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AC St. Louis Drops Heartbreaker to NSC Minnesota, 3-2, Saturday Night

Claude Anelka’s AC St. Louis squad made its first trip up to Blaine, Minnesota to begin its rivalry with the NSC Minnesota Stars.  Unfortunately for AC St. Louis, they couldn’t quite do enough offensively and defensively to take any points home as the Stars broke a 2-2 in the 88th minute on a goal by Neil Hlavaty and held on to win 3-2.

AC St. Louis started well, playing mostly in the Stars’ half of the pitch during the early minutes of the game.  NSC Minnesota seemed a step slow, which is understandable considering that they just played in Tampa on Thursday night.   AC St. Louis were able to work the ball down the right flank with regularity.  The veteran experience of midfielder Steve Ralston, who played the entire 90 minutes, was a big factor.  Mark Bloom also made some nice runs down the right side, and Mike Ambersley had several chances but was shut down.  NSC Minnesota started getting more rhythm after the first minutes, but their offensive attacks were thwarted by Anthony O’Garro and Dillon Barna.  AC St. Louis’ Gauchinho launched a nice shot that went wide right of Stars’ veteran keeper Joe Warren, and at the 25 mnute mark AC St. Louis’ midfielder Luke Kreamalmeyer opened the scoring with a ball past Warren to give his team a 1-0 lead.  Steve Ralston kept possession to help create the goal, which was assisted by Gauchinho.  AC St. Louis carried the lead into the 42nd minute, when Daniel Wasson headed past Alec Dufty.  The play began with a long throw-in by the Stars’ Kevin Friedland, with Brian Cvilikas assisting on the play.  The half ended 1-1.

After intermission, AC St. Louis took a 2-1 lead on a Gauchinho deflected goal in the 65th minute.  NSC Minnesota showed their character, though, by coming right back three minutes later as Brian Altman headed past AC St. Louis keeper Alec Dufty.  Dufty made a nice save shortly after the goal, and Altman again had another chance but headed over the goal.  As time wound down, it looked like the game would end in a draw, but NSC Minnesota took advantage of AC St. Louis’ inability to clear the ball bouncing in the box and Neil Hlavaty was able to pinch the ball into the net in the 88th minute, sending 1500 fans home happy on a warm, breezy evening.  AC St. Louis did press to tie the score late, but were unable to get a result.

Coach Claude Anelka will certainly be disappointed with his team’s inability to get at least a point tonight, but full credit has to go to Coach Manny Lagos’ Stars, who came back to score two unanswered goals and do enough to take the three points in a match that was pretty evenly played, with AC St. Louis having an edge in the first half and NSC Minnesota playing better in the second.  On the bright side for AC St. Louis, Steve Ralston played the entire match in his quest to regain full fitness.  Anthony O’Garro played well,   and it was good to see Christian Nzinga returned from injury.  The absence of Tim Velten and Jack Traynor due to red cards, however, certainly hurt defensively in this match.  Second half substitutes for AC St. Louis included Elvir Kafedzic, Troy Cole and Alex Titton.  Great to see Elvir back on the pitch after suffering a knee injury in the first Portland game.  I thought Jeff Cosgriff played his best game so far in an AC uniform, and Ryan Moore got the opportunity to play some solid minutes too.  Obviously, the team needs to put a solid 90 minutes together offensively and defensively, but they did finally score two goals in a contest. 

AC St. Louis drop to 1-7-1 on the season while NSC Minnesota go to 3-7-1.  AC St. Louis plays next on June 12 at Puerto Rico. 

A special thank you to Buzz Lagos and the crew on the live video stream broadcast who said some very nice things about the AC St. Louis Fanatic.  They also called a great game and made it enjoyable for fans of both teams.  This is what sportsmanship is about. 

 

AC St.Louis Starting Lineup:  Dufty, Bloom, Barna, Nzinga, O’Garro, Kreamalmeyer, Ralston, Moore, Cosgriff, Ambersley, Gauchinho

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3 Responses

  1. Maybe if you were watching the stream the game came across like you just described but here in the stands Ralston scored a header for Minnesota and Cole scored for Minnesota. There were two own goals in this match. Check with your head coach for confirmation but that is what we saw.

  2. Nice report, well done. One minor suggestion, I would omit references to the crowd size if its less than 2000! Also delighted to see that my former San Jose Earthquakes hero, Manny Lagos, is still actively involved in the game. I look foward to meeting him at AB Soccer park when they come to visit. And as President Obama said to the Brazilian President ” We will not be giving up a lead to you guys next time” !!!!!

    • Mike,
      Did you know that Alec Dufty’s father Dave was also involved with the San Jose Earthquakes in the mid 1970s. He trialed with the team but never made it into a NASL game. Very nice gentleman.

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