Kalamazoo FC hosted Michigan Stars Sunday night for the two teams’ second leg of the two-match series. The first leg was played at Michigan Stars and ended in a 1-1 draw. Sunday’s game also resulted in a draw, but was end to end action from the starting whistle.
Less than 15 seconds after the start of the match, the Stars ricocheted a shot off the crossbar. It was the first of several shots for both teams. Both keepers were called upon to making acrobatic saves in the first 15 minutes, but the Stars finally got on the board in the 20th minute, when a long shot send KZFC goalkeeper Wes Mink diving just as a defender deflected the shot back out into the box. With Mink on the ground, the net was open and the ball was easily tapped in by Cameron Panley, putting the score at 1-0.
The lead would only last for 12 minutes. A long ball was headed on by KZFC forward Jay McIntosh, putting team goal leader Ade Adeniyi in on goal alone. He maintained his composure on the break and slotted the ball home to bring the score level. The teams headed into halftime with the score 1-1.
In the 52nd minute, Kalamazoo FC’s Dumisani almost grabbed the lead with a low corner shot that hit the post. Kalamazoo earned two corner kicks immediately afterward and the assault culminated in slotted ball in from the side of the box by Adeniyi which found a charging Jay McIntosh, who slid into the six amongst pressure and grabbed the lead.
McIntosh got his second goal of the night 15 minutes later with a short cross into the six from KZFC’s Tommy Clark. McIntosh took a running leap and smashed the headed ball passed the goalie to take the score to 3-1.
Kalamazoo FC headed into the 80th minute with the two-goal lead, but it wouldn’t hold. After an aggressive tackle, the Stars countered and slotted a ball through to Brandon Katona, who beat Mink and brought the visiting team to within one.
The Stars found one more just five minutes later when sloppy defensive play led to a cross from the side of the box that was deflected in by Kizito Madu. The game ended 3-3.
The Man of the Match was Kalamazoo FC’s Jay McIntosh, who assisted the first goal and scored the next two. Jay played strong, physical soccer and both set up and was on the shooting end of many of Kalamazoo FC’s chances.
Both the Stars and Kalamazoo FC headed into tonight’s match with 11 points. The Stars stay one spot ahead of KZFC in the conference table due to goal differential.
Kalamazoo FC’s next game is at home against Milwaukee Torrent on July 15.