by Ben Tsujimoto of The Buffalo News


FC Buffalo’s trip to Cleveland to kickstart its USL League Two tenure began without fanfare but soon became something to write home about: a 3-3 comeback draw.

The six-goal thriller had an inauspicious start, as the Force capitalized on an early goal mouth scramble and then took advantage of a mistake at the back to claim a 2-0 halftime lead at DiSanto Field on the campus of Case Western Reserve in East Cleveland.

But new FCB head coach Casey Derkacz made some adjustments at the break and the boys rallied for their boss, scoring thrice before ultimately conceding an 89th minute equalizer to the Force.

2022 leading scorer Ander Castillo (University of Albany) picked up where he left off, converting a penalty won by captain Derek Bartlo (Daemen University) to make it 2-1 early in the second half.

That’s when two goals in under two minutes really turned the game on its ear. Nico Stoddart dribbled the pitch to feed Calum Newson for a deflected goal (and cartwheel celebration) before Castillo added his second to give FCB a 3-2 lead.

The Wolves come back home to face USL League Two powers Fort Wayne FC, owned by USMNT legend DaMarcus Beasley, at 3pm ET Saturday at Williamsville South Athletic Field. Get your tickets now.

Ander Castillo goal! Cleveland Force 2-1 FC Buffalo

Calum Newson goal! Cleveland Force 2-2 FC Buffalo

Ander Castillo goal! Cleveland Force 2-3 FC Buffalo