Detroit City FC won their third match against a professional side this season when they defeated Italian side Venezia FC on Tuesday night. The Serie B club has spent most of its history in Serie A and Serie B, and is currently led by former AC Milan forward and manager Fillipo Inzaghi.
Despite the intimidating opponent, DCFC came out of the gates with a strong attack.
“The offense and defense go together,” Detroit City FC Head Coach Ben Pirmann said. “And the attacking guys did a really good job.”
Detroit City FC’s attack appeared to open the scoring less than ten minutes in, when a Roddy Green header from close range squirted through the hands of Venezia FC goalkeeper Emil Audero, and across the line, but the goal was waived off due to offsides.
For Green, playing against a big club motivated him to go all out.
“I love playing against bigger teams,” Green said. “I fly into that.”
Green’s mindset paid dividends just minutes later when he put DCFC on the board for good in the 28th minute. Following an Elijah Rice shot which bounced off Audero, Green found himself on the other end of the rebound and calmly placed a shot top shelf into the wide-open net.
Le Rouge wouldn’t stop the attack there however, as Cyrus Saydee received the ball on the left wing and immediately went to work. The Michigan State product turned his marker around three times before tiptoeing the end line and sending a cross near post, where a collision of bodies led to DCFC’s Rice deflecting the ball into the back of the net to give the home team an insurance goal.
“(Saydee) is a special player,” Pirmann said. “He won the match for us.”
While Green and Saydee put Detroit City FC up, it was DCFC goalkeeper Fernando Piña who kept them there. Following a straight red card shown to Detroit City FC’s Jordan Tyler in the 65th minute forced Le Rouge to play with ten men for the remainder of the half, Piña made a number of strong stops. Like Green, the opponent had an influence on Piña’s play.
“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to play in a match against a team like this,” Piña said. “That was a big part of (my play).”
Piña’s performance was a large crescendo which built up until the 89th minute, where the Coastal Carolina keeper denied the best scoring chance of the game for Venezia FC. After a through ball found a Venezia FC attacker with a clear look at goal, Piña quickly recognized the danger and dropped down to make an impressive save with his foot to keep the Italian side off the scoreboard.
While he recognized that his squad’s victory against Venezia FC was impressive, Pirmann knows the focus has to quickly shift as DCFC prepares for Saturday’s home playoff match against Dakota Fusion FC.
“If we don’t take care of business Saturday night, what we’ve done for three months including winning against three pro clubs is kind of wasted,” Pirmann said. “But if we go in there and we work as hard as we possibly can, we focus and we play for each other…win, lose, or draw we can hold our heads high.”