A high-scoring battle between familiar opponents last night consisted of six goals, including three headed and one from 40 yards out.
The Cincinnati Dutch Lions FC took on the out of Greensboro, NC at Xavier Soccer Complex for the home opener of their second season in the Premier Development League.
Dutch Lions’ forward Kyle Smith opened up the scoring in the 9th minute with a header off the first corner kick of the game played by right winger Alejandro Garcia.
Smith connected with his head again off another cross from the right side, a ball from defender Christian Hay, in the 26th minute to put the Dutch Lions up 2-0.
“I just tried to put them on frame,” Smith said. “I was pretty much wide open in the box, I tried to put as much power as I could on them.”
Smith is a returning player from last year and knew what to expect coming into the first game against the Dynamo.
“I knew what the competition was going to be. Everyone just tried to come out here play hard, strong and be organized. We got some things to work on but it was a good start.”
The Dynamo tied the contest after goals in the 29th and 41st minutes. Midfielder Kudolo’s 41st minute goal came from 40 yards out and with no hesitation. After a turnover, the defensive midfielder caught Dutch Lions’ keeper Dane Wilson off his line and fired a line-drive shot off the crossbar and into the net.
After giving up a 2-0 lead and going into halftime tied, Dutch Lions Head Coach Terry Nicholl would’ve liked to have given a different kind of halftime speech.
“First two goals were giveaways really. We should be building up better than that,” Nicholl said. “Their goals came at bad times. We were 2-0 up. You want to be in at half talking about what we got to do to get ready for the second half and hold the lead.”
Garcia captured his second assist off a free-kick from the right side of the box. After a run across defenders, forward Jacob Meyer met the ball with his head to send it passed the Dynamo keeper in the 65th minute.
“I just hit it on both assists, I knew if I got the ball in deep and center someone would be there,” Garcia said. “I saw three guys in there so I had some options.”
Dynamo would again rally to tie the game in the 67th minute with a curving strike from outside the box that ended up in the bottom left corner of the net.
Coach Nicholl recalled similar results with last year’s opener as well.
“Last year I think we were 3-1 down and we fought back to 3-3. This year, we got ahead and we just had to seal up some defensive errors,” he said. “I think we left ourselves open when playing balls into our forwards’ feet. We have to be more organized when we’re building up playing into our front men.”
“We have to be satisfied with this performance. We would’ve like to have won 3-2 and move on with one underneath the belt but overall I understand where we’re at.”
The Cincinnati Dutch Lions’ next game is May 23rd against the Charlotte Eagles at Xavier Soccer Complex.