By Erie Commodores FC
After a loss in the first game of the Commodores regular season, the team came out strong against rivals FC Buffalo in what has become known as the Erie County Derby. The Commodores started with two corners from Andy Latorre in the first five minutes of the match. With a few close calls, they unfortunately couldn’t put any of the shots in the back of the net.
For most of the half, Erie kept the ball on Buffalo’s side but not without a fight put up from the home team. As the half came to an end, Buffalo gained control of the ball, keeping the Commodores on their feet. A pass from Cian Lynch gave Latorre another chance to score for the Commodores but the shot was saved by FC Buffalo goalkeeper Will Banahene. In the 34th minute, it was FC Buffalo’s turn. The team made their way up the field and nearly had a goal to lead them in the game, but it was deflected off the post. Erie gave Buffalo a free kick in the 40th minute where the ball went just shy of the right side of the net.
Three minutes of stoppage time was tacked onto the first half of the match with both teams fighting for the ball to go into halftime leading in the derby. Neither team was able to see the back of the net though, even with a 47th minute corner kick from Buffalo. The half ended scoreless for both teams.
The second half started with both teams keeping the ball near the center of the field. Buffalo brought the ball to the net where it slipped just out of Max Rocco’s grip, but the Commodores recovered the ball, kicking it back down the field. Shortly after in the 48th minute, a corner kick came from Buffalo, but it was unable to reach the net. FC Buffalo was handed a yellow card in the 49th. The Commodores’ Adam O’Sullivan took the free kick where it was called offside once it got to the Buffalo side of the field.
Erie’s Austin Solomon was handed a yellow card in the 50th of the game, and after keeping the ball on Erie’s side, Buffalo was able to score in the 54th minute, leading 1-0 over the Commodores. Another one almost made it in at the 57th minute but was swiftly knocked away by Rocco. Buffalo was given another chance in the 63rd minute and they took it, taking a 2-0 lead over the Commodores.
A header collision took both teams down from 11 men to 10 for a few short minutes. A foul from Buffalo’s Josh Tufino near the edge of the box gave Erie their chance to score. Ashley Phillips took the penalty kick and gave the Commodores a goal to keep the spirit alive. It was a 2-1 lead for FC Buffalo.
A corner kick from Buffalo made its way in front of the net but was kicked away by Solomon down the field. Having decent control of the ball throughout the half, FC Buffalo took another shot and found the back of the net in the 81st minute, bringing them to a two-goal lead over Erie. Buffalo was then able to sneak two more goals into Erie’s net, bringing the final score to 5-1.
A slow start this early in the season definitely doesn’t mean the end as Erie still has time to turn the season around and are hopeful with their next two matches. On Sunday, June 6th the team plays at home against the Rochester Lancers and on Friday, June 11th, the team will head to Ohio to face Cleveland SC.
Photo Credit: Ben Tsujimoto/Buffalo News Soccer