Des Moines United FC Defeats Gio’s Lions SC Chicago 2-1 in Gateway Conference Action

By Des Moines United FC

An electrifying game saw third-place Des Moines United face off against the first-place Gio’s Lions SC Chicago.  Emotions ran high as the home team, Des Moines United, made a remarkable comeback to win the game 2-1.

The match was full of ups and downs for both teams. Gio’s Lions SC started strong, putting considerable pressure on the home team. In the 13th minute, Gio’s Lions were awarded a penalty kick.  Yanis Lakhlifi stepped up to take the penalty, but was denied by João Pedro Rocha who made a fantastic save to the bottom right.  Despite this setback, Gio’s Lions continued to dominate.  In the 20th minute, Taoufik El Kati capitalized on a poor pass from Des Moines defender Guilherme Lima to score the opening goal. 

The visitors maintained their high intensity, preventing the home team from finding their rhythm. Des Moines United managed their first corner kick in the 42nd minute, highlighting the visitors’ superiority.  Gio’s Lions SC controlled the first half by dominating possession, pressing relentlessly, and playing intensely.  Des Moines United had a few opportunities but failed to capitalize, ending the first half trailing 1-0.

The second half began differently with Des Moines United showing much higher intensity and determination.  Matheus Storck, drew several fouls, one of which led to a real scoring chance in the 54th minute following a foul by Gustavo Murtha.  Des Moines United’s improved play paid off in the 59th minute when Nasser Benbella, the top scorer for the Getaway Conference, scored after a well-executed play by Ronaldo Ordaz to bring things level at 1-1. 

Shortly after the goal, Ronaldo Ordaz was substituted for Anass Chakhss, who made an immediate impact.  In the 62nd minute, Guilherme Pereira scored a remarkable header, assisted by Chakhss, putting the home team ahead 2-1.

Following the goal, both teams played aggressively with frequent fouls in the middle third as they tried to maintain possession.  In the 68th minute, Bukola Abdulwahab had a great opportunity for Gio’s Lions.  He faced João Pedro Rocha one-on-one, but Rocha would make a brilliant save to keep his team in the lead. 

As the game neared its end, both teams committed numerous fouls to disrupt counterattacks, leading to several yellow cards.  In the 86th minute, Benbella received a yellow card for a foul near the box, giving Gio’s Lions a dangerous free-kick opportunity, which they failed to convert.

The closing minutes were intense as Gio’s Lions pushed hard to equalize.  The referee added five minutes of stoppage time due to the numerous fouls and substitutions, giving the visitors hope. However, they couldn’t overcome the home team, and the match ended 2-1 in favor of Des Moines United.

Des Moines United captain Paulo Marques expressed his happiness regarding the result.  

“First and foremost, I’d like to thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, also I am really happy,” Marques said. “This win means a lot for our team, to keep dreaming and fighting for the championship.  We had a lot of individual errors in the first half, which gave them the penalty kick and then the goal, but we kept fighting and believing in ourselves.  I am proud of this team and excited for the future games.” 

With this win, Des Moines United guaranteed themselves a place in the playoffs, but the date, time, and opponent are still to be determined.  


Photo Credit: Doug Wells/Des Moines United FC


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