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One Man Down, the Menace Still Come Out on Top Against Chicago City SC

By Mason Tatafu, 06/14/24, 7:45PM CDT


In a thrilling encounter, the Des Moines Menace faced Chicago City and emerged victorious with a 2-0 win, demonstrating resilience and strategic prowess despite playing a significant portion of the match with ten men. The game, held under clear skies, showcased the Menace's ability to capitalize on key moments while maintaining a solid defense.

The Menace wasted no time getting their first look at the Chicago City goal. Just two minutes in, crisp buildup play in the attacking third gave Ze Ribeiro de Cunha space to strike from outside the 18-yard box, but the shot went high. However, this early chance was immediately preceded by a scare for the Menace as the City striker found himself in a 1v1 situation against Viktor Hojbjerg. The City striker squandered the opportunity, sparing the Menace an early deficit.

A similar incident occurred in the 16th minute when the City striker once again failed to convert from a slightly wider and tougher angle. The Menace responded quickly a minute later, with Marc Torrellas unleashing a powerful strike from outside the City’s 18-yard box. The shot beat the City keeper but was denied by the post.

In the 23rd minute, Chicago City missed yet another scoring opportunity, putting the ball wide from inside the Menace box. The game took a dramatic turn in the 30th minute when a discussion between the center official and the linesman concluded that violent conduct had occurred during a tackle involving Menace's Julian Cisneros. The referee issued a red card, reducing the Menace to ten men. Assistant coach, Austin Gochneaur, was issued a yellow card shortly after.

Despite being a man down, the Menace struck first. In the 40th minute, a corner taken by Felipe D’Agostini found Sami Lachekar at the back post, who calmly caressed the ball into the back of the net, putting the Menace ahead 1-0.

In the dying minutes of the first half, a brilliant combination between D’Agostini and Torrellas saw the latter slide a ball down the line for D’Agostini to continue his run. He then delivered a wonderful cross to Kenshin Uneo, who made no mistake from inside the box, heading the ball across the keeper into the back of the net. The Menace went into halftime with a 2-0 lead.

The second half began with Menace head coach, Troy McKerrell, and Torrellas receiving yellow cards five minutes in for dissent. The Menace then adopted a deeper defensive block, focusing on preserving their 2-0 lead while playing with ten men. A frustrated Chicago City struggled to create significant chances, and the urgency of the game began to fizzle out midway through the second half.

After an onslaught of yellow cards on both sides of the pitch, the Menace’s defensive discipline ensured that the score remained unchanged, securing a well-earned 2-0 victory over Chicago City. This win highlights the Menace's determination and ability to perform under pressure, setting a positive tone for their upcoming matches.

This win and the results of St Charles FC vs River Light FC saw a massive shift in the Heartland Division. The Menace now sit at second with 2.17 points per match, only just trailing behind Peoria City's 2.2 PPM. 

The Menace are back at home on June 15th to meet St Charles FC for Youth Soccer Night at Valley Stadium.