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Steel City dominates Flower City en route to second straight win

FINAL: Steel City FC 5-0 Flower City Union

A five-goal outburst saw the hosts take their second consecutive victory over the same opponent to open 2024 campaign

It was a beautiful, sunny Sunday afternoon off the field, and an even more beautiful afternoon on it for Steel City FC, as they powered in five goals in a high-octane performance to continue a perfect start to their NPSL season in 2024.

The hosts wasted no time getting the night started, with Eben McIntyre finding the back of the net just four minutes into the match. After a dangerous cross was parried in front of goal, McIntyre managed to finagle the ball beyond the Flower City keeper and gently into the net for the early lead.

“We always like to get out to a hot start, allows us to get on the ball and control the game,” said McIntyre post-match.

“It was brilliant, brilliant stuff,” added head coach Dan Brower. “It was a hot and humid day, so we had to adapt and we adapted pretty well. There were some ebbs and flows, we slowed down a bit around the 25th minute, but we have a pretty deep bench to say the least. We had some great goals, maybe could’ve had a third, but it wasn’t to be. But we went into half, spoke about some things, and then our quality showed in the second half. It was a good performance, second week improved from the first week, and it’s just a matter of small gains, week-in and week-out, day-in and day-out.”

He’d double his tally just minutes later, as his late run to the penalty spot was found with a clever cutback after some brilliant interplay with Anthony DiFalco. One-on-one with the goalkeeper, McIntyre made no mistake, coolly slotting the ball into the bottom-right for a rapid-fire brace.

As Flower City found their legs for the remainder of the second half, McIntyre came within inches of finding a hat trick. A lofted cross towards the far post found his head, and was only stopped by a brilliant save from the visitor’s goalkeeper. Ultimately, both sides would see out the first half with the lead stable at two.

Steel City got off to another hot start in the second half, scoring just seven minutes in as Ryan Mertz was found, unmarked at the top of the 18 and fired off an unstoppable 20-yard strike to the bottom-right corner. Just 15 minutes later, substitute Nathan Prex would make it four, as another cross in front of goal found him alone and with an empty net for the easiest goal he’ll score for quite a while.

Prex would double his tally with just under 10 minutes to go, as a midfield turnover sent Steel City flying forward. A three-on-two situation ended with Prex alone at the penalty spot with an open net yet again, finalizing a 5-0 win for the hosts.

With two wins under their belts in two matches against Flower City, Steel City now heads on the road for three straight against different opposition each match. With confidence running high and goals flowing, the club’s 2023 title defense is off to a flying start.

Match Events

Steel City FC Lineup:

Flower City Union Lineup: 

Key moments: 

0′ – The players take to the field. Steel City in home blues, Flower City in white and purple. A gorgeous Sunday afternoon for soccer, and we are off!

4′ – Goal, Steel City! 1-0! Eben McIntyre finishes off a parried ball after a strong cross from the left wing, it trickles over the line for the instant advantage!

12′ – Goal, Steel City! 2-0! A double for McIntyre as he and Anthony DiFalco put together some brilliant interplay, leading to an easy one-on-one from the penalty spot, slipped bottom-right past the goalkeeper. A brilliant start!

15′ – Finally some forward progression from Flower City, as a cross gets lofted in from the right wing, but easily handled in goal by Garret Watson

24′ – First shot of the game for Flower City, some really nice play originating from the right wing, and finding its way back to the left side of goal and the feet of Damon Almazan, who fires it just high and wide of goal.

26′ – Another chance from McIntyre! The cross finds his head and he nods it towards the bottom-left, a great save from Jared Burns keeps it out and keeps it 2-0.

31′ – A shot on-target for Steel City, the cut-back to the top of the box finds the feet of Nick Graeca, but his shot is handled cleanly by Burns.

39′ – A real chance for Flower City, a ball in over the top of the defense is met by an on-side run from Ryan Curtis as the Steel City defenders switch off expecting the flag to go up. The ball across goal is intercepted by a Steel City defender, but that was a dangerous moment.

41′ – An early Steel City FC substitution: On comes Luke Fiscus and off goes Josh DiMatteo.

Halftime – It’s a 2-0 Steel City FC advantage. Was a balanced half after the two goals in the first 12 minutes, coming out hot has its benefits, but Flower City isn’t out of this.

46′ – We are off for the second half, Steel City FC have a 2-0 advantage as we kick off!

47′ – Brutal foul on Anthony DiFranco the near sideline as Steel City breaks out on the counter, which ends up with a chip that’s cleared over the bar. A yellow card is issued to Flower City.

49′ – Another chance for Steel City, as the shot from Giuseppe Croce at the top of the box is parried wide for a corner.

52′ – GOAL, STEEL CITY FC! 3-0! Ryan Mertz receives the ball at the top of the box and fires a 20-yard effort to the bottom-right corner, unstoppable!

68′ – GOAL! STEEL CITY FC! 4-0! An easy finish for Nathan Prex on a whipped cross in front of goal from the left wing. His tap-in makes this a seemingly insurmountable four-goal lead.

82′ – GOAL! STEEL CITY FC! 5-0! A lapse of concentration in midfield for Flower City leads to an easy turnover and quick counter. Prex’s run towards the penalty spot is easily found by a cut-back and he slots it home into an open net!

FULLTIME – Steel City 5-0 Flower City Union

Glory on the Grass

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