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Menace fall to River Light FC but bounce back against Sueño FC

By Mason Tatafu, 06/04/24, 2:00PM CDT


Menace fall to River Light FC

A tough game between two top level teams see River Light FC come out on top in what was a game of moments. Both teams had only a few chances each, but River Light were the ones to capitalize.

Just two minutes into the match, Des Moines Menace goalkeeper, Enzo Carvalho, is forced to make a big save in the six-yard area to deny River Light FC’s Max Viera a good goal scoring opportunity.

Only three mins later, a chipped goal from River Light’s Marek Gonda is denied as it is called offside by the linesman.

After a slow start, the Menace respond in the 20th minute when Kenshin Uneo beats his man with a sleek stepover to open space for a shot on goal but is unfortunately denied by the post.

In the 26th minute, Menace’s Marco Manduzio cracks a shot from the River Light 18 but ripples the outer side netting.

A Menace counterattack in the 34th minute sees Preston Popp play a neat ball behind the River Light FC defense, which is met by Ze Ribeiro de Cunha. He dribbles around River Light goalkeeper, Gandhi Cruz, and plays a cut back but it is heroically cleared by River Light’s Luke Van Heukelum.

A few minutes later, quick combination play between returning Menace player, Felipe D’Agostini, and Popp in the River Light box sees Popp’s effort denied by Cruz to keep the game tied 0-0.

The end of the first half sees the Menace come out the dominant team, but the score remains 0-0.

Only four minutes into the second half, River Light’s Mark Gonda produces a clean scoop turn to create space for his attempt which is saved by none other than Carvalho.

Few minutes later, Viera has a shot from the Menace 18 which is deflected and falls short to Ganda who skies it over the crossbar from close range.

The Menace responds quickly, as Marc Torrelles cuts inside and fires from outside the 18, his shot beating Cruz, but again the Menace are denied by the woodwork.

A cross from River Light’s Ernest Mensah again finds Gonda at the back post who fires it low and hard, only to be saved by Carvalho.

Another big chance for River Light in the 87th minute as a counterattack sees Gaetano Dargento with a chance on goal, but he slips as he shoots, causing the ball to fly high over the crossbar.

Soon after, Luke Van Heukelum, with a fancy bit of footwork fires a shot past Carvalho, giving River Light the lead in the final few minutes of the game.

The game ends River Light FC 1 – Menace 0.

Menace bounce back against Sueño FC

After two long, wet days of uncertainty and desperation, the Menace secured a satisfying 3-1 victory against Sueño FC. The game was postponed on Saturday just before halftime due to severe weather conditions that caused the pitch to flood. The game was then resumed the next morning at an indoor facility, with 46 minutes left on the clock.

The start of the game saw an even playing field, with both teams having moments of possession but no significant chances until Menace’s Enzo Carvalho made a big save in the 22nd minute. Sueño used this moment to build momentum, and a goal from Ernesto Perez put them in the lead in the 35th minute.

From the 35th minute until just before halftime, players from both teams struggled with the severe rainfall, which left large puddles of water all over the field. The Menace kept pushing, with Carvalho launching a volley toward Felipe D’Agostini, who was able to control it first time, dribbling around his man and playing a caressed pass through Sueño’s box to find Quinten Blair. Blair beat the goalkeeper with his attempt, only to be denied by the crossbar.

Shortly after, conditions worsened to the point where officials called the players off the field, and the game was postponed.

The next day, both teams agreed to resume the match at the start of the second half with the extra minute from the first half added on.

D’Agostini wasted no time, firing a shot toward goal, which was saved by Sueño’s Daniel Salazar just two minutes in. The Menace kept up the pressure, with Preston Popp finding the back of the net in the 50th minute, equalizing the score at 1-1.

The Menace began to look the dominant side as the next 20 minutes saw them gain possession in Sueño territory, not giving the opponents a glimpse of hope. In the 63rd minute, as pressure mounted, Kenshen Uneo fired the Menace into the lead after pouncing on a loose ball near Sueño's 6-yard box, making it 2-1.

The next ten minutes saw D’Agostini, Carlos Hernando, and Ze Ribeiro de Cunha all receive yellow cards. With minutes left to play, Uneo weaved in and out of multiple defenders near the Sueño box and scored his second of the match, securing the victory for the Menace.

Menace 3 - Sueño FC 1.

The Menace took home 3 points from their long weekend in Chicago and now sit at 3rd in the Heartland Division with five matches played.

The Menace are back at home for their next match against the Iowa Champions League All-Stars. The friendly will take place on June 8th at Valley Stadium, kicking off at 7 PM.