Duluth Fall Short In Eventful Final Away Day Against Division Champions

Minneapolis City SC vs. Duluth FC
Osseo High School | Osseo, MN
6.30.18 | Game #13

Current 2018 Records (W-L-D):
Duluth: 4-1-1; 3-1-3 at home/on the road
Minneapolis: 6-0-1; 3-0-3 at home/on the road

In their fourth ever meeting, Duluth fell 4-2 to Minneapolis City, a result which confirms City’s title run and leaves them division champions. The loss was Duluth’s first against Minneapolis, having drawn twice and one once, but proves to be the deciding result of the season for much of the table. Duluth can still clinch the second playoff spot by winning on Friday against Med City FC.

Despite a first half riddled with chances for both sides, Minneapolis’ proved more deadly as they found themselves up 2-0 at the half. Abdallah Bah opened the scoring 34th minutes in with a curling stunner into the top far corner, with Justin Oliver adding to the lead in the 42nd minute. Duluth were handed a chance to get back into the game right before the end of the half after Kyle Farrar was taken down in the box. The penalty which followed would be saved by keeper Matt Elder, denying Joe Watt his fourth goal of the season.

The second half would be a tense one, with Duluth almost making a comeback twice in the match, when Liam Moore made it 2-1 and Brooks Rice made it 3-2, but Minneapolis’ continued attacks would keep their lead safe. The final goal, scored by Will Kidd, would end a serious of close chances and tension as Duluth came close to finding their equalizers. The match, which could have awarded either side with the title, ended with Minneapolis City champions of the 2018 season with a six point lead and one game left to play.

Rice and Moore’s goals were the third for both of them this season, keeping them near the top in the race for lead goal scorer within the Duluth FC squad. Duluth’s man of the match, as nominated by Head Coach Person, was Brooks Rice. Rice scored the second BlueGreens goal and Person describes his recent performances as, “a spark for us off the bench the last several games”.

The loss, Duluth’s second of the season, means that the BlueGreens’ final match against Med City FC will decide if they make the NPSL playoffs. With both VSLT and Med City close behind on points, a win will be necessary for Duluth to secure a positive table result.

Lineups –
Duluth FC Starting XI: Gonnie Ben-Tal, Tom Corcoran, Kyle Farrar, Santiago Garcia Castro, Jan Hoffelner, Soham Kathuria, Julian Lucumi Villegas, Liam Moore, Sora Wakabayashi, Joe Watt, Ryan Tyrer
Subs: Brooks Rice for Tom Corcoran, Mally Lumsden for Kyle Farrar, Alex Peterson or Santiago Castro, Ivan Adika for Julian Villegas

Goals:
‘34 – Abdallah Bah (MPLS)
‘42 – Justin Oliver (MPLS)
‘48 – Liam Moore (DFC)
‘52 – Justin Oliver (MPLS)
’68 – Brooks Rice (DFC)
’86 – Will Kidd (MPLS)