New signing Yazeed Matthews made his USL Championship debut tonight
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – For the first time in four games, Detroit City Football Club (10-9-5) collected three important points to move up the table in the Eastern Conference standings. With his first USL Championship League goal, defender Matt Lewis scored the game winner late, to take a 2-1 win over Birmingham Legion FC (13-5-7) at Protective Stadium on Wednesday night.
Out of the gate, City applied pressure on the Legion, looking for an early goal, even with team leaders forward Antoine Hoppenot and forward Pato Botello Faz watching from the sidelines.
Goalkeeper Nate Steinwascher was tested early at the 16-minute mark, making a diving save stopping forward Prosper Kasim, to keep the score at zero.
Detroit’s best chance of the first half was from a corner, when defender Matt Lewis connected with a header, missing the net just to the left at 38’.
The second half began with more even play, but early substitutions had Botello Faz and Hoppenot enter the match for Francis Atuahene and Yazeed Matthews who was making his debut in the USL Championship. Detroit City FC took the lead in the 66th minute, with Hoppenot making a perfect cross to a waiting forward Connor Rutz. Rutz finished with a highlight reel goal, burying the one-timer with a bicycle kick into the net past goalkeeper Matt Van Oekel. This was Rutz’s 3rd goal of the season and his second bicycle kick in the last year with his first coming against New Amsterdam FC, his previous Bicycle Kick goal won him #1 on SportsCenter Top-10.
The Legion answered back right away at 68’ with a great individual effort from Kasim. He was able to bend the ball from his left foot into the top left corner of City’s net, over the head of Steinwascher.
DCFC didn’t stop the pressure and it was a set play that earned the game winner at 82’. Hoppenot crossed the ball from a corner to the front of the net where Lewis was waiting once again and he was finally able to connect with a header, putting the ball in the back of Birmingham’s net.
DCFC was outshot 18 to 9, with only three shots on target to the Legion’s six shots.
Hoppenet with his two assists on the night, earned his 40th assist in all-time regular season USL Championship League play, this means Hoppenot stands alone in fifth place for all time USL Championship assists.
With goals tonight by Detroit, Birmingham’s clean sheet streak of three games has been broken.
Le Rouge will travel back home to Detroit to play this Saturday August 20th, taking on first place Louisville City FC at Keyworth Stadium at 7:30pm. Streaming will be available on ESPN+ and TV20.
For more information about Detroit City FC, visit detcityfc.com.com and follow @DetroitCityFC on Twitter and Facebook and @detroitcityfootballclub on Instagram.
DET – Connor Rutz (Antoine Hoppenot) – 66’
BHM – Prosper Kasim – 68’
DET – Matt Lewis (Antoine Hoppenot) – 82’