Dayton Dynamo FC hosted FC Buffalo at Roger Glass Stadium on Sunday afternoon in a game that would help shape the East Conference playoff picture. Both teams battled back from deficits, but neither could make a lead stick. The match ended in a 3-3 draw following a second half that featured five goals, double saves, and multiple yellow cards.
If FC Buffalo was fatigued by travel and a congested schedule, it did not show in the early going. The visitors started on the front foot and got onto the scoreboard in the second minute of the match. Austin Stout lined up a shot from the right side of the box, and fired toward goal. Dayton goalkeeper Ryan Hulings made the save, but Buffalo FC forward Julien Dragomir buried the rebound.
Dayton pushed to find an equalizer and it finally came in the 57th minute. Dynamo FC midfielder Tate Robertson served a corner kick into the box, where veteran defender Kebe waited to head the ball into the net.
Dynamo took the lead following another corner kick in the 65th minute. The initial service was turned away, but midfielder Brad Schluter pounced on a deflected ball and scored with a nifty half-volley.
Dayton had completely seized all the momentum and had a few opportunities to add to its lead. Missed opportunities led to regret as FC Buffalo stole the momentum back in the 69th minute. Forward Akean Shackelford, a second half substitute, was able to settle the ball 15 yards in front of the Dynamo goal. A clinical finish got the visitors back to level.
The excitement continued late into the match. Dynamo forward Matt Kinkopf carried the ball into the Buffalo box and delivered a beautiful reverse pass to an oncoming Robertson, who found himself in space directly in front of goal, and his shot soared beyond the outstretched arms of reeling Buffalo goalkeeper Jeremy Figler.
FC Buffalo, though, would not be satisfied to leave Dayton without a point. Speedy forward Isaiah Barrett got to the endline and battled with a Dynamo defender for the ball. Hulings came off his line to pick up a loose ball, but Barrett was able to slip it to Shackelford in front of the net. Shackelford tapped in the equalizer in the 89th minute.
The draw moves Dayton to the top of the conference standings for the time being, but the playoff race will be hotly contested down the stretch. The Rochester Lancers and Erie Commodores are nipping at the Dynamo’s heels, and both teams have games in hand. Dayton only has two games left in the regular season, on the road at Fort Pitt next Saturday and the home finale against Erie on Friday, July 7th.