Photo: Nathan Vicar / WWJ

Detroit City FC Drops Midwest Final On Penalty Kicks

Cleveland SC beat DCFC to advance to the national semifinals.

July 21, 2019 - 4:05 pm

HAMTRAMCK, Mich. (97.1 The Ticket) -- Detroit City FC's run in the National Premier Soccer League playoffs ended in penalty-kick hearbreak Sunday afternoon at Keyworth Stadium.

Cleveland SC advanced to the NPSL national semifinals, winning the Midwest Region playoffs after trailing 2-0 at halftime.

Both teams traded makes and misses through the first four rounds of the shootout, with DCFC goalie Hunter Morse stopping two Cleveland shots. But Cleveland goalie Marijuo Musa went mostly untested, as all three of City's misses sailed over the bar, effectively ending their chances at the NPSL title.

DCFC opened the scoring late in the first half with a ball played in from the left side that Shawn Lawson directed in past CSC goalie Marijo Musa in the 40th minute. It was Lawson's 14th goal in all NPSL competitions this season.

City doubled the lead a short time later when Max Todd drew a stoppage-time penalty after some crafty passing and footwork and buried it from the spot.

But Cleveland didn't waste much time getting back into the game in the second half, with Tom Beck scoring in the 52nd minute and Antonio Manfut equalizing in the 61st.

Extra space on the field opened up in the 75th minute when DCFC's Will Perkins and Cleveland's Beck received double red cards following a scuffle between the two teams.

DCFC saw multiple chances in the second session of extra time, with Musa making a stellar save on a re-directed shot and then a Stephen Carroll header off a Danny Deakin corner kick that just went over the bar, leading to penalty kicks.

The NPSL consists of four regions -- Midwest, Northeast, South and West -- and each region holds playoffs to determine who will represent the region in the national semifinals. Miami FC won the South, while ASC San Diego won the west. FC Baltimore and New York Cosmos B square off Sunday night for the Northeast title.

Matchups and times for the semifinals are yet to be announced, as the league re-seeds the teams.

Detroit City now turns its attention to the NPSL Founder's Cup this fall. The newly formed competition will feature 10 teams from across the country, with the intent of becoming a league of its own in the future.