The Hot Start for the Season was Halted by the Crows in a Close Rematch Between Rivals

Duluth FC vs. Minneapolis City SC

Blake Highschook | Minneapolis, MN

June 4th, 2022 | Game #5

Current 2021 Records (W-L-T):

Duluth:3-0-0; 1-1-0 at home/on the road

Minneapolis:  2-1-0; 0-2-1 at home/on the road

11’ – Assibey Rhule (MCSC)

49’ – Luca Contestabile (MCSC)

91’ – Peter Oyetunji

Starting XI: Wessels, Thornton, Perry, Gantley, Domaratskyy, Solares, Pike, Juarez, Starling Erazo, Dally.

It had been 17 days since the Bluegreens were last competing on a field together and today it showed as little miscommunications throughout the game led them to fall tonight against Minneapolis City SC with a score of 2-1. A well-established club, which had currently fallen short in the last couple of games, decided to take it to us from the very begging and they would not back down as they have in the past as well. Duluth held their own and even had control of the ball more often, but missed out on the vast majority of their opportunities tonight. 

The match began with tons of energy out of the gate from both clubs. The refs were kept busy on account of lots of grabbing and little hip checks that started early and went on throughout the entirety of the match. Minneapolis’s defense was alot more assertive this time around as they forced some ill-advised passes and never let a player on Duluth control the ball for too long. One of these passes was taken by a crow, Eli Goldman, who then turned right a round for a sharp pass through three of our defenders right into the stride of Assibey Rhule. The Minneapolis midfielder made a move on Dally and chipped the ball right past for the first score of the game at the 11th-minute mark. 

The BlueGreens were actually playing pretty well considering their lapse in gameplay. Solares was attacking constantly and facilitating the ball nicely to the others. Perry was making some incredible passes that just turned up short on the finishers’ side. Also, defenders like Erazo and Gantley were putting the pedal to the metal and rarely let crows control the ball in our zone. However early on and even late in the game many of our passes were way too late getting to the player or way too long on a clearing kick. 

Tempers started to really flare in the game after a clearing kick by the crows that was about to land right in Dally’s lap was interrupted by Eli Goldman who recklessly piledrives Dally to the ground. This would prompt one of 6 yellow cards that were given out through tonight’s match. The play would only get more aggressive and the chants and rants by the crowd kept getting louder, a true sign of a fantastic rivalry game. 

Minneapolis would also be the benefactor of another close call on Cian Gantley, which resulted in a free-kick that was taken by Luca Contestabile. In which he was able to chip it over the wall and surprisingly just out of the reach of Dally, and in for their second score of the match at the 52-minute mark. Dally previously hadn’t let in a goal all season, some of that can be attributed to the BlueGreen stellar defense, but he definitely was a little frustrated with himself tonight. 

For the rest of the second half, Duluth really amped up their intensity on offense with many scoring chances that were mostly created by corner kicks and other crossing passes. Only one of those chances ended up meaning anything as in extra time Rory Carlson was able to cross the ball over three defenders including the goalie. The ball then bounced off an unsuspecting crow and Peter Oyentunji was there to capitalize and prevent them from also recording their first scoreless match. 

The boys will not get much of a break this time around and are back at the Public Schools stadium this Wednesday, June 8th, for another rematch against Joy FC at 7 p.m.

By: Ryan Tigner