June 30, 2018 - Osseo, Minnesota, United States - Minneapolis City SC goalkeeper Matt Elder (1) celebrates as the Crows go up 4-2 in the 88' during the Minneapolis City SC vs Duluth FC match at John Hansen Stadium. (Photo by Seth Steffenhagen/Steffenhagen Photography)


Crows Fly Highest: NPSL North Matchweek Nine Recap

by on 4 July 2018

Minneapolis City lived up to the hype for the first time and walked away with two trophies in a week, qualifying for a playoff spot that had proved elusive the first two seasons despite high expectations. The North Conference champions downed two big rivals, including a Duluth side that had previously won five straight games. VSLT continued to slide and a loss in South Dakota will prevent Los Trapos from controlling their own destiny. Med City also launched itself back into the playoff mix with a drubbing of Dakota Fusion.

Med City FC 2, La Crosse Aris 1
June 27, 2018
Viterbo Sports Complex (La Crosse, Wis.)

Thanks to a flurry of action in the last 10 minutes, Med City survived what is becoming something of a trap game in La Crosse. Nicholas Itopoulos scored for Med City in the 80th minute when it looked like Aris might pull off a second consecutive shock draw against top competition. Jared Wolt put a second in the back of the net for the Medics to seal things, but La Crosse answered with a Hugh Parslow strike in the 88th. The visitors were able to fend off a comeback and kept their narrow playoff hopes alive.

Minnesota TwinStars 2, Duluth FC 3
June 27, 2018
Public Schools Stadium (Duluth, Minn.)

TwinStars looked to be cruising to a win with two first half goals, but Duluth came all the way back and set up a title clash with Minneapolis City on Saturday night. The visitors got on the board first courtesy of Taiki Kinugawa, and Ethan Pitre doubled their lead in the 38th minute. Kyle Farrar cut the lead in half in the 43rd minute. As is often the case with TwinStars, things started to boil over in the second half. Each team was shown two red cards, although one of Duluth’s was to the backup goalkeeper on the bench. Playing a man down, TwinStars conceded two second half goals. Tom Corcoran netted to tie the game in the 73rd minute and Gonnie Ben-Tal put away the winner six minutes later.

VSLT FC 1, Minneapolis City SC 2
June 27, 2018
Osseo High School (Osseo, Minn.)

Minneapolis City bounced back from its La Crosse debacle to stay in the driver’s seat for the conference title and picked up the first trophy for its cabinet. Tim Wills put the Crows up after half an hour off a throw in. The ball was cleared from the goalmouth by the VSLT defense, but the referee ruled that it had crossed the line and awarded the goal. The 51st minute saw Pedro Matias Diaz Galeano volley a bouncing ball on target. A City defender got a leg on it, but the shot was too strong and the game was tied at one. Juan Louis saved the day for the Crows in the 86th minute when he touched Will Kidd’s cross past the VSLT keeper. The win sealed the Minnesota Championship for Minneapolis City, clinching the top spot of the mini, Minnesota-only table, which the Citizens supporter group created back in February.

Dakota Fusion 2, Sioux Falls Thunder 5
June 27, 2018
McEneaney Field (Sioux Falls, S.D.)

Sioux Falls evened the season series between the two Dakota teams, making up for a 3-2 loss at the hands of the Fusion earlier in the year. The Thunder took a 3-0 lead into the halftime locker room with goals from Anttenh Zia in the 27th minute, Nigel Nielsen in the 37th, and Brice Holiday right before the break. A 64th minute own goal from the Fusion put them in a four goal hole, one that Akeem Smith tried to dig them out of with his 72nd minute hit. Nuukele Gboe cut the lead to 4-2 in the 86th, but Rafael Domingos answered two minutes later to seal it for Sioux Falls.

La Crosse Aris 0, Minnesota TwinStars 3
July 1, 2018
Minnetonka High School (Minnetonka, Minn.)

Chase Wright continued scoring at will, this time netting a brace against a better-than-expected La Crosse Aris team. His 32nd and 48th minute strikes, along with a goal in the 90th minute from keeper Sean Teske, were enough to get a result in a game that could really only be used to make the end-of-season table look a little better.

Up next:
La Crosse Aris vs. Sioux Falls Thunder, July 7
Minnesota TwinStars at VSLT FC, July 7

Dakota Fusion 0, Med City 11
July 1, 2018
Rochester Regional Stadium (Rochester, Minn.)

Med City put on an offensive clinic and bolstered its goal differential with an 11-0 walloping of Dakota Fusion. Here are the goalscorers:

12′:Francisco Neto
14′: Nicholas Itopoulos
32′: Claudio Repetto
42′: Claudio Repetto
44′: Francisco Neto
45′: Claudio Repetto
50′: Nicholas Itopoulos
54′: Claudio Repetto
60′: Niklas Roessler
71′: Finlay Bloodworth
80′: Midhat Mujic

Up next:
Dakota Fusion vs. Minneapolis City, July 7
Med City FC at Duluth FC, July 6

VSLT FC 2, Sioux Falls Thunder 3
July 1, 2018
McEneaney Field (Sioux Falls, S.D.)

VSLT took a step backwards in the hunt for a playoff spot, dropping a surprising game away to Sioux Falls. A late Thunder goal gave the hosts their second win of the week and third of the year. Nigel Nielsen scored in the 15th minute and Amadu Meyers followed up in the 18th to give Sioux Falls an early two goal lead. VSLT battled back, however, and cut the lead in half when Andrew Jenkins converted from the penalty spot. Mark Boquin tied the game at two just four minutes later. It stayed that way until Michael Haight’s 84th minute winner for the Thunder. Los Trapos now find themselves in 4th and have an uphill battle to take the second playoff spot.

Up next:
VSLT FC vs. Minnesota TwinStars, July 7
Sioux Falls Thunder at La Crosse Aris, July 7

Duluth FC 2, Minneapolis City SC 4
July 1, 2018
Osseo High School (Osseo, Minn.)

Minneapolis City clinched the conference title in an instant classic. At home, and against one of its biggest rivals, the Crows prevailed in a back and forth game to seal their first-ever trip to the playoffs in three seasons of trying. Abdallah Bah opened the scoring with a long, curling shot into the top corner, giving City a 1-0 lead. Justin Oliver’s 42nd minute goal, along with a saved penalty from Crow keeper Matt Elder, gave the hosts a 2-0 lead going into halftime. The Bluegreens came out hungry though, and Liam Moore cut the lead in half just four minutes after the game had recommenced. City answered immediately with another Justin Oliver goal to restore the two goal lead. Duluth once again pulled one back, this time in the 68th minute off the foot of Brooks Rice. The Crows would not be denied, however, and Will Kidd put the game away in the 87th minute with a close range goal. The win puts Minneapolis City in the driver’s seat to capture a first round bye in the NPSL Playoffs.

Up next:
Duluth FC vs. Med City FC, July 6
Minneapolis City SC at Dakota Fusion, July 7


NPSL North Standings

Club Played Won Drawn Lost GD Points Possible
Minneapolis City 13 9 4 0 24 31 34
Duluth 13 7 4 2 15 25 28
Med City 13 6 4 3 19 22 25
VSLT 12 6 2 4 7 20 26
TwinStarsX 13 5 3 5 6 18 21
Dakota FusionX 13 4 3 6 -18 15 18
Sioux Falls X 13 3 1 9 -10 10 13
La Crosse Aris X 12 0 1 11 -43 1 7

X = eliminated from playoff contention.
NPSL first tiebreaker is head-to-head results between the tied teams.
NPSL second tiebreaker is goal differential in the head-to-head matches

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