After last weeks 1-0 victory against Lansing United on the road, it was The Mighty Oak’s turn to play host. Lansing United and AFC Ann Arbor are familiar foes and this game promised action and drama from the start.
The first half was a possession game for both sides. Despite each team possessing the ball for long spells, neither was able to create much going forward.
The second half was a different story. In the 48th minute, Lansing United’s Lukas Muszong scored from long range to give the visitors an early second half lead. This forced AFC’s hand and the men looked to press forward and equalize. The attack from the Mighty Oak left spaces at the back and Lansing again capitalized.
In the 68th minute, immediately after two Lansing substitutions, United took advantage of a throw deep into AFC territory. James Decosemo put Lansing up 2-0 after some sloppy defending. However, this was far from the last of the action.
In the 79th minute, AFC substitute Willy Bayemi gave The Mighty Oak a lifeline. He finished the move at the third time of asking after Lansing keeper James Hague saved his two initial shots.
9 minutes later, Hector Morales got in on the action and leveled the match at 2-2, pouncing smartly on a loose ball in the Lansing box. With four minutes to play, the match looked certain to finish level, but The Mighty Oak had the momentum and the home support.
In the 89th minute, just three minutes after his first goal of the evening, Hector Morales scored the winning goal in dramatic fashion. Tristan Jacobs’ shot from the top of the eighteen-yard box was parried right into Hector’s path and he made no mistake, giving the Mighty Oak of AFC Ann Arbor an incredible come-from-behind victory.
AFC coach Eric Rudland was impressed with the response from the entire team and had particular praise for Willy Bayemi, who was the first player to be substituted into the match for The Mighty Oak. “I thought Willy [had] his best performance of the year so far for us.” He said. “He was a game changer. The guys around him built on his energy.”
The result leaves The Mighty Oak firmly in first place in the NPSL Great Lakes West.
The Audi of Ann Arbor Man of the Match was Hector Morales, a fine performance capped by two crucial goals.
AFC Ann Arbor returns to action, Sunday, June 26th as they travel to Pontiac to take on the Michigan Stars. The Mighty Oak take the field at Hollway again on Sunday, July 3rd, to host Detroit City FC.