Akron City FC Defeats Michigan Rangers FC in Dominating Fashion

By Cade Cracas/Akron City FC

The home opener from Green Street Stadium did not disappoint those in attendance.

Akron City FC (1-1) was able to take down Michigan Rangers FC (1-1) 6-0 in a performance that truly put the rest of the conference on notice. 

The home club was led by the offensive production from forwards Sam Sarver, Ryan Kingsford, Janis Schmidt, Luciano Pechota, and Stefan Dobrojevic who were able to find the back of the net in the game.  From start to finish, the pedal was to the floor and no brakes were used for ACFC. 

In the opening five minutes of action, ACFC’s Sarver put the opposition on notice with two shots just slightly above the crossbar.

His level of intensity set the tone early in the game. 

The first goal was found in the 25th minute after MRFC fouled an ACFC player inside the penalty box.  The team opted to give the opportunity to Kingsford who drilled the ball into the back netting for the opening goal.

With the game now in the hands of ACFC, as they held a 1-0 lead, the team opted to continue to ramp up the offensive pressure.

Just three minutes later, another chance would be found as Sarver carved his way past the Michigan defense to put ACFC up by two.

“My touch actually got away from me, I was setting up for a better finish…but it worked out,” Sarver said. “It was a crucial goal for us heading into halftime.”

Both goals would be the first of the 2024 season for ACFC.

The remainder of the first half would be marked by composure from ACFC as they maintained their two-goal lead.

A few small opportunities as the first half dwindled to a close presented themselves for the away side, but ACFC goalkeeper Patrick McGlaughlin kept the sheet clean.

At the halftime break, Akron City FC head coach Andy Hoggarth praised his team’s high-level play.

“I

think everyone from one to eleven has responded,” Hoggarth said. “Last week we said the work rate was there but we couldn’t take our chances.  I think today we have upped the work rate and had two good finishes.  I think the goalkeepers, when they come up big, then they’ve done their job as well.”

To open the second set of 45 minutes, ACFC continued where they left off.

They pushed the pace of play, flew up and down the field, utilized everyone on the pitch and extended the clubs lead forward.

In the 52nd minute, midfielder Janis Schmidt pushed the lead to three as he knocked a clean ball past MGFC’s goalkeeper.  After receiving a red card, the goalkeeper would be dismissed from the game directly following the goal scored.

The red card was given for throwing the ball at an ACFC player.

The third goal would be followed by a fourth in the 59th minute by forward Stefan Dobrojevic. However, he wasn’t done there.  Another would come just two minutes later by Dobrojevic as he screamed past the MGFC defense.

“I was able to play through and I saw the keeper and put it near post,” he said. “The second was a good through ball by Janis [Schmidt] which I played into the corner.”

With the scoreline now heavily favoring ACFC, they would go on to score one more goal.  It would come in the 80th minute from the foot of midfielder Luciano Pechota.

With the great defense being played and stellar goalkeeping, ACFC found its first clean sheet since June 9, 2023, in a 0-0 tie with Cleveland SC.

“I think overall it was a great performance,” Hoggarth added. “In the first half, we allowed a little bit of pressure on top of us but we weathered it. We said the third goal was important.  Then, when they went down to 10 men, we were able to see our way through the game.”

The large number of goals also propelled the home side’s goal differential to 6-1 now on the year.

The six-goal win would be ACFC’s first mark in the win column for the 2024 campaign, moving the club to 1-1 overall.  For the traveling team from up north, they fell to 1-1 on the season.

“It was awesome to have them [The Rubber City Underground supporters] way down there,” Hoggarth continued. “Having the atmosphere and the performance we have will help us keep growing.”

Next up, ACFC prepares to take on Steel City FC at Green Street Stadium on Friday, May 31 at 7:00 pm.

“We had three or four guys who didn’t dress tonight… it has helped create competition,” Hoggarth concluded. “It will be a big week ahead for us but a good step.  We have got to follow it up.”

Photo Credit: Kylie Cook/Akron City FC

 

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