It was a beautiful night for soccer in Rochester, Minnesota, on Wednesday night, and nearly 360 diehard soccer fans turned out to the Rochester Regional Stadium to watch home side Med City FC take on LC Aris FC, of La Crosse, Wisconsin. And the home fans weren’t disappointed, as the Mayhem used a strong second half to dismiss Aris 5-1.
In a slow-paced first half, Med City FC controlled possession and dominated play, but couldn’t get a breakthrough, as several shots went high and wide of the net, with two shots cannoning off the crossbar. The Mayhem was also called offside on several close calls during the first half. Finally, the breakthrough came just minutes before halftime, as defender Nicholas Itopoulos (Durban, South Africa) powered in a header from a delightfully delivered cross from Francisco Neto (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). That would be all the offense Med City could muster in the first half, and they headed to the locker room with a 1-0 halftime lead.
Whatever the Mayhem coaches said at halftime worked wonders, as the team came out in the second half with more resolve to play quicker and move the ball more. And the change in focus paid almost instant dividends, as striker Claudio Repetto (Genova, Italy) scored the first of his two goals on the night in the 54th minute. Neto added Med City’s third in the 64th minute, and when Gracious Kasheke (Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada) was felled in the box in the 88th minute, midfielder Niklas Roessler (Stuttgart, Germany) stepped up to dispatch the penalty for a 4-0 lead. Repetto completed the Med City scoring, adding his second goal of the game in the 90th minute.
LC Aris FC would get a very late consolation goal, as Med City was called for a foul in the box and Aris forward Max Kundert stepped up and calmly slotted past Mayhem keeper Nate Levy (Byron, Minnesota) deep in second half injury time to ruin Med City’s shutout. In the end, Med City FC ran out 5-1 winners. Overall, the Mayhem outshot Aris 29 to 2 and had 57% of the possession for the match.
Med City FC’s next match is a challenging away fixture against VSLT FC in St. Paul, Minnesota on Saturday, May 19, while LC Aris FC will welcome the defending NPSL North Conference champions, Duluth FC, to La Crosse for a match that same evening.
Contributor: Med City FC
Photo Credit: Ryan Kotajarvi/Med City FC