Andrew Streitel, 7/1/18, KZFC PR Intern
Kalamazoo FC squeaked out a 1-0 victory over Livonia City FC in a friendly game at Mackenzie Field at Kalamazoo College.
After winning 5-1 on the road at FC Indiana on Friday, KZFC pulled up a lot of reserves for the game on Saturday against Michigan Premier Soccer League side LCFC. Five reserves started for KZFC and four more filled out the bench in the friendly match. KZFC scored in the final minute of stoppage time to secure the 1-0 win.
The first half was all KZFC as they controlled the flow of the game and kept most of the possession. Ryan Melgar opened up the chances in the third minute when he got in behind the LCFC defense and chipped the goalie. However, the ball took a bounce before the goal and just went over the cross bar.
Melgar continued to play well creating chances for KZFC and putting a lot of pressure on the LCFC defense. KZFC went on to control the first half but failed to score the opening goal and the game went into halftime tied at 0-0. LCFC struggled in the first half to gain momentum and possess the ball. KZFC out shot LCFC by six in the first half.
LCFC looked like a new team in the second half as they had a hot start creating many chances in the second half. LCFC raddled the post in the 51 minute after a shot was taken from the top of the box. It was a bad start to the half for KZFC as LCFC controlled the game for most of the second half.
KZFC goalie Jared Hazen came up big for the team in the second half making some great saves. In the 53 minute, Hazen made a great one on one kick save then saved another shot in the 61 minute that was going to find the back of the net. KZFC struggled to create chances in the second half and playing in back to back days looked to take a tole on the team.
Colin Howard came on in the 71 minute and just a couple minutes later made a impact on the game. Howard headed the ball off a corner kick that was going in the back of the net until a LCFC defender cleared it off the goal line. With the score still tied at 0-0 both teams started to push men forward in the last 10 minutes of the game.
After a back and forth last 10 minutes of the game KZFC finally found the game winner with just a minute left to play. Lucas Malaguez crossed a ball into the box that found Lawan Abary around the penalty kick mark. Abary controlled the ball and ripped a shot into the back of the net to give KZFC a 1-0 lead.
The referee would then blow his whistle to end the game just moments after the game winning goal for KZFC. KZFC finished with 13 shots, five saves, and five corner kicks. LCFC had eight shots, six saves, and three corner kicks. Goalie Jared Hazen was named the man of the match for his incredible saves throughout the second half as he earned his first clean sheet of the season.
KZFC will play one final game of the season this upcoming Saturday against Detroit City FC. The game will be played at Mayors Riverfront Park with a 7 p.m. kickoff.