Med City FC made its longest road trip of the season Saturday, heading up to Fargo-Moorhead to face Dakota Fusion FC. After the dust had settled on a tough, hard-fought match, the Mayhem returned home with something they’d never returned from Fargo with before; a win.
On a beautiful night for soccer, it was the Fusion who struck first in the game, as a defensive error allowed Isaac Kehson to drive into the Mayhem defensive third, where he was able to beat goalkeeper Salvador Plaza one-on-one to put the ball in the back of the Med City FC net. The Mayhem would equalize fifteen minutes later, with Francisco Neto scoring his third goal in three conference games thanks to a beautifully weighted volleyed pass from midfielder Tristan Jumeau. The teams went into halftime with the score knotted at 1-1.
The Mayhem made some halftime adjustments, changing up their tactics based on how the Fusion had played in the first half. But it was a combination of technical skill and sheer grit and determination that eventually led to the Mayhem taking the lead. First half goal scorer Neto turned provider off a 62nd minute corner kick, as left back Ignacio Milla shook free of his marker in the box to bury a powerful header into the Fusion net to give the Mayhem a 2-1 lead.
The two would strike again just four minutes later, as Neto again set up for a corner kick, this time from the other side of the field, and Milla was the first to it again, getting a head on it in traffic as it rolled into the net for a 3-1 lead. Milla and Neto would share Man of the Match honors, with Milla scoring the two headed goals and Neto scoring a goal (his third in Med City FC’s three league games) and adding two assists. The Mayhem worked to control play from there on out and, despite the Fusion crafting a few late chances, they ran out comfortable winners.
“The Fusion are always a tough proposition when we come to play them here and I expect other teams in the conference to have a challenging game when they make the trip up here,” said Med City FC general manager Frank Spaeth. “They have some fast, skillful players and they play a very physical, direct style of soccer. We spent a lot of time in the first half trying to match their style, which isn’t the way we typically play. At halftime, we made a few adjustments and we were able to take better control of things in the second half.”
The win takes the Mayhem to 3-0 in the conference and 4-0 overall. Their road trips continue this-coming week, with a 3 ½ hour trip to Duluth, Minnesota on Wednesday to take on defending Midwest Regional Champions Duluth FC followed by a trip to the Twin Cities to take on Maplebrook TwinStars FC on Saturday, June 1.