Andrew Streitel, 6/27/18, KZFC PR Intern
Kalamazoo FC suffer another tough loss in the semi-final match in the Michigan Milk Cup against AFC Ann Arbor. AFC Ann Arbor scored in the last couple minutes of the game to win 1-0 and move on to the final to face Lansing United.
KZFC has been haunted by the tough and unlucky losses this season and Tuesdays semi-final match was no different. The team played well enough to win the game but could not finish the countless number of chances on net.
KZFC started the game well pressuring the AFCAA defense and set the tone early that they are here to win and move on to the finals. Janum Sailor and Dumi Manyange were connecting well early on in the first half and looked very dangerous when the two were on the same page.
AFCAA began to gain control of the first half around the 20 minute when they started to keep possession of the ball. AFCAA kept most of the possession of the ball for the rest of the half but could not create a solid chance on net and test KZFC goalie, Elijah Michaels.
Halftime came with the game tied at 0-0 with neither team getting the best of the other. AFCAA certainly had more of the possession however, did not create good chances on net. KZFC had the better scoring opportunities in the first half but could not score the first goal of the game. KZFC played strong in the first and last 10 minutes of the first half.
KZFC continued to create chance after chance in the second half none better than a penalty kick that was awarded in the 68 minute. Sailor, once again, got in behind the defense but was taken down from behind in the box. The referee awarded the penalty kick and Jordan Veillette stepped up to take the kick. After a stutter step run up he took the shot towards the bottom right corner but the AFCAA goalie came up big with a great save.
KZFC did not get discouraged after the penalty kick miss. They continued to create chances on net as Donovan Michael prove to bring a spark off the bench. Michael beat his man on the left side countless times but could not finish on net. Michael would miss a chance on net in the 76 minute and Sailor would miss another great chance in the 78 minute off a pass from Michael.
AFCAA would not go away easily as they started to push men forward in the last 10 minutes of the game with the score tied at zeros. One of their beat chances of the night came in the 83 minute when a AFCAA forward made a move past Michaels and took a shot on an open net. However, KZFC defender came diving in the clear the ball of the goal line and out for a corner kick.
AFCAA created better chances in the last 10 minutes and finally found the only goal of the game in stoppage time in the second half. With just minutes left in the game Brandon Katona got behind the KZFC defense and tried to slot the ball in. However, the pass was blocked but went back to Katona’s feet and he ripped a shot past Michaels for the game winning goal.
It was another tough loss for KZFC as they played better than AFCAA but could not finish off their chances on net. It was a good morale victory if you believe in that but will defiantly be a hard one to swallow for the team. Michael was awarded the man of the match for his play coming off the bench. He gave KZFC an offensive threat on the ball and created many goal scoring opportunities.
KZFC will have two games this weekend on Friday and Saturday. On Friday KZFC will travel to FC Indiana when they will play in their second to last NPSL game of the season. KZFC beat FC Indiana 5-0 very early in the season. FC Indiana is yet to win a game this year and have a negative 46 goal differential. The game will be played at Legacy Sports Club with a 7 p.m. kickoff.
KZFC will be back home on Saturday for a friendly against Livonia City FC. Livonia City FC plays in the Michigan Premier Soccer League which is below the NPSL. KZFC played Force FC who play in the same league earlier in the season. It will be a great match for KZFC as they take a break from NPSL action. The game will be played at MacKenzie Field at Kalamazoo College. The game is set for a 6:30 p.m. kickoff we hope to see you their.