Duluth FC vs. Sioux Falls Thunder
Sioux Falls, SD
6.8.19 | Game 6
Current 2019 Records (W-L-T):
Duluth: 1-0-2; 3-0-0 at home/on the road
Sioux Falls: 1-4-0; 0-2-0 at home/on the road
Lineup: Liam Condone, Brooks Rice, Lucas Jacobs, James Westfield, Alberto Ciroi, Dodi Barberios, Jake Starling, Alberto Diaz, Ronaldo Fortune, Soham Kathuria, Damia Viader
Substitutes: Roberto Hernandez for Alberto Diaz, Nico Torres for Dodi Barberio, Julio Neto for Ronaldo Fortune, Aidan Hill for Soham Kathuria, Kowachek for Westfield, Lucas Mostajo for Liam Condone
’23 – Own Goal (DFC)
Duluth FC won its third road game of the season this weekend after making the long journey to Sioux Falls. The first half of the 7pm kick off featured a variety of chances for Duluth both in possession and on the counter, with the likes of Brooks Rice, James Westfield, and Lucas Jacobs endlessly challenging the opposition’s backline.
The deadlock, however, would be broken by an own goal in the 23rd minute. A corner kick from Rice would curl toward the far post of the Sioux Falls goal, forcing a defender to take action. His kick, however, would end up in the home side’s net. While Rice only has one goal this season so far, the informal assist was a strong reminder of how deadly he can be.
The Sioux Falls keeper would put in a good shift to ensure nothing else went in and the half would end in a 1-0 score line in Duluth’s favor.
Sioux Falls would find new energy in the attack in the second half, creating several deadly chances and hitting the cross bar with a deadly shot from just outside the 18.
Duluth would also attempt to find their second, both through starters and substitutes, and would bring on the likes of Julio Neto, Aidan Hill, and Dana Kowachek in hopes of finding the right solution. Despite tried and true substitutions, none would manage to solve the Sioux Falls puzzle and the match would end in a 1-0 victory for Duluth FC.
This was the second own goal in Duluth’s favor this season, the other coming in a 2-2 draw with the Maplebrook TwinStars, after spending the entirety of the 2018 season without receiving any. Duluth has now benefited from three own goals through their three NPSL regular seasons. Saturday’s result also leaves James Westfield as the season’s top goal scorer, with three goals to his name.
Alberto Ciroi, who started in goal after not playing against Minneapolis City the previous week, was awarded the Man of the Match award for a strong keeper performance that helped Duluth survive a bolstered Sioux Falls attack in the end of the first half and the second half. Ciroi also earned Duluth its third clean sheet of the season and fourth win of 2019.
Duluth remains undefeated after six matches and is now in second place, one point ahead of Minneapolis City, each with 6 games played, and three points behind Med City, who have played an additional seventh game. Duluth and Med City are now the only two undefeated clubs in the entire Midwest region of the NPSL, with every other club in the North, Great Lakes, and East conferences facing defeat this season.
Duluth’s next match will be at home to the Dakota Fusion, who Duluth beat on the road 3-0 earlier this season. It will be the last home game prior to a stretch of away matches, though the season will end with two home matches against Minneapolis City and La Crosse Aris. The Fusion match will be on Friday, June 14th, with kick off coming at 7pm.