Emotions were running high after the Boise Cutthroats defeated Battle Born FC, 3-2, in the opening round playoff game for the Premier Mountain Division. Originally, Boise didn’t qualify for the postseason but after the top-seeded Real Salt Lake Academy dropped out of postseason play, the Cutthroats earned another shot at extending their season. Battle Born FC moved up to the No. 1 seed without RSL Academy, but drawing Boise wasn’t necessarily the matchup anyone in the blue and white would have asked for. Prior to Sunday’s loss, Boise had bested BBFC 4-3 and tied with the first-year franchise 3-3 this season. Guillermo Hernandez opened up the scoring for Battle Born after blasting a shot to the far side netting. Hernandez’s tally came within the first five minutes of the contest and showed how quickly Battle Born FC could strike. Prior to the end of the half, Boise responded with two goals in four minutes. The halftime deficit was not something BBFC had faced in the month of June. Chams “James” Khelifi tied the contest at 2-2 moments into the second half after receiving a pass right at his feet inside the 18-yard box. Khelifi turned and deposited the shot to the far side of the goal, past an outstretched Boise keeper.
48’ - Battle Born FC’s Chams Khelifi knots this one up at 2 apiece.
The contest didn’t stay tied for long as Boise tallied the game-winning goal 10 minutes later. “I think it was ourselves,” said Battle Born FC head coach Andrew Robles. “When we are on, we are super on. In the playoff environment, you can’t give up easy plays.” Boise’s attempts through the first 40 minutes of the contest were continually turned away by strong efforts from keeper Eli Young, but over the next 20 minutes of Boise scored three times. The first-year club had gripes with the officiating as well. It wasn’t the first time BBFC had seen the particular group of officials, but Robles thought the lack of calls may have led to some frustration within his team. “That was a conversation we had before the game. We knew we were going to have to deal with the ref and a lot of these guys know him from local leagues,” said Robles. “Regardless, we had our chances to finish the game.” Battle Born FC bows out in the spring season with a 6-1-4 (W-D-L) record, but has plans to be back after finishing as a top-two team in the regular season.“The lack of experience caught up to us,” said Robles. “It’s our first year playing against teams that have been in the league for five or six years. … I’m super proud of them. We’re bringing back the same players and we will tweak the training sessions to be better prepared in the future.”