By Miami Dutch Lions FC
Miami Dutch Lions FC found their feet in the NPSL Sunshine Conference with a 4-1 victory over Central Florida Panthers SC. The 7:00 pm kickoff was delayed 2 1/2 hours due to lightning, but the game was still able to be played. The Lions came out strong and struck first in the first minute of the game by an early cross from Max Busch on the right. He curled the ball across the face of the goal and was scored by midfielder Angelo Leendertse. Central Florida fought back and earned a penalty kick in the ninth minute when their forward was taken down on the edge of the box, but the referee decided it was inside the box. They scored to bring the game to 1-1.
The Lions got a huge opportunity in the 22nd minute with Thijs Middeldorp finding himself wide open in front of goal but his shot went just over the crossbar. A minute later the Lions had another big chance, when after another good cross from Preston Manthey to the second post Busch shot the ball over the crossbar from close range. The Lions kept pushing and were close to the second goal when Manthey was open on the right side in the 27th minute, but his shot was blocked.
In the 56th minute Busch had a good chance to give the Lions the lead, but he missed. Five
minutes later he took the ball into the box and was fouled giving the Lions a penalty kick that was converted by Philip Spickenbaum. The lead was extended to two goals in the 72nd minute when Riki Soto found Preston Manthey, who scored a brilliant individual goal flicking the ball around the defender and slotting his shot into the corner. Soto scored himself in the 77th minute off a header from Manthey, giving Miami a comfortable 4-1 lead.
In the last 15 minutes of the game, the defense stood strong and did not give any goals up which gave the Lions another win.
Coach Robert Stoutenburg was very pleased with the team’s performance.
“The boys came out well tonight even though we had a tough time with the weather delay,” Stoutenburg said. “We challenged the boys to attack early, and we scored that early goal. We felt we pretty much dominated the second half with possession, but the first half we were under some heavy pressure at times. Central Florida did a really good job making it tough for us to try to come out of the back, but all in all, we are really pleased with the results and the effort the boys gave tonight.”
The win keeps the Lions in first place in the Sunshine Conference. The team is back in action
on June 19 when they play away against Boca Raton FC.
Photo Credit: Miami Dutch Lions FC