By Andrew Streitel/Kalamazoo FC
An early penalty kick for Grand Rapids FC gave them the edge they needed as Kalamazoo FC
would fall 1-0 on the road. With both teams fighting for a playoff spot, the game featured high
intensity with good play from both clubs.
The game did not start well for KZFC as the referee would call a penalty kick in favor of GRFC
in the third minute of the match. Isaac Walker guessed the right way but Sammy Biek would
smash a ball into the right corner giving GRFC an early 1-0 lead.
“It is always tough when a decision in the first couple minutes goes against you and you give up
a PK that is questionable,” said KZFC head coach Brian Clements. “We never really bounced
back after giving up the early goal.”
Grand Rapids FC would sit back for the remainder of the first half, absorbing anything that
KZFC threw their way KZFC saw the better of the possession in the first half but could not test
the goalkeeper as they struggled to get shots on net. The game would go into halftime with
GRFC holding the one-goal advantage.
“Grand Rapids were able to sit deeper and we couldn’t figure out a way to get through them,”
said Clements. “We only made one big mistake in the beginning and if its 0-0 maybe it’s a
The KZFC offense struggled throughout the match as they could not find a way to get a
meaningful goal scoring chance. Both teams were very aggressive in the second half with lots of
yellow cards issued to both clubs. The first 20 minutes of the second half was fairly back and
forth with no clear chances for either club.
As the half moved on GRFC would gain more control of the match and looked comfortable with
the 1-0 lead. KZFC would push men forward late in the game looking for the equalizer.
However, the tying goal never came and KZFC would suffer their second loss of the season in a
“It was a frustrating loss as we did not do enough to earn a win,” said Clements. “We struggled
to keep the ball at certain points and collectively our attack was frustrating.”
The loss would end a three-game winning streak for KZFC and also end their five-game shutout
streak. With only four games left on the schedule, KZFC’s chance of making the playoffs is slim
as they will need help from other clubs.
Kalamazoo FC will be home this Sunday when they face the Michigan Stars FC in the second
match between the two clubs. The game is set to kickoff at 5:30 pm. at Mayors Riverfront Park.
Photo Credit: Jay Pike