Syracuse FC came away with three points on a warm Wednesday evening under perfect skies, avenging last Sunday’s loss to Thruway rival FC Buffalo with a 2-1 victory. In front of 1,009 spectators at OCC’s David W. Murphy Field in Syracuse, NY, the midweek match was characterized by riveting offense and intensity from both clubs. After 90 minutes, Syracuse FC finished the match with eight shots and four saves. FC Buffalo ended with 14 shots and four saves.
The beginning of the match saw a number of chances for both clubs in the attacking third. Following FC Buffalo’s opening kick, the early moments saw a Buffalo shot go off the cross. SFC created multiple opportunities for Logan Roberts to get involved early, but these chances were either deemed offside or saved by FC Buffalo goalkeeper Cameron Hogg.
Another SFC scoring opportunity took place in the 17th minute. Stefanos Stamoulacatos began the run with a pass in to Roberts in the box who produced a shot onto goal. Off the ensuing corner, Ma’Cain Spragling’s volley was saved by Hogg.
FC Buffalo was able to first capitalize on their offensive pressure and open up the scoring. A free kick in the offensive third resulted in an SFC own goal header that found its way past goalkeeper Pat Castle to give FC Buffalo a 1-0 lead in the 22nd minute.
Adnan Bakalovic hurt his right foot in the 30th minute, and Luiz Mota entered the match for Bakalovic in the 34th minute.
Jake Kohlbrenner evened the game for SFC with a goal in the 35th minute, slotting his shot in the bottom left corner of the goal. This was the midfielder’s second goal in as many games.
In stoppage time of the first half, a foul on Kohlbrenner led to a free kick taken by Wyatt Scott that Mota was able to athletically head backwards towards the goal, forcing a save out of Hogg to end the half with the match still even at 1-1.
The second half of the match started with Castle making a save off a dangerous FC Buffalo free kick in the offensive third.
Scott was fouled in the 56th minute and a yellow card was assessed to Chris Walter after Scott was pushed into the fence out of the field of play. Scott’s head injury was sewed up on the sideline, and Callum Donnelly came in as a substitute moments later to return SFC to 11 men.
In the 75th minute, Jerjer Gibson entered for Roberts at the forward position. Two minutes later, Stamoulacatos produced a curling shot that deflected off the post and somehow didn’t cross the end line for a goal.
The moment of the match came in the 80th minute. SFC’s Nate Bourdeau delivered a rocket from over 35 yards out that beat Hogg to the bottom right of the goal, giving Syracuse FC a 2-1 lead over Buffalo.
Immediately following the go-ahead goal, Lukas Rubio entered the game for Stamoulacatos. As stoppage began, Leonardo Rubio came on for Kohlbrenner.
FC Buffalo put on pressure during the closing minutes of the match, but Castle and the SFC defense was able to neutralize these chances and hold on for a 2-1 Syracuse FC victory.
“It was a great result tonight,” said Head Coach Matt Tantalo. “Outstanding team effort, and things are really coming together.”
Syracuse FC will quickly return to action on Saturday, June 17th, when they take on the Erie Commodores at OCC’s David W. Murphy Field at 7:00 pm. It will be the first meeting between these two Eastern Conference teams, and SFC is looking for another three points, and a third straight win at home.
Match day tickets are available at the box office beginning one hour prior to every home game (at 6:00 pm on Saturday). Syracuse FC merchandise is available for purchase at syracusefcshop.net.