Peoria, Ill. – It was not the usual display. The home side proved tough at Shea Stadium, but the Menace came on top, winning the match 2-0 taking care of business on its last away match.
Guided on offense by a familiar face, the team was able to put two goals away against a side sprouting with talent.
The sound of drums and wind gusts clouded the field; An authentic atmosphere that added uncertainty to the outcome of the game for both sides.
Peoria took control in the beginning minutes.
The first shot of the match arrived at the 9th, when an attack from the left flank resulted in a shot easy for Ryan Troutman to handle.
But Fernando Garcia, upon his return to Menace, began to snowball on offense creating chances of his own; Himself and Lagos Kunga were hungry for goal.
The first 30 minutes were even. Peoria rotated efficiently from its backline, but no clear opportunities developed for the length of the half.
That is when Des Moines took advantage.
In the 35th minute, Kunga found a stride and skilled past several Peoria defenders, guiding a timely shot around the goalkeeper to make it 1-0. Like magic.
Adrien Gameiro, back in the lineup and working the right, pressed on attack and almost made it two just five minutes later.
The half seemed empty, as both teams seemed to have an equative share of the ball.
Early in the second, a few gasping moments troubled Des Moines.
An aggressive shot-cross from Peoria was lightly fumbled by Troutman who quickly pounced on the ball, it would not be the last time he would be tested.
Suddenly, when a tying goal seemed possible, Vicente Valor scoped Garcia’s run.
In the 52nd minute, Garcia eyed the goalkeeper on the face-off, dribbled past him, and made 2-0 look easy.
The next twenty minutes saw Menace looking to extend the lead, fueled by substitutions on just about every position.
Zeron Sewell, returner on debut, would exit the match after a rock-solid performance alongside Diego Konincks and Alberto Suarez.
In the 77th minute, it was Troutman who kept the sheets clean.
A double save and several commanding hunts toward the ball upon danger would keep the score unchanged.
All substitutions made an appearance on the night, including Leroy Enzugusi, who almost turned two into three in the 9th minute but was denied by the left post.
Not the prettiest win, but a needed test in preparation for the big game next week.
35’ - Lagos Kunga (Menace)
52’ - Fernando Garcia, assisted by Vicente Valor (Menace)
Des Moines Menace will play at home, and face Chicago City SC. The most anticipated match of the entire USL 2 regular season thus far. Save the date, Saturday July 1st at 7:00 PM CT, Valley Stadium, West Des Moines.
Peoria City will stay put in Shea Stadium and await Chicago Dutch Lions FC for a match on Wednesday June 28th, 7 PM Central.
Starting XI (Des Moines Menace)
Ryan Troutman (goalkeepeer); Diego Konincks, Alberto Suarez, Zeron Sewell (defenders); Adrien Gameiro, Kori Cupid, Nico Torres-Masafierro, Vicente Valor, Eliot Goldthorp (midfielders); Lagos Kunga, Fernando Garcia (forwards)
Substitutes: Quinn Millerd, Luka Nedic, Tyler Moss, Curtis De Leon, Leroy Enzugusi, Haruki Yamazaki, Chris Nanco