Med City FC avenged its only loss of the season by defeating Dakota Fusion 2-1 in a thrilling home match at Rochester Regional Stadium. Dakota had beaten Med City 3-0 in the second week of the season during a cold, wet and windy game in Fargo, so Med City was happy to return the favor in this pivotal rematch of the first and second ranked teams in the North Conference.
Med City jumped to an early lead after a well-constructed corner kick resulted in a beautiful cross by Ludvig Hordegard (Jonkoping, Sweden) and finish by center back Jared Wolt (Farmington, Minnesota) in the sixth minute of play. The Mayhem continued to pressure Dakota throughout the first half by creating multiple scoring opportunities, but were unable to add to the scoreline. The Med City defensive line also stood strong, as they completely shut down the conference scoring leader, Jade Johnson, for the entire first half.
In the 45th minute, Med City added to their lead after Jake Turnbull (Newcastle, England) made a fantastic run behind the Dakota backline and received a wonderfully placed pass by Matias Pazos (Madrid, Spain). Turnbull took a brilliant touch that popped the ball up, which he headed over the Fusion goalkeeper into the back of the net to give the home team a 2-0 lead heading into halftime.
Both teams came out in the second half with even more energy than the first. Med City was trying to defend their lead, while Dakota Fusion was valiantly attempting a comeback. The teams traded attacking opportunities, but both were unable to beat the opposing keepers. Dakota finally broke through in the 67th minute after a rare miscue by a Med City defender led to a chance for a Fusion player to attempt a shot on goal. Akeem Smith curled a ball from outside the 18-yard box into the far corner, beating Med City keeper Nate Levy (Byron, Minnesota), and closing the gap to 2-1.
Sensing an opportunity to even up the game, Dakota increased their pressure on Med City, creating multiple chances during the run of play and on multiple set pieces, but were unable to find a tying goal. The Med City defenders did a wonderful job clearing out all the Fusion attacks. A nervous crowd of fans sat on the edge of their seats until the final whistle was blown and the home team walked away with three hard-earned points.
The win gives Med City FC 23 points on the season, enough for first place in the North Conference, and a five-point edge over second place Dakota Fusion with only four games left in the regular season.
Med City FC now has a record of seven wins, one loss and two draws, while Dakota Fusion falls to six wins and four losses. Next up for Med City is a road match in Sioux Falls on Wednesday. Dakota Fusion return home to play LC Aris FC mid-week.