Dayton – The Dayton Dutch Lions FC (0-0-0) took on Forest City London (0-0-0) on a chilly May evening at DOC Stadium. The Lions struggled to find their rhythm but their seasoned veterans and a stellar keeper performance would keep the game close.
Dayton started cautiously and Forest City tried to take advantage with some long balls, testing the Lions defense. Dayton worked to find a rhythm and in the seventh minute Etienne Esajas moved the ball through on the left and captain Eric Kissinger made the run. A short pass back to Jimmy Oatman lead to a shot, but the ball flew high. Forest City answered back with a shot of their own in the tenth, but the ball went wide. A loose ball in the nineteenth gave Dayton another chance as Irakli Khutsidze shot hard in front of the goal but London’s keeper Mark Haynes blocked the shot and it went out behind the goal. Khutsidze took the corner and in the twentieth minute found the head of Zack Zwiesler who put it into the corner for a Dutch Lions goal. In the fortieth minute FC London had a chance at their third corner and Alejandro Pastor bent the ball toward the Dayton net but Lion’s keeper Chris Froschaur was able to get a hand on it and push it away. Dayton would not be able to hold of FC London for long though as an indirect kick near the box gave them the opportunity they needed. The ball found the head of Takumi Jeannin and the ball crashed into the bottom of the crossbar and bounce back into the goal to tie the game in the forty third minute. The Lions pressed hard and went for a goal, but could not add to the score before the end of the first half.
The second half was a battle in the midfield, but FC London came out on top in the fifty first minute when Pastor made the run between defenders and Aurelien Norest was able to find his feet. Pastor placed ball into the back corner over the Lion’s keeper. Dayton followed shortly with a run down the left in the fifty-third by Kissinger. He crossed to Khutsidze who put the ball right into the path of the waiting FC London keeper. FC London answered back in the sixtieth minute when they were a given a free kick. The ball went to the far side and was crossed in and shot hard. Lion’s keeper Frosschaur made the dive across the goal for the block to keep Dayton in the game. The Lions createed some opportunities with passing through the middle but FC London had the majority of chances in the second half. Dayton’s keeper Froschaur came up big with saves throughout. In the eighty-fifth minute Dayton had a chance to equalize when a corner kick bounced around near the box and a Lion’s player got a foot on it and fired it into the net. The goal was called back due to offside’s, leaving Dayton still looking for a tying goal. In extra time, the Lions had a chance at a free kick just outside box. Khutsidze arced the ball toward the left corner but it went just wide. The Dayton Dutch Lions FC would end up falling to Forest City London 1-2.
Coach Bal had these comments after the game: “The first game of the season is always tough. We’ve been together for a very short time. You saw today that we didn’t always connect. There were some good defensive moments. I think if we train together a little longer, and get to know each other a little better, we will improve. It’s a positive start, although we lost, we could have had the tying goal. I thought we had it. Apparently off sides. It’s a decent start. I am looking forward to getting to know the players a little better. We’ve been together about ten days. If you take those whole ten days, it’s been very positive. It’s too bad we weren’t able to take a result so the guys feel better. If we had scored that goal in the last minute, that would have been a positive. Now we just have to do it next week in Chicago”.
The Dayton Dutch Lions FC will travel to play the Chicago Fire U-23 at Toyota Park on May 31st at 11:00am. They play at home again on June 6 against K-W United at 7:30pm. We hope to see you all there.