Katy 1895 FC took on Houston Dutch Lions FC on Saturday night at 7:00 at the Houston Dutch Lions Soccer Facility in Conroe, Texas. This was the first road match for Katy, although just a short hour-long drive away. Katy, coming off a loss against Shreveport in their first match last Saturday, and the Dutch Lions, who won last weekend against the Houston Regals, would play a tightly contested match. Katy 1895 FC would come away victorious, winning 1-0 off of a first- half goal from Abdullah Mirza, who is going into his sophomore season at Houston Baptist University, assisted by Kelechi Onyewuenyi. The win moved Katy 1895 FC to 1-1 on the season while the loss moved Houston Dutch Lions FC to 1-1 on the season as well.
The game would start off with each team breaking into the opposing half relatively often but missing the final ball to break through. With each team feeling each other out, it was a dull half despite the goal and a 22nd minute free kick that was saved by goalkeeper Harrison Veith. Eight minutes later in the 30th minute, Mirza found the breakthrough collecting the ball inside of the box on the right side from Onyewuenyi. Mirza took one touch then hit a shot off the underside of the crossbar for the only goal of the game to take the lead, 1-0. Five minutes later in the 35th minute, Veith would be called upon again saving a 1v1 shot hit back across his body to the right side and would collect his own rebound. After a brief stoppage in play for an injured Dutch Lions player, the Dutch Lions would break out down the left side and send a low cross in to the top of the six in the 44th minute. Dawson Palomar, came sliding in and deflected the close-range shot up and onto the crossbar, preserving the 1-0 lead. Katy would close put the first half with their lead still intact.
In the second half, the Dutch Lions would press higher up the field in search of the equalizer but it would never come. Katy held well and the defensive unit was called on early and often in the second half. Veith would come out to punch a cross clear through traffic in the 47th minute to relieve pressure. Katy would hold strong through several attacks by the Dutch Lions who would never get a clear look on goal. Katy would get back on the front foot winning a corner kick in the 60th minute from another shot by Mirza. The corner would be played short to Sergio Loredo, whose shot would miss just wide. The Dutch Lions would get out of their own half on the ensuing goal kick and go down and win back-to-back corner kicks, setting up a shot that the Dutch Lions would put over the crossbar from inside the six yard box in the 70th minute. Katy would kill off the remaining 20 minutes, keeping possession in the opposing half and winning deep free kicks and throw-ins. Veith would have to come up big one more time in the 90th minutes, coming out and cleanly collecting a cross. Katy would hold the ball for much of the remainder of stoppage time and close the game out, collecting the first win in club history.
Katy 1895 FC would feature 13 players in Saturday’s match making only two changes from last week’s starters. Katy would start with Harrison Veith, Devon Grant, Ryan Smith, Jordan Bates, Dawson Palomar, Kelechi Onyewuenyi, Nick Coburn, Jordi Cobo, Sergio Loredo, Donnovan Smith and Abdullah Mirza. Making appearances off the bench were Josh Moore and Josmim Cai.
Our man of the match from Saturday is center back Jordan Bates. Bates, a graduate from the University of Central Arkansas, anchored the back line, shutting out the Dutch Lions. Bates had several key clearances and defensive plays that limited the Dutch Lions to just four shots on goal throughout the 90 minutes.
Head coach Jimmy Krueger was quite pleased with picking up the club’s first win. When asked to talk about the first win in club history he said, “whenever you start something new, you look forward to that first win. The guys fought hard this entire game, and the Dutch Lions brought a good performance. They really pushed their agenda especially in the second half and our boys just battled and showed true character. So, the first win in club history in just a stepping stone for us. We have plans for success in the future and this is just a step in the right direction.”
Katy 1895 FC will be back in action at FC Brownsville, next Saturday May 26th, at 7 o’clock.
Contributor: Travis Aday/Katy 1895 FC
Photo Credit: Maurice Grant and Travis Aday/Katy 1895 FC