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DCFC crowned 2017 Midwest Region Champion

07/29/2017, 10:30pm EDT
By Kevin Biglin, DCFC Staff Writer

Detroit City FC defeated AFC Ann Arbor, 3-2, in an instant classic to become 2017 National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) Midwest Region Champions for the first time in club history Saturday night in front of 6,409 supporters at Keyworth Stadium.

Le Rouge will now advance to the NPSL National Semifinals on August 5, but its opponent and venue is still to be determined. 

Despite being up two goals at the half thanks to Jordan Tyler (35’) and Omar Sinclair (45’), City allowed two Ann Arbor goals in the second half, with the game tied heading into stoppage time.

Four minutes into stoppage time, Tyrone Mondi miraculously buried the game-winning goal after being set up by Man of the Match Bakie Goodman to seal the championship for Le Rouge.

Goodman’s efforts in the midfield all game were critical in stopping Ann Arbor chances and creating forward progress for City.

City previously defeated two Midwest North Division opponents, Dakota Fusion last Saturday, and Duluth FC last night, in the first two rounds of the playoffs to help get them to the championship.

The first half was competitive with split possession through the first 30 minutes. City’s first opportunity came on a free kick to the left of the box in 7th minute. Mondi took the attempt and found Zach Bock, but his header went over the net.

Mondi was taken down several times in the half, earning plenty of free kicks for City. He, Goodman and Saydee played each helped create many DCFC chances in the half.

Ann Arbor’s most dangerous chance of the half occurred in the 16th minute. They charged into the box and had two prime shots on goal, but Pina came up huge to keep things level.

City retaliated with an equally opportune free kick from the top of the box in the 24th minute. Sinclair stepped up for the attempt, but was unable to come through on his first free kick of the match and missed wide.

In the 35th minute, Le Rouge intensified their pace. Tyler stole the ball from an Ann Arbor defender and showcased his speed as he fired a shot on Tomasso, who had to make a diving stop.

Tyler’s efforts didn’t go ignored. On the subsequent corner, Bock settled the ball and found Tyler inside to easily bury the ball, putting City on top, 1-0.

Detroit added a second goal in the 44th minute after a Jake Rufe handball in top of the circle. This time, Sinclair sent in a no-doubter on the free kick to give City a two goal edge right before halftime.

First half yellows went to Matthieu Braem (30’) and Troy Watson (43’).

The second half opened with a newfound urgency for Ann Arbor as they controlled possession better than City most of the final 45. Ann Arbor were upping their press and getting in for more chances.

Troy Watson, Stephen Carroll, Bock and Sinclair each held down the backline, thwarting several Ann Arbor chances through the 70th minute.

Man of the Match Goodman was huge for City all game in the middle. Goodman, however, was the target of an obscene challenge from Kwessi Allen in the 66th minute, resulting in a straight red card forcing Ann Arbor to ten men.

Despite the setback, it was Ann Arbor who scored the game’s next two goals, tying it at two. First, in the 75th minute, Tendai Jirira sent one past Pina from the right. Then, in the 81st minute, a well-placed long ball allowed Alec Lasinski to fire one in.

Le Rouge responded well after Ann Arbor’s second goal, nearly scoring in the 84th minute on yet another free kick. But it wasn’t until stoppage time when the game was won.

After being thwarted a couple of times in extra time, Lawson and Goodman helped create a great ball for Mondi to bury to the right of Ann Arbor goalie TJ Tomasso in the box to give City a 3-2 edge.

Ann Arbor dropped down to nine men in stoppage time when Rufe was sent off for a second yellow card. Despite a few desperate, final-second chances, from Ann Arbor, Le Rouge were able to hang on for the trophy.

Second half substitutes were Lawson in for Green (54’), Tyler Moorman in for Tyler (58’), Zach Schewee in for Mondi (90’), Seb Harris in for Saydee (90’) and George Chomakov in for Goodman (90’).

There were two yellow cards issued to Rufe (55’ and 90’) in the second half, a straight red card to Allen (66’) and a yellow card to James Vaughan (83’).

City will look to keep adding to its milestones as Le Rouge now advance to the National Semifinals. But for now, we celebrate. 

Le Rouge Starting XI: 0 Fernando Pina, 5 Stephen Carroll, 10 Cyrus Saydee, 11 Troy Watson, 13 Bakie Goodman, 14 Zach Bock, 18 Dave Edwardson (Captain), 19 Roddy Green, 45 Jordan Tyler, 96 Omar Sinclair, 97 Tyrone Mondi

Ann Arbor Starting XI: 6 Sam Zisette, 7 Yuri Farkas, 9 Kyle Breitmeyer, 10 Hector Morales, 13 Tendai Jirira, 14 Matthieu Braem, 16 James Vaughan, 17 Kaleb Jackson, 19 Jake Rufe, 20 Ben Thornton, 34 TJ Tomasso (GK)

Tag(s): News