By Med City FC
For the past two seasons, the weather has been anything but kind for Med City FC, and Sunday
afternoon’s contest against visiting Dakota Fusion FC was no different. It started out as a
beautiful Sunday afternoon, where fans enjoyed a pre-game tailgate party thrown by Rochester’s
Post-Bulletin newspaper and a guest appearance from “American Ninja Warrior” star Roo Yori.
However, the nice weather didn’t last long.
The game kicked off with Med City FC quickly in control in terms of possession and the
Mayhem created several early chances but misfired on their early attempts. Dakota Fusion FC,
who had made the six-hour trip from Fargo-Moorhead were weathering the Mayhem storm as an
impending thunderstorm crawled into the area. Then, in the 24 th minute a mistimed tackle by
Fusion forward Isaac Kehson drew a straight red card from the center referee and Dakota found
themselves down a man. Less than two minutes later the storm system that had been rolling in
filled the sky with lighting and the match was suspended for a weather delay.
It was nearly an hour and a half before the two teams retook the field. And while Med City FC
would continue to dictate play and create chances, Dakota Fusion held their nerve and the two
teams would end the first half at 0-0.
The Mayhem continued to control the game and pressure the Fusion defense and the pressure
finally paid off in the 52 nd minute as Fusion defender Justin Masudi was penalized for a hand ball
in the box. Med City FC’s leading scorer Francisco Neto stepped up to blast the spot kick past
Fusion keeper Lukas Billhardt to register his ninth conference goal in ten games.
Substitute Ayo Adebayo entered the match in the 59 th minute and added to the Mayhem lead just
six minutes later, deftly turning in a cross from defender Ignacio Milla to make the score 2-0.
Another Med City FC substitute Jordan Lennon would take even less time to make an impact,
coming on in the 68 th minute and adding a third goal just two minutes after entering courtesy of a
fine through-ball from Alan Schembri Wismayer.
Lennon and Man of the Match Adebayo would then combine for the fourth goal in the 82 nd
minute, as Lennon used his pace to drive up the right side of the field and slot a ball into the path
of Adebayo, who scored his second of the match at the second time of asking after Fusion
goalkeeper Billhardt stopped his initial effort.
Mayhem midfielder Jack Hilton-Jones was credited with a fifth goal in the 87 th minute, as his
close-range shot bounced around off a couple defenders and found the net. That wrapped up the
scoring as Med City FC claimed a 5-0 victory. It was a vital win for the Mayhem, who are in a
three-team race for the two playoff spots in the NPSL’s North Conference. It leaves them just
one point behind conference-leading Minneapolis City SC and one point ahead of defending
Midwest regional champions Duluth FC.
Med City FC has just two regular season conference games remaining. The team welcomes a
tough Minnesota TwinStars team to Rochester on Saturday, July 6th before finishing up on the
road in Minneapolis against Minneapolis City SC on Friday, July 12th. With Duluth FC and
Minneapolis City SC meeting in Duluth on July 6th, the races for the playoff spots and
conference title look almost sure to come down to the last weekend of play.
Photos Courtesy of Med City FC