DEFENSE STANDS STRONG ON THE ROAD; UTICA CITY FC DOMINATES ST. LOUIS 7-3
St. Charles, MO - After a victory last night in Kansas City, Utica City FC traveled along I-70 heading east to St. Louis to take on the Ambush. Utica continued the winning ways in the Show-Me State, taking down St. Louis 7-3.
Utica earned an early power play due to a too many men penalty on the St. Louis bench. On the ensuing man-up period, Nilton de Andrade split a few Ambush legs to find Gordy Gurson waiting near the post to score the first goal of the match for UCFC. Eight minutes and 20 seconds into the first, UCFC would tack on another as De Andrade continued his weekend form with the second point of the match. Gurson scored his second of the match at the 11:32 mark, sliding through the back post to tap the ball off of the St. Louis goalkeeper Paulo Nascimento and into the back of the net. Franck Tayou continued the impressive offensive start, turning and firing home to tack on a fourth for Utica. With the first quarter horn sounding, City led 4-0 heading into the second.
Utica started off the second period slowly, and St. Louis would jump on the opportunity to get right back in the game. At the 3:52 mark in the second, Triston Austin broke away and slotted home the first goal of the game for the Ambush. UCFC righted the ship and found a quick response, with Moh Ndaiye crushing a shot from well outside of the box into the side netting to make the score 5-1. Utica continued to hold strong at the back, and the game settled into a defensive affair for a majority of the second. It took all the way until the final minute of the half to see another goal between the two sides, as Tayou fired a ball off of the wall into the path of Ronaldinho Diniz who touched home a wallascora for City. UCFC took a 6-1 lead into the break at The Family Arena.
The second half started slowly for the two sides, with both making adjustments at the break. St. Louis had a couple of great looks at goal early in the period, but Ndiaye made two goal-line saves to keep the scores the same. UCFC forced saves out of Nascimento but the period was filled with shot blocks for both sides. There were no goals in the third, and the game went into the last 15 with Utica holding a 6-1 advantage.
With St. Louis chasing the game, the Ambush came out of the blocks flying in the fourth. On a 3-on-1 breakaway, the home side tried to work an extra pass to get around the Utica defense. Juan Alava tracked back and cleared the ball off of the line, preserving a 5-goal lead for City. At the 7:39 mark in the fourth the second half finally saw a goal, with Marcel Berry finding a goal to make the score 6-2. In the final minute of action, Emmanuel Belliard sprinted free in the box and lifted the ball into the top of the net. St. Louis would grab a final score late on through the boot of Wil Nyamsi, and the final score would be a 7-3 decision in favor of Utica.
With a 2-2 record on a 4-game away stretch, UCFC returns home on Sunday, January 21st for a special night as the Utica Riggies. Kickoff at the Adirondack Bank Center is scheduled for 3:05 pm EST–tickets for the match are still available at uticacityfc.com/tickets.