Red Cards, Penalties, and the Hard Way to Cup Glory


Duluth FC wins 3-0 in a shootout


Duluth FC vs. Dakota Fusion
James S. Malosky Stadium | Duluth, MN
5.9.18 | USOC Round #1

Current 2018 League Records (W-L-T):
Duluth: 0-0-0; 0-0-0 at home/on the road
Dakota: 0-0-0; 0-0-0 at home/on the road

In what will go down as one of the most back-and-forth, stressful, and amazing nights in Duluth FC history, Duluth FC beat Dakota Fusion to advance to the next round of the U.S. Open Cup. In the course of the 120 minutes played, Duluth would go down 0-1, go up 3-1, tie up at 3-3, and then again at 4-4. Needless to say many goals were scored. After a slow start that led to a goal for Dakota in the first 15 seconds, Duluth packed on three goals, one from Ramos, one from Watt, and one an own goal created brilliantly by Sean Morgan’s corner. The successes of the first half, born from a mixture of long balls and build up play, would prove necessary as the Dakota grabbed two quick goals at the beginning of the second half.

More drama would follow as Ricardo Ramos built on his fantastic debut and put us up 4-3, only for Jacob Weiler to equalize at the 63rd minute. The 93rd minute would bring the boiling point of the match as Ivan Adika was shown a red for his attempt at a 50/50 ball dropping from the air. Despite protests from fans and players alike, the BlueGreens would play the rest of the match a man down, fighting their way to a penalty shoot out. Deadly penalties from Santiago, Joe Watt, and Vladik would counter a save by Ciroi and two misses by Dakota players, giving Duluth FC the win.

In regards to the historic match, Head Coach Joel Person had this to say, “It was a very exciting and hard fought game from both teams and we definitely gave the fans a great opening game of the season to watch! We have a lot to improve upon but that is somewhat normal as we have not been training together as a team for very long. Having said that, I was proud of how our guys kept pushing and working even when things weren’t going our way. We showed a lot of resiliency as a team which will be crucial as we go throughout this season. We are excited to have qualified for the professional rounds of the US Open Cup and can’t wait for our next game on May 16th!”

Duluth FC is beyond excited to move on and play Saint Louis FC in the second round of the U.S. Open Cup and we are very proud of our players for showing fighting spirit despite the many obstacles during this match. Most of all we want to thank everyone that came to watch this historic match, despite the weather, and showing the nation what Duluth has to offer. We are eternally grateful for your support.

Duluth FC Starting XI: Kyle Farrar (C), Alberto Ciroi, Ivan Adika, Julian Villegas, Tom Corcoran, Ryan Tyrer, Ricardo Ramos, Dana Kowachek, Cori Hill, Joe Watt, Sean Morgan
Subs: Tom Corcoran – Vladik Margolin, Santiago Castro – Ricardo Ramos, Garga Nyuah – Sean Morgan

Dakota Starting XI: Adrian Baclawski, Mohammed Bangura, Sunaj Beljulji, Benjamin Eastwell, George Gauld, Stephen Harris, Jade Johnson, Osman Mberwa, Alexander Joel McIlroy, Jacob Weiler, Jeremiah Wills
Subs: Mohammed Bangura – Faiz Musa, Osman Mberwa – Akeem Prince Smith, Unknown – Matheiu Peyreblanque

‘1 – Wills (Dakota)
‘31 – Watt (Duluth)
’32 – Ramos (Duluth)
‘35 – Morgan (Duluth)
‘47 – Johnson (Dakota)
‘48 – Johnson (Dakota)
‘49 – Ramos (Duluth)
‘63 – Weiler (Dakota)

1-0 – Santiago Castro
2-0 – Joe Watt
3-0 – Vladik Margolin

‘45+1 – Yellow for Ivan Adika
‘73 – Yellow for Kyle Farrar
‘90+3 – Red for Ivan Adika

Match Replay