WILLMAR -- After failing to maintain a three-goal lead, Willmar bounced back to clip Fergus Falls 5-3 Tuesday in a Central Lakes Conference match.
The Cardinals (3-0, 4-1) netted the match's first three goals -- all in the first 20 minutes from Chris Van Doren, Liam Johnston and Abdinasir Abdi -- but Fergus Falls scored twice in a span of 42 seconds right before halftime to get within one.
The Otters then tied the game 11:46 into the second half, but about seven minutes later Abshir Ahmend knocked in a pass from Johnston to put Willmar ahead for good. Bakar Aden added an insurance goal nearly eight minutes later.
"The last 15 to 20 minutes we played our best soccer of the game," said Willmar coach Richard Courtney. "We did an excellent job of finishing goals, but we were very inconsistent defensively the whole game."
The Cardinals host Brainerd in a key CLC match on Thursday.
Willmar 5, Fergus Falls 3
Fergus Falls 2 1 -- 3
Willmar 3 2 -- 5
FIRST HALF - Wil: Chris Van Doren (Landon Peterson) 5:47 ... Wil: Liam Johnston (Abshir Ahmend) 16:00 ... Wil: Abdinasir Abdi (Josh Oestreich) 19:57 ... FF: Joe Anderson (unassisted) 38:53 ... FF: Chase Kolle (unassisted) 39:35
SECOND HALF - FF: David Sanderson (unassisted) 51:46 ... Wil: Ahmend (Johnston) 59:00 ... Wil: Bakar Aden (unassisted) 66:50
Shots on goal - Fergus Falls: 15 ... Willmar: 13
Goalie saves - Fergus Falls: Noah Heidorn 8 ... Willmar: Steve Kluver 8
Defensive saves - Fergus Falls: none ... Willmar: none