It was a beautiful evening in Portland for the kickoff between two of the Northwest Conference teams. Spokane took the kickoff on the grounds of Concordia University and quickly set the pace of the game with a high-pressure, attacking game in the danger zone for FCM Portland. Jesse Retan began to create problems for the FCM defense as he found his way through the final third. FCM found their response, doubling up on the midfielder to slow his attack. As FCM tried to find its rhythm of the game, they continued to readjust to the assault by Spokane. Both teams searched for breakdowns in each other’s system and drove to find the weakness in their opponent.
The pace of the counter attacks on both sides started to create a physical game and at the seventh minute Shadow’s Berrick Rastok received a yellow. Now FCM found its voice on defense and started to regain control of their own third and began to create their own counter attacks. FCM and Spokane found chances early on with no avail as the ball found the side net and post for both teams. At the 34th minute, FCM’s Geovanny Vazquez capitalized on a corner with a header to the far post, putting FCM up 1-0. The match continued to move quickly from end to end with the larger team, Spokane, trying to find space over the top but the FCM defense held them off.
FCM’s Ryan Callahan began to recognize the danger in the midfield of Spokane and started to cover ground from box to box and created more opportunities for FCM at goal. FCM’s Borce Atanasov found himself in front of the goal several times but came up short. The half ended with FCM in the lead 1-0.
A few subs for FCM at the beginning of the half changed the system slightly with two attacking forwards. Spokane again finds the post and side net, but can’t seem to be able to finish. FCM began to coordinate up top with a few more chances and finally found the net at the 79th with Luis Galeano on a side volley from the assist by Adrien Baures, leaving FCM on top 2-0. The last 12 minutes FCM now has control of the game holding off the attacks of Spokane. It was a hard-fought match with FCM Portland earning three points.