By First State FC
The First State Midnight Riders welcomed FC Motown to the Abessinio Stadium for the return match between these Keystone Conference rivals. FC Motown had won the home game earlier in the season by a score of 7-1. This match would be much closer, being decided by a single goal in the final minute of the game.
FC Motown opened the scoring in the 12 minute off a corner kick that fell to the feet of an FC Motown player. First State then evened the score right around the half hour mark when right winger Hakim Williams outmuscled his defender then rounded the keeper to put the ball in the net.
The match remained evenly balanced for most of the first half with both teams creating chances and defending well. That changed in the 44th minute. Just as it seemed that both teams were waiting for the halftime whistle, First State striker Ben Assane picked up his second yellow card, resulting in his ejection from the game. So while the score at halftime was 1-1, the Delaware team would now be faced with finishing the game down a man.
FC Motown was methodical in working the entire field to exploit their advantage and created some quality chances. Midnight Rider goalkeeper Gianluca Cersosimo made a few top-drawer saves to keep his team in the game.
In the 89th minute of the game, just as it seemed that First State may have been able to hold on to a draw, FC Motown scored again to claim a dramatic late victory.
While it was disappointing to lose the game in the final minute, GM Dave Holloway preferred to focus on the positives.
“Another tough result after a good performance,” Holloway said. “The boys fought incredibly hard and kept the ball out of the back of our net for a full 50 minutes down a man.”
The late win strengthens Motown’s position near the top of the Keystone Conference, while the loss for First State makes earning a playoff spot a long shot.
Photo Credit: Katie Riggan