Des Moines, Iowa – After posting six goals and a clean sheet against Chicago Dutch Lions FC, the Menace now have 30 straight regular season wins at Valley Stadium. A team tough to handle at home.
The Dutch Lions came to West Des Moines with an idea; a carbon copy of the Menace formation. Seeking to ease defending the lengths of the field through individual matchups, Carson Davenport’s team was forced to regress to its natural 4-1-4-1 form, but it was not enough.
Three points are paramount in a two-way race for the Heartland Division. A team effort, and a spectacular display from Nico Torres-Masafierro in the midfield.
On Pride Night, and wearing a special Olive & York jersey, the result obtained proves the quality of a team keen to defend its palace, the fans, and the joy of victory, fueling the smile of owner Kyle Krause who cheered on the squad all night long.
Des Moines took care of the ball, facing early pressure from Dutch Lions that began to dwindle after the first goal.
At the 13th minute a corner from Eliot Goldthorp slid past the defense and found Diego Konincks, who headed it to the opposite side of the goalkeeper, obtaining his third goal of the season.
Chris Nanco would combine with Spicer looking to get a quick score after the first; Danny Salazar was busy on net for Chicago on the night, having to close-down attackers chasing down the through ball.
After a sly move up front by the orange, Des Moines worked a counterattack through Alberto Suarez who found an open channel for Goldthorp.
The Englishman produced a stepover into the box and slashed a shot between three defenders that beat Salazar, making it 2-0 in the 18th minute.
The pressure continued with Nanco, who slid the ball for Goldthorp who had options, but could not put a comfortable shot around Tasker Wheeler for his second on the night.
Again, stepping up was Goldthorp, who in the 25th organized a one-two with Spicer, but his shot was blocked by Cory Pitlik of Dutch Lions.
Suddenly, it was Kori Cupid on the chance landing a shot on the post after a cross from Nanco; Cupid looking to score in three games in a row. Nanco again, minutes later, floated a dangerous ball almost put away by Alberto Suarez.
Around the 31st, Vicente Valor put Goldthorp on a one-on-one versus Salazar, but his chip went way over the goal.
The first half ambush continued. Yamazaki ran down to shooting position in the 34th minute, Salazar keeping his team alive saved the shot and was lucky Nanco could not put away his rebound.
Dutch Lions would have a chance by the end of the half, as Pitlik headed a ball into Ryan Troutman’s grasp after the corner; On the other hand, Nanco won a ball that led him on a solo chance against Brennan Rzewuski, who was unable to stop his drifting shot, almost on goal.
The beginning of the second saw Nanco steady circulating the Chicago box, but nothing was concrete. At the 57th minute Spicer would exit for Cyrus Harmon, and Tyler Moss would join on the right-wing replacing Yamazaki.
A dangerous free kick provided a chance for Goldthorp in the 59th minute. His shot rattled the post but Alberto Suarez was there to lay a third goal for Menace.
In response, a farfetched shot attempt by Pitlik from 35 yards sailed wide, but encouraged the visitors to keep trying.
Chris Nanco would make an exit in the 65th minute, Curtis De Leon would come in.
The story continued. Shot on target from Moss, Harmon striking the cross bar and Jesse Williams lining one up from distance.
Soon enough, De Leon would find Goldthorp in the 70th minute, who made a run around Rzewuski and poked the ball into the net with brilliance.
The game would get tense. After a hard foul by Luka Nedic in the midfield, Tyson Amoo-Mensah for Dutch Lions stood up to confronting him.
Mensah pushed Nedic, and threw a punch. Several shoves happened from players on both sides until chaos eventually settled.
Nedic received a yellow card; Mensah was given the red and was ejected from the game.
A sudden attack by Alex Barger almost landed a goal for the orange, launching a shot that Troutman grazed enough for it to rebound off the crossbar.
But the lights would shine again at Valley.
In the 84th minute, Lagos Kunga delivered a low cross sneaking past two Menace players, but Harmon was there to complete the counter with a goal.
Torres-Masafierro, deemed man of the match, almost added a goal to his performance in the 88th minute as he struck a bouncing ball into the post. Similarly, Kunga paced down the right flank but his shot was saved off the line by a defender.
Kunga might not have gotten the goal, but just inside stoppage time he floated a pass to De Leon, who shielded the ball from pressure, and delivered a composed strike past the goalkeeper to obtain his first goal with Des Moines.
An action-packed game, but it was all Menace, whose next home match will be against Chicago City FC.
13’ - Diego Konincks, assisted by Eliot Goldthorp (Menace)
18’ - Eliot Goldthorp, assisted by Alberto Suarez (Menace)
59’ - Alberto Suarez (Menace)
70’ - Eliot Goldthorp, Curtis De Leon (Menace)
77’ - Tyson Amoo-Mensah / RED CARD (Dutch Lions)
84’ - Cyrus Harmon, assisted by Lagos Kunga (Menace)
91’ - Curtis De Leon, assisted by Lagos Kunga (Menace)
Des Moines Menace will travel to Peoria. Match is scheduled for Saturday June 24th from Shea Stadium, kickoff at 7 PM Central.
Chicago Dutch Lions FC have a long break, and will travel to face Peoria on Wednesday June 28th, Shea Stadium 7 PM Central.
Starting XI (Des Moines Menace)
Ryan Troutman (goalkeepeer); Diego Konincks, Alberto Suarez, Jesse Williams (defenders); Haruki Yamazaki, Kori Cupid, Nico Torres-Masafierro, Vicente Valor, Eliot Goldthorp (midfielders); Tyrese Spicer, Chris Nanco(forwards)
Substitutes: Joey Batrouni, Luka Nedic, Tyler Moss, Cyrus Harmon, Curtis De Leon, Lagos Kunga, Stephen Fikula