Cleveland SC end a perfect weekend homestand with an emphatic 4-0 over Syracuse FC to give them the top position in the Midwest East Conference with only two matches remaining. The club moves to 21 points on the season behind a two-goal performance from Admir Suljevic and a goal and two assists from substitute forward Riley Grant. With six wins in 10 matches, Cleveland SC are now one point ahead of Erie Commodores FC and three points the better of Fort Pitt Regiment with both competitors having only completed nine matches.
Mike Derezic started the goal-scoring effort by displaying his long-range shooting ability in perhaps Cleveland SC’s goal of the 2018 season with an 32-yard bullet into the top corner in the 18th minute to give his squad a 1-0 lead.
The orange-and-black were unable to breakthrough for the rest of the first half and beginning stages of the second half, but put together a great combination of passes in the 65th to find Admir Suljevic in the penalty area. Suljevic brought the ball to his left foot and slotted a perfectly placed shot to the right of the Syracuse FC goalkeeper.
Less than two minutes later, Cleveland SC increased the lead to 3-0 after Lewis Dunne played Riley Grant through the Syracuse FC backline for a Grant tap past the keeper. Dunne showed great understanding with Grant on his run to play the deep pass through a gap in the Syracuse FC defense in the 67th.
A third goal in seven minutes gave Admir Suljevic a brace on the afternoon as Cleveland SC were once again effective combining passes in the attacking third. Antonio Manfut won the ball along the right channel and bursted toward the endline with speed before placing a cross near the penalty spot to Riley Grant. Grant executed a perfect shoulder pass into the path of Suljevic who buried an uncontested shot into the top right corner.
With two regular starters out of the lineup, Vinny Bell and Coletun Long, Cleveland SC head coach Ryan Osborne was impressed with how his players rose to the occasion to finish their home stretch with two impressive victories.
“We’ve made it more about the squad this year and a team effort,” said Osborne. “It’s about when players get their opportunities to take their chances, and I think they did today. I think Riley Grant was an impact player when he came on in the second half to score one and have two assists, and I think he played well.”
Cleveland SC will travel to Syracuse next Saturday, June 30 to try to complete the league double over Syracuse FC and stay atop the conference standings.
Contributor: Cleveland SC
Photo Credit: Ric Kruszynski/ISNSoccer.com