It was a sweltering 4th annual Memorial Day Classic, however the heat didn’t stop the Mighty Oak, who had a dominant performance against Oakland County FC, winning 2-1 (4-1 Aggregate) to advance to the Michigan Milk Cup Semi-Final.
AFC Ann Arbor took home a decisive win the first leg of the opening pairing, 2-0 at Oakland County FC on Friday, May 18. The Mighty Oak continued that dominance again in today’s victory.
At the start of the game Oakland County came out fighting, creating an early opportunity in the first five minutes with a ball that bounced off the post. The Mighty Oak responded with a few decent chances of their own by utilizing the play of the midfield wingers who had opportunities on long balls throughout the game.
Heat was a major factor in the matchup. The first water break came at the 20’ mark and a few more were to follow throughout the game. Despite the breaks fatigue had set in by the end for Oakland County FC, who couldn’t keep up with AFC Ann Arbor’s relentless attack.
Forward Alec Lasinski shot early and often the game, creating chances left and right. His first shot was a low driven attempt that ran just wide of the goal in the 24’.
Near the end of the first half Azzad (“AZ”) Liadi received a pass and made his cut into the box for a shot on goal, before he could get the shot off he was met by a hard tackle from an Oakland County defender, which warranted a penalty kick. Kyle Breitmeyer took the penalty shot with a bit of finesse to chip the ball into the goal as the Oakland County keeper dove the opposite way. AFC Ann Arbor headed into halftime with a 1-0 lead.
The second half started off by mirroring the first, with Oakland County failing to capitalize on an early chance and AFC responding and taking control of the play.
The Mighty Oak had numerous opportunities early on from Liadi, Lasinski and Breitmeyer. One of the chances that found its way to the back of the net was called offside. There would be two other disallowed goals from AFC by the game end due to players being in offside positions.
Alec Lasinski, undeterred by first no goal call in the 54’ continued to cause problems for the Oakland County back line and keeper. He was hungry for a goal. His efforts and The Mighty Oaks relentless pressure would pay off for AFC in the 60’ when Liadi was able to tap in a deep cross from a Lasinski , giving the Mighty Oak a 2-0 advantage.
In the 69’ a counter attack from Oakland County yielded a goal off a penalty kick to bring the score within one. In an attempt to make a play on the ball Martieon Waton fouled an Oakland County attacker in the box and was given a yellow. Oakland County as able to convert the resulting penalty kick attempt, despite a diving effort from Tito Yeminez.
From the 70’ mark until full time AFC Ann Arbor controlled the possession and pace of the game. It was evident that the heat was beginning to fatigue an already tired midfield and back line for Oakland County who conceded multiple attempts in the final twenty minutes.
With the result today The Mighty Oak win their first round pairing of the Michigan Milk Cup 4-1 on aggregate and advance to the semi-finals. Drawing for the next round of pairing will be soon. Visit MichiganMilkCup.com to learn more.
AFC Ann Arbor will be back in NPSL action Friday, June 1 at Eastern Michigan University's Scicluna Field to take on Grand Rapids FC at 6:00pm.