WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Saturday, July 14, 2018 – An early lead, a late goal allowed, and we’re moving on to the Premier Development League Playoffs.
This was the simplified story of the Des Moines Menace’s 1-1 exhibition stalemate with Aurora Borealis SC tonight at Valley Stadium.
One night after sealing the PDL’s regular-season championship with a 3-1 victory over Heartland Division rival St. Louis, the Menace seemed poised for another win.
Newcomer Emmanuel Paga scored in the 16th minute, slotting home Mueng Sunday’s assist.
The lead lasted until the 84th minute, when a defensive lapse by Des Moines forced goalkeeper Devala Gorrick out of the box. Aurora’s Devon Amo-Mensah caught up with a long through-ball, took a couple touches to sidestep Gorrick, and tapped in the equalizer.
Though it’s a letdown, the Menace takes the lessons learned and looks forward to the PDL Playoffs. Next Friday and Saturday, undefeated Des Moines (13-0-1 PDL) hosts the Central Conference’s championship weekend.
“We have a lot of talent. We just missed a lot of chances tonight,” said Paga. “We have to wake up, work hard, and keep working hard toward our dream of winning the (league) championship.
The Menace’s 25th season continues with the 16th playoff appearance in franchise history.
UP NEXT: The Menace hosts the PDL Playoffs for the first time since 2014. Valley Stadium is the site of the Central Conference’s championship weekend – Friday (July 20) semifinals at 4:30 and 7:30 (Menace) and a Saturday final (7:30).
MAN of the MATCH: Emmanuel Paga for his first Menace goal. Paga is a 19-year-old who joined the FC Dallas Academy from the Right to Dream Academy in his native Ghana.
Match: Aurora Borealis SC at Des Moines Menace
Date: Saturday, July 14, 2018
Venue: Valley Stadium (artificial turf) in West Des Moines, Iowa
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. CDT
Weather: 80s, sunny
Scoreline 1 2 F
MENACE 1 0 1
ABSC 0 1 1