Cincinnati, OH (July 7, 2016)   For the third time this season, the Michigan Bucks (9-2-0  27 points) were victorious over the Cincinnati Dutch Lions FC (1-7-3  6 points).   The Bucks are riding a season-high four game winning streak and played confidently throughout the match.  The convincing win places them just one point out of first place in the Great Lakes division with a game in hand.

The Lions started the match with a lineup that was setup to attack and press the ball.  They had some early success and for the first 10 minutes were matching the Bucks.  In the 16th minute, the Bucks earned back-to-back corner kicks that both resulted in shots that required goalkeeper Pedro Diaz to make excellent saves.  The Bucks slowly started to take control of the match.  They were creating space and their quick passing and switching the point of attack was making the Lions chase after the ball way too much.

In the 21st minute, the Bucks had a quick one-two and the overlapping midfielder was on goal all by himself.  Diaz rushed out quickly, cut down the angle and was able to make the save.  Just two minutes later, Diaz wasn’t enough as the Bucks center forward ripped a shot from the penalty area and Diaz palmed it away, but the Bucks right winger was rushing in and was able to tap in the rebound before a Lions defender could react.

On this hot, muggy night chasing the ball started to take some of the spark out of the home squad as the Bucks took complete control of the remainder of the half.  The only bright spot was that Diaz came up with several additional saves to keep the halftime score 1-0.

The Bucks dominance showed in the game stats as they outshot the Lions 8-1 and had 4 corner kicks.  They also had a significant edge in possession of the ball.

Head Coach Terry Nicholl brought on two substitutes at halftime in an effort to increase the pace and effort.  The Lions needed to reduce the time and space that was afforded the visitors in the first half.

Similar to the start of the match, the Lions did well in the opening 10 minutes. RJ Best on the left flank was able to get into the box and got off two shots that the keeper pushed away for corner kicks.  The Lions continued to push in the attack looking for an equalizer.

At the 55 minute mark, the Bucks caught the Lions on the counter attack and were able to get into the penalty area with a man advantage.  They made three successive passes as each player was picked up which allowed the fourth attacker  to be wide open and his shot was smartly placed inside the far post beating the onrushing Diaz for a 2-0 lead.

At this point, the Bucks sat back, maintained their shape and counter attacked when they could find numbers.  Coach Nicholl utilized his bench trying to gain a switch in momentum, but the experienced visitors would not allow it.  They put the game away just 8 minutes later when they scored a very similar goal as the second and were able to find the open man who fired into the open net.

Cincinnati never quit, but could not gain any ground.  They were further hampered when defender Christian Hay was issued a second yellow card for a late tackle and was given his marching orders.

The final whistle brought the match to an end with the Bucks victorious 3-0.

“That was the best soccer that has been played against us all year.  The Bucks were strong in every facet of the game and did not give us any chance to recover from the 1-0 halftime lead.  We never got into any rhythm and we could not connect through the midfield at all.  Our game plan was to press and take the game to them, but after their goal we just ended up chasing the ball for the remainder of the match,” shared Coach Nicholl.  “It has been a bit frustrating as we continue to struggle to score and unfortunately our schedule doesn’t give us much of a break.  The truth is every team in our division is strong and we have to play better if we want to get results.  We will work hard to close out the season on a positive note.”

“It was nice to have get a couple players back and to get them some minutes. Josh Grant and Cooper Whitfield were able to get back on the pitch after some early season injuries and they performed well.”

Cincinnati Dutch Lions have three matches next week to end the season.  They are on the road on Tuesday and Thursday and will play their last home match on Sunday, July 17th at the Mason Multi Purpose stadium.  Kickoff is at 4:00 pm.

Tickets are available online at www.cdlfc.com or may be purchased at the gate.  Adults are $8.00 and youth $5.00…..5 and under are always free.

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