PONTIAC, Mich. (May 30, 2017) - A quick-fire brace from St. Louis FC’s Danish striker Sebastian Dalgaard saw the United Soccer League (USL) pros get the better of giant-killers Michigan Bucks 2-1 at the Ultimate Soccer Arenas in Pontiac, Michigan. The Bucks’ livewire forward Francis Atuahene scored the goal of the game, and maybe the competition so far, but it wasn’t enough to keep the home side from losing out on the day and seeing their 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup campaign come to an end.
The home side looked lively and dynamic early on in the contest, moving the ball up through the middle and getting it out wide often. But the full professionals from St. Louis were simply playing possum and waiting to pounce. Dalgaard got hold of the ball and broke into the penalty area like a flash in the 12th minute. He cut inside onto his left foot and curled his shot past Drew Shepherd to open the scoring with a classy finish.
Three minutes later and it was Dalgaard on the spot once again. Bucks captain Tom Owens uncharacteristically gave the ball away in the middle of the park and wasn’t able to recover in time. Big Guinean center-back Mo Kaba’s attempted header back to his goalkeeper bounced strangely on the artificial surface and the ball held up for the streaking Dane, who made no mistake slotting past the onrushing Shepherd to double the lead (2-0). The men from St. Louis had one more great chance before the half, but Shepherd was up to the task. He dove low to his left to keep the ball out, and the half ended with the visitors up by two and in total control.
The second-half saw the Bucks claw themselves back into the reckoning, with University of Michigan standout striker Atuahene scoring a stunner inside the first minute. The speedy target-man got on the end of a flicked header from a long punt by Shepherd and hammered a curling, dipping volley home with his right foot. The Bucks gaave their all to build on the wonder-goal but, despite a raft of half-chances, were unable to locate a leveler and go out of the competition at the Third Round without producing any more of the Cupset fireworks they’re famous for.
St Louis FC, despite looking second-best for large portions of the match in Pontiac, move on to the Fourth Round and a tough date with four-time Open Cup champions Chicago Fire at home in Missouri.