Minneapolis – Minneapolis City SC certainly didn’t give up in their home loss to FC Manitoba on Wednesday night in USL League 2 action.
Giving their supporters some thrills and tensing up Manitoba during an extended 10 minutes of stoppage time, the Crows managed not only an electric goal, but a series of fiery chances. Two first half goals though held up for FC Manitoba in the win.
Zach Susee put one in the net after Loic Mesanvi drew three defenders in a crowd and set him up in about the 93rd minute in the first burst of about 10 minutes of stoppage time.
Susee said the goal was a result of the Crows’ game plan to play long balls over the top of the defense.
“It fell down and Loic just played a perfect split pass to me,” said Susee. “It was all about the pass. Once I got the ball… it was a simple finish.”
Susee saw about 30 minutes of action off the bench for the Crows and, along with Jack Barry, created several chances.
“When you’re down and you’re coming off the bench your only goal is try and get a couple of goals and bring some energy,” said Susee. “I came out there and ran my heart out for 30 minutes.”
Not content just to cut the deficit, the Crows had a couple of additional chances including when Barry had a long throw in to set up Mesanvi but the ball was deflected out by Manitoba goalkeeper Evan Barker at around the 96th minute.
“It was absolutely frantic,” said Susee. “We really wanted to get that result and when you get desperate it’s just over the top, over the top. Just slam it down their throats over and over again.”
Crows head coach Matt VanBenschoten was pleased with what he saw from his team late in the match, as a series of injuries, yellow cards, hard fouls and some late stalling tactics rose the intensity in the waning 15 minutes prior to stoppage time.
“We found some success,” said VanBenschoten, adding the calls late were a factor. “When that happens guys are more motivated and more spirited.”
Despite the late flurry, the two first half goals for FC Manitoba were enough to secure the victory.
The Crows also had a positive 25 minutes to start the match as Jacek Nikowski was everywhere getting a close shot on goal in the 5th minute, Aidan O’Driscoll had a shot off a free kick in the 13th minute. FC Manitoba’s Michele Paolucci had a shot of the right post in the 9th minute as well before Manitoba seized control of the match.
“We played well for 25 and should have scored and we didn’t,” said VanBenschoten. “They get one and another one and it’s always fighting an uphill battle after that.”
In the 26th minute, a corner kick found its way through a crowd to Sergio Molina who striked it in the net for the first goal and then in the 30th minute Diego Reveco put home another on the right side of the goal for the 2-0 lead.
The Crows had some late chances in the first half as Wes Lorrens found Mesanvi for a shot that was saved in the 42nd minute before the break.
The second half started out strong for the Crows as Mesanvi had a shot tipped over the crossbar Barker in the 54th minute to set up the second half of
The Crows remain winless in USL League 2 play at 0-2-7 while FC Manitoba is at 2-4-2.
“Our goal is to fight to the very end,” said Susee. “No matter what our results have been, no matter what it looks like we are going to fight our hardest and try to get a good result. We believe we have a good enough team to do it and we want to show we can before the end of the season.”
Minneapolis City SC next plays host to Thunder Bay on Wednesday, July 6, in USL League 2 play and also hosts St. Croix on Friday, July 15.
“I want us to come play the last 20 minutes like we did tonight in our last games,” said VanBenschoten. “If we do that, I really do think we win those games.”
In NPSL play, the Crows will take on Dakota Fusion at Moorhead on Wednesday, July 6, host Joy Athletic on July 9 and are at La Crosse on July 15.