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Ambersley Gives AC St. Louis Victory in US Open Cup Game

AC St.Louis got their second road win in a row, taking on the Des Moines Menace at Valley Stadium Tuesday night and coming out with a 1-0 win on a 70th minute Mike Ambersley goal.  AC St. Louis will travel to Blaine, Minnesota next Tuesday for the next round of the US Open Cup.  The NSC Minnesota Stars defeated the Kansas City Athletics 4-2.  In late May the Stars beat AC St. Louis at home 3-2, coming back to get the winning goal in the 88th minute.  Let’s get this Mississippi River Rivalry going. 

Claude Anelka’s AC St. Louis team had its hands full with the PDL Des Moines Menace.  The game was scoreless through the first half and it seemed that the Coach Laurie Calloway’s Menace players were much more threatening early on.  The Menace’ South African midfielder Lebogang Moloto and Brazilian forward Luis Piffer appeared to be full of attacking spirit, and goalkeeper Jason Williams played well.  Menace midfielder Logan McDaniel almost struck paydirt with a bicycle kick attempt in the 17th minute, and Alec Dufty had to come up with a kicksave on a Stefan De Las chance.  AC St. Louis’ midfielder Gauchinho got off a couple of shots, but without effect.  Alex Titton had an opportunity on a headed ball, and Brad Stisser had a break that was stopped by Des Moines’ defender Sam Morris in the 36th minute.  Moloto had a shot attempt just whistle over the AC crossbar before intermission.  Unfortunately, AC St. Louis captain Jack Traynor was injured very early in the contest, and was replaced by defender John Lesko. 

The second half was marred by yellow cards, as both teams fought hard to advance in Cup competition.  Tim Velten and second half sub Mike Ambersley received yellow cards, and the Menace’ Englishman Clark Bradford received a second yellow, resulting in the captain’s ejection from the game.  Ambersley atoned for his foul, though, in the 70th minute as he was able to beat Williams one on one to get the game-winner for AC St. Louis.  Ambersley’s knack for big goals continues.  The Menace, a man down, battled to the very end but were unlucky to not find the net on this evening.  Certainly they deserve much credit for a game well-played.  AC St. Louis midfielder Chris Salvaggione also came into the game as a 2nd half substitute, marking his first appearance in awhile.  Credit AC St. Louis goalkeeper Alec Dufty with his second clean sheet in succession.

This was a huge win for AC St. Louis.  Ok, the Des Moines Menace is a PDL team.  So?  A win is a win is a win, especially on the road.  The Des Moines team is well supported by its fans and Menace GM Todd Meiners told me that it looked like there were over 2,000 in attendance, quite nice for a midweek game.  Now AC St. Louis will be playing next Tuesday against NSC Minnesota, hoping to avenge their earlier narrow loss.  On Saturday June 26 AC St. Louis welcome the MLS bound Vancouver Whitecaps to AB Soccer Park.  GO AC !!!

Thanks to the Des Moines Menace and GM Todd Meiners….and to Tony Hubert of AC St.Louis for their help in capturing the essence of this game.  A blow by blow account is available on the Live blog posted earlier on the Fanatic. 

AC St.Louis Starting Lineup:  Dufty, Nzinga, Velten, Traynor, Bloom, Cole, Gauchinho, Kreamalmeyer, Stisser, Cosgriff and Titton

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