By Ryan Tigner/Duluth FC
The playoffs are finally here, and no one was more excited about it than Duluth FC. They kicked off their postseason with a first-round match against a strong FC Columbus squad.
The adrenaline was flowing, and Duluth battled hard on their home turf to put up a solid performance. The effort was very effective, and Duluth came out victorious with a 3-1 win and will continue on their quest for a national title .
The game started out with a bang, and it came in the first minute of the match. Duluth was able to get a nice-looking offensive possession off the kickoff. Some back-and-forth passing from Sam Thornton and Kostyantyn Domaratskyy ended in a goal by Domaratskyy. This would be the boost Duluth used to keep things going their way throughout the entirety of the match. Duluth was able to take the lead in this matchup, and the defense proved to be outstanding.
Duluth started off the second half more aggressively, getting more shots this time around. The shots seemed to overwhelm the Columbus defense with several players being out of position. Domaratskyy would take advantage of this with a beautiful nutmeg right to a cutting Blake Perry who sent it home and put the BlueGreens up 2-0.
Columbus was able to take advantage of a corner kick that hit awkwardly off the head of Wynand Wessels. The ball leaked out to Michael Chilton for an easy tap-back goal to make it 2-1 in the 86th minute. The BlueGreens took this goal personally and decided to add another of their own before time ran out. Aaron Pike received a curving pass and crossed it to Keegan Chastey who found the back of the net to make it 3-1 in the 91st minute. The lead would hold as the final whistle came for the victorious Duluth FC.
Next the Bluegreens will be squaring off against the Muskegon Risers in Michigan on Friday at 7:30 pm.
Photo Credit: Holden Law/Duluth FC