FC Columbus vs. Grand Rapids FC - May 27th, 2019
5:00 PM - Panther Stadium - Ohio Dominican University
On a hot, early summer evening, FC Columbus closed out the Memorial Day weekend with a strong performance against the Great Lakes Conference leaders - Grand Rapids FC. Looking to bounce back following two disappointing losses, the home side jumped out to an early lead in the 1st minute of the match off a deflection that found its way into the back of the net. Despite the visiting sides sustained pressure throughout the match, Grand Rapids FC was unable to contain an effective FCCLB counter attack that helped seal a well deserved 3-0 victory for the home side.
Before many of the home supporters were able to take their seats, Damani Camara put the home side ahead in the 1st minute as his deflected shot looped over Grand Rapids FC’s Joseph White into the back of the net. The visitors responded well to the early set back, pressing forward with urgency looking for the equalizer. In the 17th minute it appeared they had found one as a spell of consistent pressure put GRFC’s James Decosemo into a one on one situation in front of goal. The Columbus goalkeeper, Clay Musgrave, was equal to the task making a fantastic reaction save to keep the home side ahead.
Despite some solid defending and goalkeeping from the home side, GRFC was again on the verge of equalizing in the 20th minute. On a corner kick that was awarded due to a misplayed back pass, GRFC won the initial ball in sending it back post for an easy equalizer. However, a look down the line found the visiting side offside, negating the goal.
The away side would continue to see sustained time on the ball, as FC Columbus seemed comfortable defending while looking for the opportunity to counter. Each side created their fair share of chances during latter stages of the first half, yet neither was able to find another goal.
The second half began with a flurry, as both sides attempted to take control as the temperature began to cool. It was FCCLB that found the first real opportunity in the 48th minute, as newcomer Devyn Etling nearly double the home sides lead on a sliding effort that just went wide of the near post. On the ensuing goal kick, Columbus was able to win the ball and send it back into the visitors defensive third. There, Damani Camara was awarded a penalty kick after being dragged down in the box attempting to get on the end of a well played through ball. Looking for his second goal of the match, Camara stepped up and put a well placed shot into the bottom right corner, doubling the lead for the home side in the 50th minute.
Grand Rapids FC responded well again with the space and time given to them following the second goal of the match. A goal line clearance in the 68th minute by FCCLB’s Kangni Gabianou, following an unsettled situation in the box, kept the scoreline 2-0 in favor of the home side.
Minutes later, in the 70th minute, FCCLB put the game out of reach. Following a good spell on the ball, Damani Camara sent Jalim Bayo through on goal. There, in the six yard box, he was dragged to the ground by Joseph White. Looking to notch his first hat trick of the campaign, Camara stepped up and buried the ball into the bottom left side netting, sealing the win and the 3-0 lead for the home side.
With the win, FC Columbus moves to 1-2-2 on the season and 1-0-1 in the Great Lakes Conference. FCCLB is back in action at home against Great Lakes Conference newcomer Toledo Villa FC on Friday, May 31st at The Wellington School (Columbus, Ohio). The match begins at 7:00 PM. Tickets are available online for $5.00 and at the gate for $7.00.
Goals - Damani Camara (1’, 50’ (PK), 70’ (PK))
Cautions - Demarco Andrews (63’), Cheick Diawara (80’)
Grand Rapids FC
Cautions - Joseph White (70’)