Detroit City FC lost to Midland-Odessa FC in a penalty shootout, 4-2, in front of 7,533 supporters, the largest crowd in club history, Saturday night at Keyworth Stadium.
The heartbreaking loss ends Le Rouge’s historic season, which saw them advance to this stage of the NPSL playoffs for the first time ever as Midwest Region Champions.
Though being outplayed through most of the opening 90 minutes, City bounced back and controlled play well in overtime. However, as the story of the game went, neither team was able to execute and find the back of the net through 120 physical and hard-fought minutes.
In the penalty shootout, City missed two out of their first three penalty attempts, while Midland converted their first three. Goalie Fernando Pina made a huge stop on Midland’s fourth try to keep City in it, but it wasn’t enough.
Midland will now play Elm City Express in the NPSL National Championship next Saturday night.
City struggled to find their stride in the first half and had a handful of unforced errors inhibiting their ability to gain momentum. Midland pressed hard and controlled possession in the half, but neither team was able to execute and find the back of the net.
The half was full of fouls, chippiness, unforced errors and defined by a relentless Midland press. In the 19th minute, Midland’s Ricardo Palomino made a run into the box but the ball danced along the goal line and was cleared out of danger by Omar Sinclair.
Through 30 minutes of play, Le Rouge had a handful of chances offensively, but couldn’t get the final touch. Bakie Goodman helped City gain some momentum in the 30th minute when he won a corner and helped create offense.
Midland’s Andrew Moulin stole the ball deep in City’s end in the 33rd minute and set up Andrew Mendoza with a chance in close. Mendoza, however, botched his wide-open shot attempt over the crossbar.
Detroit’s best chances came in the 38th and 40th minutes, when they had two free kick opportunities. Midland goalie Braulio Linares-Ortiz was able to snuff both out, though.
There were three yellow cards in the half: Alex VonHolle (17’), Troy Watson (26’) and Dave Edwardson (35’).
The half ended scoreless. The second half saw a revitalized City through the first ten minutes, with Cyrus Saydee leading the push offensively. There was plenty of back and forth and physical play the entire half, with both teams battling for every inch.
In the 63rd minute, Pina made the save of the game off a Midland headed opportunity in close to keep the score level. Though level still, Midland took control of play after the attempt.
In the 72nd minute, a Midland chance was denied by Seb Harris, who outran his opponent to clear the danger. Through the final 20 minutes of play, Midland dominated possession. They had many chances in close but couldn’t find a connection against City’s defense and Pina.
Stephen Carroll and Edwardson each played a huge role forcing turnovers late. Goodman was also big in clearing many Midland threats. Despite Midland pressing hard, the half ended goalless, 0-0, forcing overtime.
Second half cards were yellows to Sinclair (64’) and Antone Jarvis (82’). Substitutes were Jeff Adkins in for Jordan Tyler (56’).
In overtime, City ramped up their play immensely and challenged Midland, winning fifty-fifty balls in the midfield. City had their best chance of the match off a corner in the 93rd minute. The first ball hit the post, then Saydee’s follow up shot was saved by a Midland defender.
Greg Janicki and Zach Schewee started overtime, coming in for Sinclair and Harris, and provided a much needed boost to City’s backline. Memo Diaz received a yellow card in the 94th minute, and the first half of overtime ended still scoreless.
The second period of overtime saw a couple quick attempts for Le Rouge, who, like Midland, just struggled to execute the final pass in close. Mauricio Castorino came in as a substitute in the period, replacing Goodman, and helped make a final push on offense.
Midland had a four on two in the 110th minute, but were denied what surely could have been the game-winner by Edwardson. In the 117th minute, Janicki headed another potential game-winner off the crossbar.
The match ended, 0-0, and was decided in penalty kicks with City on the losing end, 4-2. The loss ends Detroit’s most successful season playing in front of the largest crowd in club history.
Detroit Starting XI: 0 Fernando Pina (GK), 4 Seb Harris, 5 Stephen Carroll, 9 Shawn Lawson, 10 Cyrus Saydee, 11 Troy Watson, 13 Bakie Goodman, 18 Dave Edwardson (Captain), 19 Roddy Green, 45 Jordan Tyler, 96 Omar Sinclair
Midland-Odessa Starting XI: 1 Braulio Linares-Ortiz (GK), 2 Andrew Moulin, 3 Elliott Bentley, 7 Darius Strambler, 8 Isaac Sanchez, 9 Ricardo Palomino, 10 Alex VonHolle, 13 Andrew Mendoza, 14 Alvaro Rubio, 17 Memo Diaz, 19 Antone Jarvis