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St. Louis Lions Fall to Des Moines Saturday on Disputed Goal

                                            Press Release from St. Louis Lions’ James Shipley. 

Des Moines, IA….The St. Louis Lions lost their second consecutive game of the season on Saturday night against the Des Moines 2-1 in front of 3,459 fans at Valley Stadium.

The game was a typical St Louis/Des Moines matchup as both teams battled hard and physical to try to control the midfield. The Lions Brian Harris picked up a yellow card for a rough tackle at midfield in the 20th minute. The Lions stepped up the pressure on the Menace and 4 minutes later Aaron Brittain played a pinpoint thru ball that sent Harris in on goal. Harris was one on one with the goal and found the back of the net. The Lions controlled much of the half and were confident going into halftime.

“I thought we played a very good first half and we were setting the tempo and tone of the game. Des Moines is always a tough place to play because of the crowd, the environment and the fact that they are always a quality team” said Lions’ Coach Tony Glavin “Harris made a great run and has been playing very well it was good to see him score”

In the second half the Lions once again came out and were setting the pace and tone of the game but a disputed goal changed the tone of the game. In the 53rd minute Des Moines pressured the Lions wide of the 18 yard box and sent what appeared to be a lackluster cross at the top of the 18 yard box. Logan McDaniel of Des Moines was able to get a strike on the ball which hit the underside of the cross bar and dropped on goal line and bounced out to the 6 yard box where goalie Nate Thackery recovered the ball. The Assistant Referee was quick to call a goal. The Lions adamantly contested the call and after the game video replay confirmed that the ball never crossed the goal line.

The Lions were clearly rattled at the call and pressed hard to get back the lead and sent a shot wide of the Des Moines goal that deflected off a defender for a corner. On the ensuing corner Des Moines quickly countered and caught the Lions wide defenders pushed up creating a 3 v 2 situation where Stephen Okai sent Lebo Moloto long behind the Lions defense and into a 50/50 b all with Lions goalie Nate Thackery. Moloto won the challenge and scored into a wide open net to give the Menace the 2-1 lead. The Lions were pressing late in the game and in the closing seconds had a great shot by Gavin “Dodgy” Smith go off the top of the cross bar.

“The momentum changed after the first Des Moines goal and it really changed the complexity of the game, but we need to learn to keep our composure and play our game. The call forced us to put more pressure on ourselves to get the lead back and we lost our focus and shape. Des Moines did what any good team does and took advantage of it. We need to now focus on Rochester on Sunday, the remainder of the season and focus on qualifying for the playoffs”

The Lions continue this road trip with a 3:00pm game today against the Rochester Thunder in Rochester MN. Rochester is currently leading the Heartland Conference US Open Cup Qualifying with a 2-0-1 record. A Lions win will force a tie between Rochester and Des Moines for the Open Cup spot. The Lions return home to conclude US Open Cup Qualifying on Saturday May 29th at 5:00PM vs the Springfield Demize.

STATISTICS:

Scoring Summary:

STL: Brian Harris (Aaron Brittain) 24

DM: Logan McDaniel 53

DM: Lebogang Moloto (Stephen Oaks) 55

Shots:

STL: 7

DM: 12

Fouls:

STL: 11

DM: 9

Corners:

STL: 4

DM: 8

Cautions:

STL: Brian Harris 23, Dan Meager 45, Tyler Schaefering 74, Aaron Brittain 75

DM: Logan McDaniel 48Sandwaz 45 min, Christian 90 min

Attendance 3459

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