Andrew Streitel, 7/8/18, KZFC PR Intern
Kalamazoo FC held off Detroit City FC last night in a 4-3 win at Mayors Riverfront Park in a crazy and exciting season finale for both teams.
It was a season finale for the ages when KZFC and DCFC meet last night. KZFC got the game rolling with a great start scoring in just the sixth minute of the game. Jeo Garcia chipped the ball over the Detroit defense and found Nick King who controlled the ball and slotted the ball into the net to take the early 1-0 lead.
DCFC responded well and started to control the game early on with a lot of possession of the ball but could not create any good scoring opportunities. KZFC played with a lot of energy on the defensive side of the ball which lead to many scoring chances that they converted on in the first half.
In the 24 minute Vini Schwindt was taken down in the penalty box and the ref awarded KZFC a penalty kick. King stepped up to take the pk and calmly curled the ball into the left corner to score his second goal of the night and put KZFC up 2-0 against DCFC.
Just one minute later KZFC improved their lead to three when they scored again to shock DCFC. Kyle Hernandez played a great through ball that found a streaking Dumi Manyange who then hammered his shot into the left corner. DCFC was stunned to be down 3-0 in the first 25 minutes of the game and things did not get any better for them as the first half moved along.
In the 30 minute DCFC Omar Sinclair was shown a straight red card for a vicious tackle and Detroit were down to 10 men with an hour of soccer left to be played. However, being down to 10 men seemed to help DCFC as they started to play a lot better and started to create chances on net. However, the game entered halftime with KZFC leading DCFC 3-0.
DCFC started the second half strong and outplayed KZFC for most of the second half as KZFC struggled to create offensive chances. However, after not having much of the ball KZFC scored its fourth goal of the match and toke a 4-0 lead over Detroit in the 54 minute. Janum Sailor beat his man down the right wing and crossed the ball into the box and found a wide open Manyange who buried the chance home to score his second goal of the night.
DCFC would go on the attack for the rest of the game and would find some success making the finish of the game one of the best of the season. DCFC was awarded a pk of their own in the 65 minute. Sebastian Harris toke the pk and powered the ball high into the right corner of the net to score the first goal for DCFC and cut the lead to just three.
That goal gave DCFC the spark they were looking for and KZFC were on its heels as Detroit continued to control the game and create chance after chance. In the 69 minute DCFC scored its second goal of the game when Roderic Green curled a shot into the net from outside the box. The score was now 4-2 with all of the momentum in the hands of Detroit. In the 73 minute DCFC had a free kick just outside the box and smacked the post and nearly cut the lead down to one.
DCFC would find their third goal of the game in the 76 minute when Green scored his second goal of the night. Green was played in behind the KZFC defense and cut the ball back to his right foot and curled his shot past Elijah Michaels. KZFC four goal lead was not cut down to just one with about 14 minutes left in the game.
DCFC continued to create great chances on net trying to find the game tying goal after playing with 10 men for more than half of the game. KZFC goalie Michaels made an incredible save in the 81 minute to keep KZFC in front by one. DCFC had another free kick just outside the box that was curling into the top right corner. However, Michaels got a hand onto the ball and deflection hit the post before it was controlled by Michaels.
KZFC played tireless defense throughout the last 10 minutes of the game before the ref ended the game. KZFC won the game with a scoreline of 4-3 and DCFC was sent home with a loss to end their season. KZFC finished their season strong winning their last three game of the year.
KZFC finished in fifth place in the Great Lakes Conference of the National Premier Soccer League and DCFC finished just three points ahead of them in fourth place. AFC Ann Arbor won the conference for the second year in a row and Grand Rapids FC will join them in the playoffs as they finished second in the conference.
It was another great year for KZFC as they started and finished the year on a high note and thank you for all of the fans who came out and supported the team throughout the season.