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MSOC: Two Late Goals Drop Detroit 2-0
MSOC: Two Late Goals Drop Detroit 2-0
Christopher Rieman
Published by Chris R
Smile MSOC: Two Late Goals Drop Detroit 2-0

Dayton and Detroit battled for 75 scoreless minutes but two late Flyer goals proved the difference in a hard-fought 2-0 victory on Sunday afternoon at Baujan Field. Jake Feiner finished a cross and Kingsford Adjei added a PK as UD improves to 3-0-1 while the Titans fall to 1-1-2.

While the Flyers earned the victory, UD didn't start out like a ball of fire. Following kickoff, Detroit did well to control a preponderance of the possession while attacking down the left and right flanks -- oftentimes with long balls over the top. Centrally, Detroit was dominate as well as they dug out numerous loose balls to prevent Dayton from generating sustained possession and countering with some offense of their own.

The match proved very physical and that never changed over 90 minutes. It was a style Detroit was more than happy to adjust to, while UD needed more time to figure things out and manufacture a rhythm in both their passing and attacking game in the offensive half of the field.

While the Titans controlled more possession, it didn't result in a decisive shot-on-goal advantage. To their credit, the UD back line was stingy and did just enough to turn dangerous Titan scoring chances away before they were able to put quality shots on frame. Flyer GK Marc Kouadio wasn't excessively busy but had to deflect high balls in the air to aid the Flyer clearances.

UD's best offense came from counter-attacks at the baseline, but Detroit's defense did a nice job of shutting the door before the Flyers were able to chip a ball into the mixer that someone could redirect into the net. UD never had many good, clean, open looks at the net.

By halftime, Dayton was struggling but managed to keep the match scoreless despite being outshot 10-5 and out-cornered 3-1.

Whatever intel was shared inside the UD locker room at halftime, it worked. Dayton made substantial gains in all areas immediately after the re-start. A stronger work ethic for 50/50 challenges in the middle third of the field generated far more possession and attacking opportunities both inside and outside. By the 50th minute, the Flyers were the team dictating play and controlling a majority of possession. UD's overall pace of play and sense of urgency was the primary reason as those more responsive challenges and quicker touches allowed the offense to exploit free space moving forward. More space created more options and more options made the Flyer attack much less predictable to defend.

Dayton had a chance to take the lead in the 53rd minute but could not convert a penalty kick opportunity. But it didn't matter because Detroit never gained new life; if anything the miss just encouraged the Flyers to squeeze Detroit like an anaconda -- persistent and relentless pressure.

UD's hard work paid off in the 78th minute when Jake Feiner redirected a free kick into the net to put the Flyers on top 1-0. Just two minutes later Detroit was whistled in the box for running over at least one and maybe two Flyer players while defending another free kick, resulting in UD's second PK of the evening.

Kingsford Adjei converted the PK to give the Flyers a 2-0 lead with 12 minutes remaining and based on the tenor of the match it seemed like a lead that was almost insurmountable. The remaining minutes of the match played out that way too as UD continued to play more attack-minded soccer while the Titans had trouble linking passes and pushing forward with anything other than long-ball service. UD's defense was well-organized -- good enough to earn the clean sheet.

UD outshot Detroit 8-2 in the last 45 minutes, illustrating the match turnaround after intermission. It remains to be seen how competitive Detroit will end up by season's end, but this was the kind of match the Flyers had to populate with a checkmark in the win column. The victory also kept the Flyers unblemished in the loss column as they remain at home for a match on Friday evening against Western Michigan.

It was a successful weekend with two wins -- both coming from scores in the last 15 minutes of regulation. The manner of those victories should prove valuable as the season continues and build up some much-needed confidence both on offense and defense. The Flyers know they have the grit to score late and the discipline to keep the score down defensively.

C. M. Rieman | Publisher | 937.361.4630 | Get the latest here:

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