AFC Ann Arbor lost 2-0 to Lansing United on Friday night in Lansing. It was a always going to be a difficult away match for Ann Arbor and The Mighty Oak were unable to make the most of their opportunities throughout.
The first half started with Lansing getting on the score sheet early in just the 3rd minute. TJ Tomasso was well positioned in goal, but his outstretched hands couldn’t quite make contact with the low curling drive and Lansing took the lead.
The goal seemed to settle the side, with possession coming in long stretches for Ann Arbor. However in the 28th minute, it was again Lansing playing on the front foot, winning a penalty kick after some aggressive counter-attacking play.
TJ guessed right on the penalty, diving low and making a strong save to palm the ball out for a Lansing corner. The ensuing corner was cleared and AFC Ann Arbor avoided going down two goals so early in the match. The 1-0 scoreline held heading into halftime.
The second half saw a shift of play – Ann Arbor were pressing hard to find a way back into the match and Lansing were content to sit in and look to hit on the counter attack.
With substitutes Yuri Farkas, David Cross and Kaleb Jackson on in the second half as well, it was clear that Coach Rudland was throwing all hands on deck going forward.
As the side pushed for an equalizer, Lansing looked to exploit the gaps in the Ann Arbor backline. In the 88th minute, they did just that. After a throw in deep in Lansing territory, Lansing capitalized on the opportunity to counter. The deflected shot snuck past a wrong-footed TJ and put the match out of reach for The Mighty Oak.
After time had expired, Dario Suarez was issued a red card by the referee for alleged “violent conduct and dissent”. The club has been in contact with members of the NPSL's Disciplinary Committee to express disapproval in the booking.
Coach Rudland spoke to the result and what it means moving forward following the loss.
“The message to the guys is ‘It’s early in the season. This is one game’.’” He said.
“We have to take this lump and learn from it and move on. […] It’s a regeneration day tomorrow, we’ll train Sunday, just tactically to make sure we’re switched on, and then we have to lace up and play again on Monday.”
The Mighty Oak look to bounce back from Friday’s loss in just a few days as they host Grand Rapids FC at Hollway Field at 1:00 pm on Memorial Day.