On a Thursday evening in Johnston, Rhode Island, Greater Lowell and the Rhode Island Reds were set to face off. This would be the first game of a doubleheader between both clubs who will face off on Friday in Tyngsboro as well.
Greater Lowell came out of the gates slow leading to a few defensive breakdowns, which the Reds where able to capitalize on. The first came in the eighth minute as forward Ronaldinho Diniz found himself alone in the box and was able to find the back of the net putting the Reds up 1-0.
Just a minute later, Diniz found himself alone running at goal again and took the keeper on and slipped into the far post for his second goal of the match putting the Reds up 2-0. Diniz would have one more breakaway a few minutes later running in at the keeper one-on-one. He would dribble past him and shoot, however, defender Shane Sinclair would track back and clear the ball off of the line.
Around the 15th minute Lowell would start to get themselves back into the game. Beginning to control some of the tempo and create some chances, Greater Lowell would finally punish the Reds on a free kick in the 26th minute. Oscar Zepeda served the ball right onto the head of forward Jacob Simonis, who flicked it right into the side netting, far post, to bring Greater Lowell back to within one. Both teams would battle for the rest of the half, but the score would stay 2-1 Reds at halftime.
Greater Lowell came into the second half fired up and ready to even up the game. Right off the bat they looked to attack and try to even up the game. They were able to create a few chances, but came up short and in the 57th minute the Reds would counter against Greater Lowell. Forward Fabricio Dogbey found himself behind the Greater Lowell defensive line and running onto goal. He took a touch into the box around the Lowell goalkeeper and forced the ball into the back of the net, giving the Reds a 3-1 lead.
Lowell had one more chance late in the game off of a free kick from Quincy Appah. The shot went through the wall and looked like it might go in near post, but the Reds goalkeeper was up to the task and held it easily.
The Reds were tenacious and in the 79th minute, Dogbey again found himself running onto goal alone. This time he would take his touch into the box and slot it just out of the reach of the Lowell goalkeeper and into the far post side netting, putting the Reds up 4-1.
The action wasn’t over though as a pair of red cards where yet to be handed out. The first went to Reds defender Kyle McGibbon after receiving his second yellow of the match in the 84th minute. The second was a straight red card shown to Greater Lowell’s Fabricio Torres four minutes later for a reckless tackle. This would leave the game ending with the Reds topping Greater Lowell 4-1 with both teams missing key players for the next day’s rematch.