MIDLAND — In a match between the top two teams in the NPSL Lonestar Conference, it was the visiting Dutch Lions FC that scored four unanswered goals after halftime and survived a furious rally as Midland-Odessa FC fell 4-3 on Saturday night at Grande Communications Stadium.
Midland-Odessa FC (6-3-0, 18 pts) struck first in the 30th minute when after a throw-in, Jamie O’Grady was able to redirect the ball to Maliq Cooper on the right side of the box who then blasted into the back of the net for the goal.
Dutch Lions FC (5-1-2, 17 pts) responded quickly on a somewhat controversial goal as Jerry Scholman’s equalizer came on what seemed to be an offsides call, where two Dutch Lions players appeared to be offsides. Nevertheless, the call stood and the match was tied at 1-1.
The floodgates then opened up after halftime as Dutch Lions FC would score three times between the 52nd and 71st minute, including two goals from Chuy Cortes to take a commanding 4-1 lead over Midland-Odessa FC.
However in the 76th minute, Midland-Odessa FC were able to get one back on a beautiful cross from Darius Strambler to Ricardo Palomino to cut the deficit to 4-2.
Strambler was then able to make it a one goal contest as he was successful on a penalty kick attempt in the 86th minute. It would be too little, too late though as Dutch Lions FC were able to hold on the rest of the way and pick up three huge road points.
“They’re a good team and I think they’re the best team in the conference,” Midland-Odessa FC head coach Matt Barnes said about Dutch Lions FC to reporters following the match. “We got somebody to chase now.”
With the win, Dutch Lions FC have taken both matches from Midland-Odessa FC this season and have an inside track on the NPSL Lonestar Conference title as they have two matches remaining in the regular season and Midland-Odessa FC has one regular season match left.
Midland-Odessa FC will have a chance to rest its legs before their final regular season match as they will host Tyler FC (0-5-2, 2 pts) on Friday, July 7 at 7:30 p.m. Tyler FC was supposed to face Fort Worth Vaqueros FC on Saturday night, but that match was postponed due to poor field conditions. Dutch Lions FC will host Shreveport Rafters FC (2-4-1, 7 pts) on Saturday, July 1.
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