Duluth Fall Short in Home Loss to Conferences Champions City

Duluth FC vs. Minneapolis City
Duluth, MN
7.7.19 | Game 11

Current 2019 Records (W-L-T):
Duluth: 2-1-2; 5-1-0 at home/on the road
City: 4-1-0; 5-0-1 at home/on the road

Lineup: Gonnie Ben-Tal, George Proctor, James Westfield, Jake Starling, Alberto Ciroi, Carlyle Junior, Alberto Diaz, Lucas Jacobs, Damia Viader, Ronaldo Fortune, Dodi Barberio
Substitutes: Brooks Rice for Carlyle Junior, Julio Neto for Jake Starling, Ian McIntosh for Ronaldo Fortune, Soham Kathuria for James Westfield, Aidan Hill for George Proctor, Liam Condone for Alberto Diaz

’15 – Nick Hutton (MPLS)
’65 – Justin Oliver (MPLS)
’69 – Lucas Jacobs (DFC)
’75 – Own Goal (MPLS)
’76 – Justin Oliver (MPLS)
’82 – Aidan Hill (DFC)

Duluth hosted Minneapolis City this Sunday in a match many felt was set to crown either the conference champions. It would prove to be Minneapolis City, who managed a resounding victory over the BlueGreens in the second to last week of the conference to become champions for the second season in a row.

The first was an affair of chances for both sides, though open play gave little result to either side in the attacking third. City did manage to go up 1-0 after keeper Alberto Ciroi made contact with an attacking City player in the box. The PK was converted by Nick Hutton and City up 1-0 for the remainder of the first 45.

Duluth managed several chances in the first half through the work of James Westfield, Lucas Jacobs, Ronaldo Fortune, and Carlyle Junior, but the City defense did enough to keep their net empty.

The second half kicked off with both sides looking to score. City would prove to be that side when Justin Oliver found the back of the net with a curling right footed strike in the 65th minute. Duluth would respond four minutes later when Lucas Jacobs struck a thunderous ball into the back of the City net. With the score at 2-1, both sides knew there was plenty of game left.

Despite an improved momentum to the game for Duluth, a strike from Will Kidd would combine with miscommunication amongst the Duluth defense to hand City another goal in the 75th minute. Only minutes later, Oliver would again find the back of the net to make it 4-1.

Aidan Hill would smash in a cross from Damia Viader in the 82nd minute to get Duluth back to a two-goal deficit. The goal would give Duluth some momentum to work with but would not be enough to comeback. Minneapolis City would win the game 4-2, awarding them their second NPSL North title in a row.

Duluth will now look toward their home game against La Crosse Aris on Friday as a second chance to reach the playoffs awaits. Minneapolis City will play second place Med City in their last game of the season. If Minneapolis draw or win that game, Duluth will move on to the playoffs if they beat Aris by any number of goals.

While Sunday’s loss is indeed a tough moment for the club, Duluth will look forward to putting all their work on the pitch in the final game of the season with hopes of moving on to the playoffs, where they won the Midwest Regional title last season.

If Duluth does reach the playoffs via the second-place spot, they will play a game either at Duluth or at the other club’s home. The winner will then go to the semi-finals (and potentially finals) which are all held in series of days at a host location which has yet to be chosen. Last year it was Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Duluth’s match against La Crosse will be on Friday and kick off at 7 pm. We hope to see all our fantastic fans there once again.