Friendly Win In Detroit

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Mike Pio takes a breather during a stoppage in the action between the Windsor Stars and Detroit City FC at Cass Technical Stadium. The announced attendance Wednesday evening was 3,485.
Photo by Ian Shalapata.

Header-image-Shalapata-2By Ian Shalapata

(DETROIT, MI) – With all the trappings of a traditional derby, but the festivities of a friendly, the Windsor Stars made a foray into the home of Detroit City FC Wednesday evening and came away with more than a 1-0 win. It was a soccer experience unlike any in Windsor and one the players and coaches can stick in their pocket for future reference.

The Stars came out of the gate full of enthusiasm after the Northern Guard, Detroit City’s supporters club, sung a whole-hearted rendition of O Canada. Taking the play to the National Premier League side resulted in a couple of shots at goal, but the home team soon forced the play back.

The teams settled into a waiting game with City having the advantage, making a number of treks into Windsor’s end, but coming up empty, unable to finish.

The sides went to the dressing room at the half with the score even at zero apiece. The final 45 minutes would test Windsor’s stamina and Detroit’s readiness for their up-coming playoffs.

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A shot eluded Stars keeper Kyle Vizirakis, but Elijah Dunn was there to save the day.
Photo by Ian Shalapata.

Le Rouge came closest without scoring as a Detroit forward muscled his way into the box, in the 50th minute, but dribbled his shot inches wide of the far post. Just minutes later another attempt was made from the same side with David Dwaihy’s shot eluding Stars keeper Kyle Vizirakis. Fortunately for the Stars, Windsor defender Elijah Dunn was there to clear the ball off the line to preserve the scoreless draw.

With under 20 minutes to play, the Stars pushed the ball up the left wing and deep into Detroit’s zone. A short pass was made to captain Stephen Ademolu at the 14, who blasted the ball to the back of the net to put Windsor ahead.

Up to this point the 500 strong Northern Guard had neither been quiet nor still, stepped up their efforts to encourage their side to even the score. Chants, clapping, music, and smoke bombs were all employed in the urgent need for a goal by City.

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Crossing the veil. A Windsor player attempts to keep track of the ball despite the smoke traversing the pitch courtesy of the Northern Guard.
Photo by Ian Shalapata.

DCFC threw everything into the mix as every attempt was made to get on the scoreboard. Within the last dying seconds of extra time Detroit’s keeper Jeremy Clark could be seen inside the Windsor 18 making his own attempt on net.

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Brett Holmberg (19) and Erik Cirovski (7) congratulate Stars captain Stephen Ademolu moments after he scored to put Windsor up 1-0.
Photo by Ian Shalapata.

The loss didn’t dampen the spirits of the Detroit fans as they took the field post-game to sing and dance in celebration of a successful season for Le Rouge. As Windsor now returns to League 1 Ontario play, Detroit FC prepares for this weekend’s NPSL Midwest Region playoff in Madison, WI.

The Stars continue their road trip with a match on Sunday afternoon in Maple as they travel to take on Vaughan Azzurri at McNaughton Park. Their next home fixture will be August 7 when they welcome Sigma FC to McHugh Soccer Complex at 8:00 pm.

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About the Author

Ian Shalapata
Ian writes for and provides imagery to Square Media Group as well as accepting freelance photographic assignments. In addition, he has contributed to media organizations, sporting groups, and individuals across North America including the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, Chatham-Kent Sports Network, the Golf Association of Michigan, League 1 Ontario, as well as numerous colleges and universities in Canada and the United States. Email Ian Shalapata
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