July 19, 2019
NPSL Midwest Region Semi-Final
Keyworth Stadium, Hamtramck, MI
Detroit City FC 2, Minneapolis City FC 0
DCFC Shawn Lawson (Bakie Goodman) 22′
DCFC Max Todd (PK) 78′
So, this is where it gets weird.
Detroit City FC and Cleveland SC earned the bye in the first round of the playoffs. On Tuesday, July 16th, AFC Ann Arbor hosted the Rochester Lancers and Minneapolis City FC hosted Med City FC in the first round. Minneapolis City FC defeated Med City FC by a score of 2-0. That wasn’t the weird part. The match at AFC Ann Arbor was halted at the 69th minute mark due to darkness. The match was interrupted by a couple of lightning delays, and AFC Ann Arbor plays at a stadium that does not have lights. The next morning, it was decided that the game would be decided by a coin toss.
A coin toss? Really?
Finally, it was decided that a neutral-site match would complete the suspended game. The location was McConnell Family Stadium at Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania.
Resuming from the 69th minute, Rochester took the lead late, at the 87th minute, on a goal by Issac Kissi. However, AFC Ann Arbor’s Yazeed Mathews equalized a minute later. After two ten-minute extra-time periods, the match went to penalty kicks with Rochester winning 5-4. Rochester then traveled to Detroit the next day to play Cleveland SC in the opening of the two semi-final matches.
This first semi-final was a wild one. Rochester attacked immediately, scoring two goals in the opening seven minutes. The first from Michael Cunningham…
The second by Rafael Godoi….
An own goal in the 20th minute brought Cleveland closer and down a goal at the half. Cleveland was issued four yellow cards in the first half, the most notable was to Marijo Musa, the Cleveland keeper, for a brutal out-of-the-box hit on the Rochester player, who had to be subbed off as a result of the collision. Certainly, a red card should have been issued.
Rochester scored late, giving themselves a two-goal cushion, but after playing three matches in four nights, and Cleveland’s aggressive nature, the Lancers ran out of gas. They gave up two goals in the final five minutes, sending the match into extra time. Fifty-year-old head coach Doug Miller suited up and entered the match in added time to provide fresh legs. But in the twenty minutes that followed, Vinnie Bell outscored Rochester 3-1, giving Cleveland the victory.
ROCH Michael Cunningham 2′
ROCH Rafael Godoi 7′
CLEVE Own Goal (Wyatt Scott) 20′
ROCH Uros Momic 81′
CLEVE Mike Derezic 85′
CLEVE Vinnie Bell 90′
CLEVE Vinnie Bell 93′
ROCH Issac Kissi 101′
CLEVE Vinnie Bell 111′
CLEVE Vinnie Bell 119′
Meanwhile, as the Cleveland-Rochester match was wrapping up…
City opened the scoring in the 22nd minute as Bakie Goodman slotted this pass to Shawn Lawson.
It was another night of smoke and rainbows at Keyworth Stadium.
During halftime, We the People of Detroit thanked Detroit City FC for helping raise money for them through the special edition prints sold at matches, like the one I mentioned and bought at the Toledo Villa FC game.
As expected, the match was tight. You don’t get to the playoffs without being a decent team, and Minneapolis City FC came in with a 9-win, 2-loss, and 1-draw record, scoring 30 goals and conceding only 11. However, a handball in the box by The Crow’s Aaron Olson set the stage for a Max Todd penalty kick.
I had to share this. Cyrus Saydee has been with the team since its 2012 origin. I caught this little display of his magic tonight.
As we move on to the Midwest Region Final, we must give kudos to Minneapolis City SC for coming across the field in appreciation of the atmosphere the Northern Guard created.