By First State FC
The First State Midnight Riders dazzled the Abessinio Stadium crowd Saturday night with an 8-2 victory. In an up-and-down first half, the teams saw a tied score line, but First State came out quickly after halftime and never looked back.
The Midnight Riders started with early pressure but saves from the Torch FC goalkeeper kept out the home team initially. In the 17th minute, Guilherme Pereira put a shot into the top corner to open the scoring. A few minutes later two quick saves by Gianluca Cersosimo in the First State goal were not enough, and Torch evened the score. Shortly after the restart, a penalty was awarded to Torch and they took the lead, but only until the 36th minute. A turnover in Torch’s own half left space to counter, and Pereira netted his second goal that kept the game at 2-2 until halftime.
As soon as the second half began, First State FC began finding space behind F.C. Torch’s defense. A cross into the box was met by Ramel Kudi, scoring in his first start for the team in the 53rd minute. The pressure continued, and Pereira completed a hat trick for First State with a step-over and shot that brought the crowd to their feet. The goal-scoring continued, with Saul Robles slotting in from the right moments after being substituted into the game, and Shawn Genus following it up a minute later. As the game settled in towards the final minutes, Yushi Nagao found some space in front of the Torch defense and slotted a low shot in for First State’s seventh goal in the 86th minute. And the celebrations continued at the final kick of the game, as the Midnight Riders won a penalty, and Mamadou Diombera put it home into the roof of the net.
“I’m very excited to see us give our fans their first home win,” said First State FC head coach Abdul Faisal Chibsah. “We’ve been really close in the past games and to witness that tonight in front of our wonderful fans was special. I thought the soccer was beautiful to watch at times, and we can finally see all the pieces coming together. I’ve always been proud of the commitment and hard work from the boys, and tonight was no exception.”
“It was great to finally give our fans a win at home,” said First State FC President and General Manager Dave Holloway. “The second half showed our fans what we’re capable of, and we need to build on that and make that level of play our standard. We’re starting to find our stride and honestly I think we all wish the season were longer.”
First State FC is sponsored by local Delaware businesses Delaware Orthopaedic Specialists (DOS), IncNow, Gonser and Gonser Law, and Elite PT. The Midnight Riders conclude their inaugural NPSL season at home against the Electric City Shock on July 3rd at 6:00 pm. Tickets for the final game are available tickets.firststatefc.com.
Photo Credit: Katie Riggan