August 3, 2021
NISA Independent Cup Great Lakes Region Match
George Finnie Stadium, Berea OH
Cleveland SC 1, Detroit City FC 4
DCFC: Yazeed Matthews (Pato Botello Faz) 3′
DCFC: Anthony Manning (Kevin Venegas) 33′
DCFC: Connor Rutz 37′
CSC: Chris Cvecko 76′
DCFC: Darwin Espinal (Javi Bautista) 90′
The final match for Detroit in the Independent Cup takes us to Cleveland to play our old NPSL nemesis, Cleveland SC. Sort of.
This is not the AFC Cleveland team that began in 2012 like us. They’ve re-branded. The original Cleveland team, which we faced three times in semi-final matches (2012, 2013, and 2015) was terminated from the NPSL due to its financial situation after the 2017 season. A number of AFC Cleveland players sought an investor and found one who established Cleveland SC. We’ve seen them twice in this new form: on July 21, 2019 in the NPSL Midwest Region Final in which they eliminated us from the playoffs in PKs, and in last year’s NISA Independent Cup on July 31, 2020 where we beat them 3-0.
Coming into tonight, City had two wins in two matches and a goal differential of +12. FC Buffalo’s Independent Cup run was over, collecting two wins and one loss with a goal differential of +8. Cleveland had only played one match – a 7-0 loss to FC Buffalo, and would play winless Livonia City FC on August 14th. A win or a draw would crown City as the 2021 NISA Independent Cup Great Lakes Region champion.
Alex Ivanov – GK
Chris Cvecko – D
David Beattie – D
Saahb Kular – D
Smith Pepper – D
Noah Elbana – M
Daniel Koniarczyk – M
Jannis Schmidt – M
Andrew Nicholas – F
Griffin Meyer – F
Vinnie Bell – F
DETROIT CITY FC
Armando Quezada – GK
Anthony Manning – D
Stephen Carroll – D
Matt Lewis – D
Kevin Venegas – M
George Chomakov – M
Maxi Rodriguez – M
Jimmy Filerman – M
Connor Rutz – M
Pato Botello Faz – F
Yazeed Matthews – F
Yazeed Matthews kicked things off in the third minute when Pato Botello Faz threaded a ball through the Cleveland defense to him. Yazeed’s shot hit the back of the net and Detroit was off and running.
Detroit continued to dominate and in the 33rd minute, Anthony Manning was on the receiving end of a Kevin Venegas corner kick, heading the ball beyond the reach of the Cleveland keeper. Two-nil.
Connor Rutz added a goal four minutes later on a nifty turn and shot that eluded the Cleveland keeper. City went into half time with a three-nil lead.
In the 76th minute, a Cleveland corner kick was awarded. The ball sailed across goal to Cleveland’s Chris Cvecko. His header sailed then dropped in just beneath the crossbar and beyond Armando Quezada’s reach (though it looked like a Cleveland player interfered with the City keeper in the process). No matter. City punched the clock at the 90 minute mark with a goal from Darwin Espinal, assisted by Javi Bautista, as the assistant coach came in as a 82nd minute substitution for Maxi Rodriguez.
Player of the Match: George Chomakov.
Celebrating in gold kits once again.
Interesting that the Independent Cup is a plate.
The Rust Belt Derby trophy remains in Detroit, too. This is the supporter trophy between Cleveland, Buffalo, and Detroit which began in our inaugural 2012 season.
For those keeping score…
- 2021 NISA Legends Cup
- NISA 2021 Spring Season Champions
- NISA 2020-21 League Champions
- 2021 Midwest Premiere League East Champions
- 2021 UWS2 Great Lakes Conference Champions
- 2021 NISA Independent Cup Great Lakes Region Champions
- 2021 Rust Belt Derby