By Duluth FC
You could not have asked for better weather for the Duluth FC home opener with 70-degree weather and blue skies that were very much present for the start of the match. This very intense and defensive-driven match ended in a 2-0 victory for the Blue-Greens, and their win streak is up to two after a win in last week’s matchup against Joy Athletic.
The team started strong and fast out of the gate with a lot of pressure on their midfielders, leading to turnovers and a couple of good chances at the net. This led to the very first goal of the game resulting from a turnover in the offensive zone and a near side strike from midfielder Felipe Oliveira around the ninth minute.
The closest the Crows came to putting one in the back of the net came minutes later when they managed to cut and pass right in front of the Duluth keeper but the strike went wide right. Since that chance, Minneapolis City were unable to get much more generated as they did not register a shot on goal for the entirety of the match.
The rest of the half was filled with plenty of physicality and great defense with many players hitting the grass and balls getting cleared back and forth constantly. A free kick near the end of the half had fans nervous when Peter Oyetunj was drilled in the head and it looked like his night might be ending early. However, he toughed it out and was able to finish out the half on the field.
The second half started with the first substitution of the game, with Samuel Thornton coming onto the pitch in his place. Thornton went on to waste absolutely no time receiving the ball in the offensive zone, putting a defender in a bit of a spin cycle and knocking the ball in the back of the net in the 48th minute, which brought Duluth’s lead up to two.
The Blue-Greens would have two more fantastic chances later on; the first one was from Kostyantyn Domaratskyy. He had a powerful shot from right outside of the box and just missed, bouncing the shot off the front of the crossbar. The second was brought upon by the speedy Blake Perry, who slid in for a kick on a cross only for the ball to collide with the crossbar yet again.
Duluth’s defenders were on their game all night doing a great chop cutting off passes and clearing the ball at an impressive rate. Being able to disrupt Minneapolis’s forwards all night, they deserve a great deal of credit for this impressive performance.
Duluth FC’s next match will be at home again against the Minnesota TwinStars on May 18th at the Public Schools Stadium.
Photo Credit: Holden Law/Duluth FC