An A for Edmonton FC

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:03 AM ET

Prior to kickoff, FC Edmonton would have gladly accepted a one-goal loss to a team that has won 29 championships.

However, after keeping up with their opponents for 90 minutes in an entertaining contest before 5,573 boisterous fans at Commonwealth Stadium on Sunday , FC Edmonton were rather upset with a 4-3 loss to Colo-Colo.

The local squad figured it was a game they could have won.

"I think we could have won the game, especially the way we played in the second half," said FC Edmonton head coach Dwight Lodeweges. "I think in parts of it, we were too shy in the first half, we showed too much respect for them.

"In the second half we started playing our own game, we had some good chances, we played some good soccer and we could have gotten more."

Any nerves the startup local side had going into against the Chilean champions were erased after 12 minutes when defender Paul Hamilton climbed above everybody to get his head on a free kick which flew past goaltender Nery Veloso.

It stunned the partisan Chilean crowd and gave FC Edmonton an unexpected advantage.

"They were very nervous before the start of the game," Lodeweges said. "Many of them were not used to playing in front of this many people.

"For them it was a big challenge and a chance of a lifetime to start like that and get a goal after 12 minutes. A lot of them were looking around asking what was happening, that it was impossible. As it turned out we could have won the game."

The goal served as a wakeup call for Colo-Colo, who quickly realized they were in a game.

The visitors began to look upon the contest seriously, started to take the play to FC Edmonton and were eventually rewarded in the 26th minute when Cristian Bogado turned in a cross, driven in by fullback Roberto Cereceda.

The Chileans increased their lead 11 minutes later as Bogado added his second getting to a threw ball before Edmonton goalkeeper Rein Baart and lobbing it over his head.

"I thought it was a good game," said Colo-Colo head coach Diego Cagna.

"We used this game to prepare for our season, and find our rhythm and things like that, so we are happy about that.

"We are happy that they made us run and work hard and this will help find our rhythm moving forward."

If anything, FC Edmonton was able to expose some weakness in Colo-Colo's defence.

Before the end of the half, a hopeful cross fell to the foot of FC midfielder Matt Lam, who cut inside and fired a leftfooted strike from just outside the penalty area that found the corner of the net.

In the second half Colo- Colo regained their advantage, as Phillip Araos was played through the FC Edmonton defence, had his first shot stopped by Baart, but then deposited the rebound over the goalkeeper.

Not to be outdone, FC Edmonton battled back as striker Milan Timotijevic took a gift from Colo-Colo defender Matis Quiroga at the top of the penalty area and slotted a shot into the far corner.

"We were expecting their best, we knew they were a good team," said FC Edmonton midfielder Chris Kooy. "We didn't want to be too tentative out there."

Bogado eventually settled the matter, getting the ball at the end of the FC Edmonton penalty area and firing a leftfooted strike into the corner of the net.

"I think that was a small moral win, knowing that we were close," Kooy said. "But you never want to lose. We thought we could have pulled one out there at the end, but we did our best."


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