Image courtesy of Dakota Fusion.

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Rainy Day Soccer No. 5 & 20: NPSL North Matchweek Two Recap

by on 22 May 2017

Rain soaked the region in the second week of the NPSL North season, canceling one game and making for interesting playing conditions in the other three. Dakota Fusion, Minneapolis City, and Duluth are the only remaining undefeated teams, the latter two having drawn on Saturday evening. VSLT rebounded from an opening weekend loss with a win against TwinStars, and La Crosse Aris’ game in Sioux Falls was postponed.

 

The starters. Image courtesy of Juan Fiz.

Minnesota TwinStars 1, VSLT 3
May 20, 2017
Minnetonka High School Stadium (Minnetonka, Minn.)

The rain didn’t seem to bother the visitors from St. Paul who got on the board just four minutes into the game with the first half of Ayuk Tambe’s brace. TwinStars players composed themselves and responded quickly with some good ball movement and a 13th minute goal from captain Karim Darbaki. VSLT came right back with pressure, forcing goalkeeper Sean Teske into making some tough saves. However, Teske was beaten in the 28th minute, with Tambe tallying his second goal of the half and the eventual game-winner. The Dragons came close to equalizing just two minutes later when Babatunde Oyekan’s shot rattled the post. VSLT’s Mark Boquin plunged in the dagger less than 10 minutes after the start of the second half, and gave the visitors a two-goal lead they were happy to defend for the remainder of the game. Oyekan came close to pulling one back in the 88th minute, but it wasn’t to be. VSLT picked up its first points of the season, preventing TwinStars from taking a majority of points from their season-opening, three-game homestand as a result.

Up next:
Minnesota TwinStars vs. Sioux Falls Thunder, May 27
VSLT FC vs. Med City FC, May 27

 

Image courtesy of Daniel Mick.

Minneapolis City SC 1, Duluth FC 1
May 20, 2017
Edor Nelson Field (Minneapolis, Minn.)

It was a physical game from the outset, but both teams remained undefeated in league play. Minneapolis City controlled the ball early on, but Duluth had the better of the game’s chances. The visitors threatened early when Tom Corcoran failed in his attempt to chip City goalkeeper Peter Runquist. Fouls and yellow cards interrupted play often and neither team was able to establish a good rhythm. One foul just before halftime gave Martin Browne the opportunity to take a free kick from around 25 yards out. Browne curled it around the wall and past a diving Tom Greensall to give the Crows the lead. The second half was very similar, though it got even more physical. Duluth tried hard to get the ball to Kyle Farrar, who had a few good chances stymied. City’s defense held well until Whitney Browne’s controversial sending-off opened the game up for the BlueGreens. For the second straight week, Duluth rescued a point at the death, but this time it was Farrar serving as playmaker instead of goalscorer. The center forward put Mally Lumsden in on goal, and the midfielder’s shot hit Runquist’s leg and bounced into the back of the net. The teams split the points and may have planted the seeds of a rivalry.

Up next:
Minneapolis City SC vs. Med City FC, May 24
Duluth FC at La Crosse Aris FC, May 27

Read Kyle Eliason’s full recap here

 

Image courtesy of Dakota Fusion.

Dakota Fusion 3, Med City FC 0
May 20, 2017
Jim Gotta Stadium (Moorhead, Minn.)

Dakota Fusion stepped into first place on Saturday night, and is the only North Conference club to take the maximum number of points through two games this season. This week’s victory came at Med City’s expense, which stumbled after impressing in its competitive debut last weekend against La Crosse Aris. The visitors were in control early on but failed to capitalize on three set-piece opportunities. Dakota shifted the momentum, and in the 13th minute Osman Mberwa found Zuheer Al Abase for the opening goal. Fifteen minutes later, Sunaj Beljulji connected with Jade Johnson to double the hosts’ lead. Med City had a chance to pull one back, but Dion Dozzell was unable to beat Fusion keeper Stephen Harris one on one. Med City poured on the pressure in the second half, looking dangerous and keeping Fusion defenders honest throughout. The home side quashed any hopes of a comeback in the 64th minute when Akeem Smith found Johnson on the edge of the box. Johnson slotted home, finishing off his brace, and securing a second win for Dakota.

Up next:
Med City FC at Minneapolis City SC, May 24
Dakota Fusion at Minneapolis City SC, May 26

 

Sioux Falls Thunder vs. La Crosse Aris FC

This game was postponed due to pitch conditions. No date for a rescheduled match has yet been announced.

Up next:
Sioux Falls Thunder at Minnesota TwinStars, May 27
La Crosse Aris FC vs. Duluth FC, May 27

 

North Conference standings

Club Played Won Drawn Lost GD Points Possible
Dakota Fusion 2 2 0 0 +7 6 42
Minneapolis City 2 1 1 0 +1 4 40
Med City 2 1 0 1 +1 3 39
VSLT 2 1 0 1 +1 3 39
Duluth 2 0 2 0 0 2 38
TwinStars 2 0 1 1 -2 1 37
Sioux Falls 1 0 0 1 -2 0 39
La Crosse Aris 1 0 0 1 -4 0 39

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