The ball hit the back of the net for the hosts, FC Motown, just seven minutes into the match, but it was ruled offside. Midfielder Bryan Machado dribbled his way past three Monmouth defenders and into the box before squaring a pass back across the area to his left, hitting forward Max Garcia.
Garcia received the pass and rolled the ball into the back of the open net at the 7:06 minute mark, but it was denied by an offside call.
Over the next 10 minutes, it was an evenly contested match as both teams had shots on goal and were feeling out the other team and the game until 17:18 when Bryan Machado slipped past the defender on a through ball from Matt Jeffrey and was tackled hard from behind inside the box. Again the home team was denied a scoring opportunity by another offsides call.
However, the hosts found the breakthrough in the 27:22 minute. Defender Hani Nasr out-jumped his marker and headed home a corner kick from point-blank range from Emerson Lawrence for the 1-0 lead.
Moments later, Motown doubled their advantage. Midfielder Matt Nigro received a ground pass in the box from Walter Calderon, rounded the goalkeeper, and tapped the ball into the open net to make it 2-0 at the 32:10 mark. The hosts notched two more shots on target before the halftime whistle blew, with one of them hitting the post and Motown up 2-0 at the half.
FC Motown came out of the locker room strong dominating possession in the beginning of the second half and in the 65th minute, an acrobatic double save from Monmouth goalkeeper Kevin Silva kept the visitors in the game. After diving in the air to his left to save the initial close-range attempt from Motown forward substitution Kene Eze, Silva got down on the ground to save the rebound at his near post to deny Motown of their 3rd goal.
However, the home team finally broke through as at the 70:09 mark FC Monmouth defender Jerome Bland committed a foul inside of the box on Motown’s David Nigro awarding Motown with a penalty kick and a chance to seal the victory. Midfielder Nelson Becerra converted from the spot at 71:24, extending Motown’s lead to three goals.
Monmouth looked to salvage something from the game with one minute to go, as shots from midfielder John Antunes, forward Daniel Vicente, and Bland attempted to find the back of the net. It was not enough as they were denied by Motown keeper Abdoukarim “Kabu” Danso though as the final whistle blew, crowning FC Motown as 3-0 victors and preserving the clean sheet.
Nigro said that Motown is still getting used to playing with each other as they challenge for a Keystone Conference championship and league crown.
“We have a lot of new faces this season and are still getting familiar to playing with each other and each others tendencies. Even tonight we were playing without some key pieces. You could see glimpses that there’s moments where everything’s clicking and then you can see the moments where communication is lacking because of familiarity. No doubt it will come and is just a matter of time.”
Motown now has a week to prepare for their next match, which will be on the road against undefeated Junior Lone Star FC (2-0) who had a big win on the road against Atlantic City FC.
“It will be a very tough and physical game against a very experienced team,” FC Motown head coach Sacir Hot said. “Should be a good one to entertain the fans on the holiday weekend.”
The game will take place at 6:00 pm on Saturday, May 26th, at the South Philly Supersite in Philadelphia, PA.
Contributor: FC Motown
Photo Credit: Marcelle Karosen