|AFC Cleveland 1 vs Erie Commodores FC 2
50’ Ezana Kahsay (Assisted by: Marshall Garcia) 66’ Admir Suljevic (Pen) 90’ Paul Bracken (Assisted by: Marshall Garcia)
Erie Commodores FC secured their first win of the season with a 2-1 road win against defending NPSL National Champions AFC Cleveland Sunday afternoon at Stan Skoczen Stadium.
The match did not start well for the Royals, with midfielder Mike Derezic receiving a red card less than four minutes into the match. Derezic was sent off after retaliating against an opponent after being on the receiving end of a hard challenge in the midfield.
Despite seeing themselves go a man down, the Royals maintained control of the ball and prevented offensive opportunities for their Erie opponents. When the Commodores did regain possession, they probed AFC Cleveland’s midfield, but were still cautious in attacking goal.
The Commodores would get a couple opportunities near the end of the half, but the Royals defense kept the play in front of them before going into halftime to make readjustments.
The Royals made second-half adjustments to help generate more offensive opportunities in response to the Commodores taking a 1-0 lead, notably an aggressive forward-for-defender substitution that saw Declan McGivern make way for Ben Truax. The offensive chances finally came for the man-down Royals, leading to an equalizer via an Admir Suljevic penalty kick in the 66’.
Though the Royals equalized and pressed for a potential winning goal, they were undone on a Commodores counter attack late in the 90’ stemming from an AFC Cleveland corner kick. Substitute Paul Bracken and the rest of the Commodores were in euphoria after his shot from Marshall Garcia’s cross made it past Anthony Flowers.