Minneapolis City continued its fine run of form, overcoming a daunting injury list to defeat Med City FC 2-1 in Rochester.
The game kicked off on the tail end of a major storm, and the home side held the initiative for the first quarter of an hour but without really testing Minneapolis City. For their part, the Crows were patiently waiting for opportunities to spring their speedy wingers, Whitney Browne and Nick Hutton.
The approach was to pay off.
With 19 minutes on the clock, Trey Benhart found Hutton on the right wing. The ball bounced uncomfortably off the sodden turf but Hutton, with a divine touch as beautiful as Bergkamp, flicked it past his marker and in stride. He swiveled his hips, which backed off the covering center back, before simply lashing it into the top corner of the net from 20 yards. The goalkeeper didn’t bother to move.
With the goal, Minneapolis City began to assert themselves in terms of possession. Med City were undaunted, however, with Neto looking dangerous but not able to truly trouble the goal with his half-chances.
As the first half neared its close, the Medics had the ball in the back of the net. They hadn’t even begun celebrating their equalizer, however, when the referee called the ball back. A Med City elbow to a Minneapolis City face stopped the play dead.
On the other end, at the death of the half, Nick Hutton won the ball and turned provider, playing in Will Kidd who used his pace to beat his defender and the goalie for a simple finish to make it 2-0.
A determined Med City opened the second half. They upped the physical aspect of the game considerably and began to boss possession, but they found a veteran backline of Mark Heydt, Trey Benhart, Max Kent and Aaron Olson in no mood to break.
Shielded well by Charlie Adams, playing out of position as a defensive midfielder so deep was the Crows’ injury crisis, the game settled into a classic “away team protecting a lead” rhythm.
Even after Neto was able to score for Med City, converting from a free kick after Heydt was booked for stopping a Medics attack, the Minneapolis City backline looked confident and unflustered as Med City kept the ball in front of them, but struggled to create anything clear cut.
That was how the game ended, 2-1 to Minneapolis City with a defensive showcase after so many games where the offense took all the glory.