By Shelly Watkins
Once again, second half determination rewards the Michigan Stars Football Club (MSFC) as they salvage a point Friday night in the 1-1 Kalamazoo FC match at home.
The second-half comeback has become a habit for the Stars as of late, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
“If we just played second halves we’d be great,” said Michigan Stars head coach Morris Lupenec. “In this league though, you can’t just play one half. The front runners are playing complete games and we need to start putting together both halves as well. The good thing is we are not giving up and our bench is providing a lot of energy. I’m proud of the guys today.”
MSFC forward and halftime substitute Naeem Charles tied the game on a calm and confident shot at 62:00. Charles beat the Kzoo goalie on the short side, unassisted.
Kalamazoo opened the scoring at 24:02 when the Michigan Stars goalkeeper Anthony Mwembia and a defender collided on the corner of the 18-yard box. The ball popped toward the goal and a Star defender was unable to make the full clear. Kalamazoo’s Ade Adenlyi pushed the ball into the goal, unassisted.
“Kalamazoo capitalized on our goalie running into one of our defenders, but things like that happen,” said Lupenec. “They have some talented guys up front. Number four (Adenlyi) and the guy out wide (Quamie Dinnal) were a load. Our defense had to step up today.”
On that note, Stars defender Wilfred Williams was named Man of the Match for his efforts throughout the 90 minutes.
“Wilfred had a hell of a match for us back there,” said Lupenec.
The Stars best chance to add the go-ahead goal came at the 80th minute mark with three close calls in two minutes. First, substitute forward Jacob Bevan’s breakaway shot went wide, a shot off a corner kick went wide and Williams’ attempt was stopped.
Kalamazoo outshot the Stars 11-9.
Next Friday, June 23 the Stars (1-3-4) travel to Milwaukee (1-4-2) for a rematch of last week’s 2-2 draw then face neighbors Detroit City Football club on June 30 in Hamtramck.