By Andrew Streitel/Kalamazoo FC
Kalamazoo FC earned its first win of the early season with a dominant performance against FC Indiana on Friday. KZFC also earned its first shutout of the season with the 3-0 victory.
The game was very physical from the start and FC Indiana looked to be playing defensively as KZFC was able to control the ball early in the first half. Back-to-back chances from the Michael brothers in the first five minutes just missed the target. FC Indiana was given a great opportunity in the 15 minute when a turnover led to a wide-open shot that went just wide. Things would then settle down as KZFC would start to control the possession of the ball.
KZFC would start the goal scoring in the 33rd minute when Dalton Michael would finish his second goal of the season. After a scramble in the box, the ball would drop to Michael’s foot and he would slot it into the right corner. FC Indiana reacted well after the goal with some great chances of their own. However, Isaac Walker would make some incredible saves throughout the entire game to earn his first shutout of the season.
“Walker was excellent tonight, he gets better and better each game,” said KZFC head coach Brian Clements. “He’s starting to find his voice and command his defensive line.”
FC Indiana would start the second half very strong with back-to-back chances just two minutes into the half. The physicality of the game would continue with both teams going at each other trying to secure their first win of the season.
“The physicality of the game helped us keep engaged in the second half. We were pretty flat in the first half and I didn’t think we played very well,” said Clements. “We dialed in more once the game got more physical in the second half.”
Giuseppe Vitale would find the back of the net in the 55th minute when he headed in a corner kick. It was his first goal of the season and would give KZFC a 2-0 lead. Teams would exchange blows for the rest of the second half.
Not to be outdone by his twin brother, Donovan Michael would put the icing on the cake with a goal of his own in the 84th minute to give KZFC a 3-0 lead. Michael was able to speed past the defense on a breakaway and calmly place the ball in the right corner to secure the KZFC victory.
“The Michael brothers have a great work ethic and a desire to get better, when you have the pace like they do it is a great combination and hard for opposing defenders,” said Clements.
KZFC would win the match and gain a much-needed three points heading into their match against Detroit City FC on Sunday.
The match against Detroit City FC is set for a 5:30 pm kickoff with a lot on the line for both teams.
Photo Credit: Gary Maystead