WICHITA, Kan. – Des Moines moves to 3-0 on the season after defeating FC Wichita 3-1 Saturday night from Stryker Sports Complex.
A match packed with action, seamless from last week's duel at Valley Stadium.
FC Wichita adjusted defensively, forcing Menace to adapt and find a different route for goal; In the end, several substitutions opened up the home defense.
Menace had the only significant punch in the first 10.
Kori Cupid crossed the ball high; Gabi Rodriguez drove an awkward shot that was saved by Davis Joseph.
At the 21st minute, Audi Jepson had a similar chance, this time blocked by the Wichita backline before it could reach target.
Soon after, Adrien Gameiro was brought down hard by Wichita’s Cersidy Lumumba as he paced down the wing. A frequent matchup during the half.
Tyrese Spicer continued the ambush from the Menace, skying a shot over the goal in the 28th.
Menace seemed to be dominating the match, but Wichita held a steady midfield, lunging several attacks of their own.
In the 34th minute, Joao Neves was through on goal.
Wearing the heroes cape, Alberto Suarez delivered a brilliant sweeping tackle before Neves could control the ball.
The game would go into halftime scoreless.
Vicente Valor would enter the match to provide speed in midfield for Des Moines.
Dean Johnson’s team came firing early in the second, as Spicer tested Joseph with an early shot on goal.
At the 52nd, Gameiro found Cupid at the edge of the box, but his bouncing volley did not rattle Wichita.
Just two minutes later, Alberto Suarez would step up again for Menace, this time on offense scoring the opener with a strike from inside the box.
The game was not even close to decided.
Wichita would even scores in the 61st minute, as Lumumba lobbed a trivela over Ryan Troutman; First goal against Des Moines this season.
With twenty minutes left in the contest, Curtis De Leon and Cyrus Harmon were brought in. It took them little time to make an impact.
At the 74th minute, Cyrus Harmon received a ball near goal, which he controlled and drilled high into the net to regain Menace the lead.
After the goal, Leroy Enzugusi replaced Tyrese Spicer; Des Moines sought to put an end to the match.
FC Wichita had several opportunities in the final minutes, but a counter from Menace helped deliver the final blow.
In stoppage time, Harmon was fouled inside the box and was granted the penalty.
Harmon would go on to be selected as Man of The Match.
Enzugusi eyed the ball and netted the goal for the knockout. 3-1 Menace and a backflip.
Plenty of scares for Des Moines, but the division favorites remain unbeaten.
Des Moines Menace are 3-0. They approach a two-match weekend in Chicago. First, Chicago Dutch Lions on Friday, May 26th followed by Chicago City SC on Sunday, May 28th. Kick off 7PM.
FC Wichita will host Peoria City on Friday, May 26th.
Starting XI (Des Moines Menace)
Ryan Troutman (goalkeeper); Diego Konnicks, Alberto Suarez, Jesse Williams (defenders); Kori Cupid, Henry Sach, Luke Nedic, Audi Jepson, Adrien Gameiro (midfielders); Gabi Rodriguez, Tyrese Spicer (forwards).
Substitutes: Nicolas Torres-Masafierro, Curtis De Leon, Leroy Enzugusi, Joey Batrouni, Vicente Valor, Cyrus Harmon, Haruki Yamazaki.