By Dominic José Bisogno/Duluth FC
Duluth FC’s home opener saw the BlueGreens come up against the Sioux Falls Thunder FC in a typically intense match of soccer. The game started well for the visitors, who were playing their first game of the season, with an early free kick outside the box resulting in a headed goal to open the scoring in the third minute.
With adversity on their doorstep, Duluth responded. The first step in the eventual comeback win came in the 20th minute when fullback Stefan Roeb charged into the final third to reach a long ball before the Sioux Falls goalkeeper. Roeb got to the ball in time to chip it over the keeper from outside of the 18-yard box to make it 1-1.
Both teams made adjustments at halftime in search of a solution to the deadlock. Duluth brought on Dylan Zavatini at halftime for Roeb, a fortuitous change as the new defender also scored for Duluth 20 minutes later. Zavatini’s goal came following a series of passes on the left wing in search of space for a cross. Kostya Domaratskyy finally found the opportunity and sent a ball in for Zavatini to head into the left corner. Both Roeb and Zavatini’s goals were their first for Duluth FC.
Domaratskyy added to an impressive performance with a goal of his own in the 75th minute. The Ukrainian forward dribbled multiple Sioux Falls defenders in the box, escaped a diving goalkeeper, and tucked away a short-range shot to make it 3-1. Domaratskyy now leads Duluth in goals with two from two games.
Both teams had missed chances in the second half with the likes of Tom Akinola and Tyler Limmer, who came on for Akinola as a substitute, coming close to scoring but either missing their shots by slim margins or having their opportunities foiled by big tackles from the Thunder.
Duluth are now 2-0-0 after two games with six points and six goals scored. Med City FC beat LC Aris 1-0 this weekend, while Dakota Fusion FC beat the TwinStars 4-1. Duluth are now the only team to earn all points available to them after two games thus far. Joy Athletic, who had a bye this week, could still achieve that.
Photo Credit: Holden Law/Duluth FC