It’s a flat, straight drive from Minneapolis to Moorhead, home of Dakota Fusion. While the drive was uneventful for the visitors, the match was anything but as seven goals were scored, including three in three minutes, as Minneapolis City beat Dakota Fusion 5-2 on Wednesday night. The win keeps the Crows perfect on the season and perched on top of the North Conference.
Despite the heat, Dakota came out of the blocks at a furious pace and pressed Minneapolis City hard when the Crows had possession. They were uninterested in themselves keeping the ball, instead hitting long, low, driving balls to speedy forwards to attack down the wings. It made the opening stages chaotic, which favored the home side.
When they were able to sustain possession, City looked the more dangerous. Lionel Vang was poking and prodding from the right wing while Kevin Andrews was doing the same from the left. It was Vang who opened the scoring, collecting a short ball some 40 yards out before turning and firing the ball into the lower right corner of the goal. “Que golazo” said Mark Boquin from the bench, and he was not exaggerating.
The real fireworks waited until the end of the first half.
Another long spell of possession by the Crows, who patiently worked the ball back and forth across the field, was turned by Miles Stockman-Willis into an incisive ball into the feet of Medo Youssef. Youssef took a touch, turned his defender, and fired home to double the lead.
Then, just a minute later, Arthur Parens was able to break free from his defender after collecting an intelligent ball from Kevin Andrews. He made no mistake, slotting past the onrushing goalkeeper. Halftime was just two minutes away. But it was a time of madness by now, the delirium-inducing heat had overwhelmed the game, and an inexplicable series of events left Dakota’s Daigo Adachi with the ball in front of the City goal. He put it away to make the score 3-1 at halftime.
The second half proceeded like the first: long spells of City possession that created fine chances, with two that resulted in goals and one that resulted in an almost comical amount of possession in the Fusion box without any City player getting a shot off. Fusion, for their part, were able to pull a goal back, but as the time ticked down over the shimmering heat of the artificial turf surface, the match slowed down to the inevitable 5-2 win for Minneapolis City, who remain top of the North Conference table.
“There are always challenges traveling midweek, amplified by the heatwave” said Technical Director Adam Pribyl. “Dakota Fusion was very well coached and well organized and challenged our players to solve problems on the field. We are happy to come away with three points, and excited that our quality and teamwork is shining through.”