After a crucial 1-0 win last Sunday against rival Detroit City FC, AFC Ann Arbor played one of its most complete games of the season against Kalamazoo FC to earn three more points, stay unbeaten in NPSL play, and remain atop the Great Lakes Conference.
From the kickoff The Mighty Oak were poised and confident, knowing how crucial this game was for the standings going forward. AFC Ann Arbor’s possession of the ball and movement off the ball created havoc for Kalamazoo FC.
The final ten minutes of the first half proved to be one of AFC’s best sequences all season. AZ Liadi opened the scoring at the 32nd minute, after stealing the ball from a Kalamazoo Midfielder. AZ proceeded to cut through the heart of Kalamazoo’s defense and rip a shot from the top of the eighteen.
Two minutes later The Mighty Oak were on the attack again after the defense warded off a press from Kalamazoo. This time, Man of the Match, Michael Shaikly rocked a shot upper-ninety after receiving a center ball from Chris Odhiambo to give AFC a 2-0 advantage.
In the 41st minute a service from Breno Stapcinskas from the back found its way to Serge Gamwanya who found himself looking at a 3 on 1 situation for the Mighty Oak. Gamwanya advanced the ball before passing it to a streaking Jordan Montoya who finished with a beautiful one-timer at the edge of the box to give The Mighty Oak a 3-0 lead.
The Mighty Oak unsatisfied with the margin continued to press in the waning minutes before halftime and once again they were rewarded for their efforts. The duo of Shaikly and Odhiambo struck again, as Shaikly tallied his second goal off a quick shot in the box, and Odhiambo was once again the man with an assist.
AFC Ann Arbor came out in the second half with a 4-0 lead and Kalamazoo had no answers. The Mighty Oak played the second half as a complete unit, possessing most of the play in the final third. Although AFC AA didn’t score in the second half
AFC’s defense warded off every chance Kalamazoo had, the midfield dictated possession, and the forwards took smart opportunities on net.
The win tonight marks the sixth clean sheet for The Mighty Oak in NPSL play this season and improves their overall record to 7-0-2 in the Great Lakes Conference.
Next, AFC Ann Arbor will travel to Housemann Field Friday, June 22 at 7:30pm, to take on Grand Rapids FC in a critical match up between the top two teams in the conference.