Med City Loses Stunner in Stoppage Time to Duluth

by on 10 July 2017

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Med City FC lost control over its own destiny as a huge blow was dealt to its title aspirations after Duluth FC scored a stoppage-time winner in Rochester on Saturday evening in front of nearly 700 energetic fans.

A Duluth FC goal after a referee no-call in the dying seconds against Med City FC in Rochester ruined the Medics’ surefire chances of winning the league, but a playoff spot is still attainable.

Med City’s Claudio Rivadeneira takes a shot at goal against Duluth FC. Louis Garcia photo.

The missed call was a repeat of a Duluth move only moments earlier — a refusal to call an illegal throw-in that Duluth used twice to gain distance. In fact, reversed calls (Duluth argued with the referee after nearly every call, and had two throw-ins called in their favor after Med City was awarded the ball) and bad calls were the theme of the night.

“These guys work so hard. They didn’t deserve to be screwed like that.”
-Med City head coach Luke Corey

“Our guys battled their asses off,” Med City head coach Luke Corey said. “They did not give up. Ya know, I’m going to call them [Duluth] out — that was the worst illegal throw that led to that goal. It’s obvious; everyone saw it. And for the referees to say that our defenders were the ones to make a mistake is a bunch of baloney. That’s just classless on their part.

“These guys work so hard. They didn’t deserve to be screwed like that.”

Much of the matchup was testy. Duluth stuck to quick counters, twice shooting wide, and Med City relied on the outstanding Claudio Rivadeneira for attacking inspiration.

Duluth also should have had a player sent off early in the second half when Daniel Hedstrom used both hands to shove an unsuspecting Dion Dozzell to the ground. Both players received yellow cards as the ref was facing away when it happened, only seeing Dozzell’s reactionary push.

While Rivadeneira dribbled past his opponents countless times, he couldn’t find a goal or final ball for a teammate to put into the net. Still, he was a class above on the wing (often dancing around not one but two Duluth players at once), linking up time and again with Matu Pazos, who couldn’t match his teammate’s ability to create or hold the ball.

Med City only really had one chance it should have done better with, when Rivadeneira found himself just outside of the 18 in the center but blasted the shot just over the crossbar. Beyond that, a handful of shots came from tight angles that never challenged the keeper.

Overall, it was a tough match but a draw would have been just. And it was even more challenging for the home side with captain Mido Mujic out injured most of the game before coming on late. Starting center back Jared Wolt was also on crutches, and the other starting center back, Ignacio Milla, was injured in the first half.

Med City was already spread thin to begin with, but Tiernan Talbot mused on the idea of getting a playoff spot earlier in the season.

“We should have clinched a playoff spot a couple games ago,” he says. “But that’s in the past now. We just have to look past this. It’s hard to look past, but it’s essential for us to look to next week.”

The Duluth FC keeper makes a save in the second half. Louis Garcia photo.

But for Duluth goalscorer Andrew Jenkins, it was a culmination of Duluth’s spirit — bad boy of the league image be damned.

“The ball’s just come in… and I was just fortunate enough to be there,” Jenkins says of the goal. “(I’m) buzzin’. Absolutely buzzin’. It’s still in our hands, and we can win it at home next week. We battle for 90 minutes.”

As far as battling goes, Med City is still ready to fight for a playoff spot.

“We’ve got a game left; it’s in our hands,” Corey said. “We can wrap up one of those playoff spots.”

FiftyFive.One is now on Patreon. Do you like the independent coverage of soccer news from Minnesota and beyond that FiftyFive.One offers? Please consider becoming a patron.

Tags: , , ,