Deflected shot in 4th minute and 5 minute run in 2nd take Lions dream away from reaching semifinals US Open Cup
Kansas – The Dayton Dutch Lions FC left for Kansas Monday morning with one goal on their mind: upset another MLS squad (after beating the Columbus Crew 1-2 in Columbus) and reach the US Open Cup semi final to play Philadelphia Union.
The atmosphere in the new LiveStrong Sporting Park was fantastic with 12.500 fans in the stands and fireworks at kick off. The Lions started very unlucky when in the fourth minute 25yeard shot was deflected leaving Matt Williams without a chance and the score 1-0.
Besides the goal Kansas only got one good chance in the 44th minute when they hit the post. The Lions defense was again very well organized and from time to time possessed the ball well playing from the back through the midfield with Nixon Dias repeatedly moving in.
The best chance of the first half was for the Lions to make the equalizer when Dias played the ball to McNamara who played it deep to Eli Garner, who outran his opponent on the right going into the box and instead of shooting put it wide to the incoming Dias who had an open shot from 10 yards out but saw it saved by the goalie.
The second half almost an identical situation in the first five minutes with Bardsley going deep on the left side one on one with the goalie but again he saved leaving the score 1-0. The two misses came back to the Lions and in 5 minute time span the game was locked with a great 20 yard shot by Zusi in the 56th minute without being pressured and a 59th minute goal by a header of the wide open Sapong off a corner kick .
The Lions tried to bring in some extra offense with Knotek, Priestley and Holowaty but could not get the game in their hands and create any danger anymore. Williams had one more big save to keep the score 3-0. Despite the loss the Lions definitely had a chance looking back at the two big chances at the 1-0 score.
Head Coach Ivar van Dinteren is proud of the team. “I’m very happy with what we have achieved, leaving three teams behind, from which the Columbus Crew is one. Of course, I do have mixed feelings about the outcome in Kansas, because I know we could have done better than what we showed on the pitch that night. We had a chance to reach the semi finals. And of course, any chance left untaken gets you. Above all, I’m very proud and the atmosphere was great in the stadium, with thanks to all the supporters and organization.”