FC Buffalo won its third-consecutive start thanks to physical tackling and chaos in the box, holding on to defeat AFC Cleveland in front of more than 700 fans at Robert E. Rich All-High Stadium in Buffalo by a score of 3-2.
The Blitzers held possession for the majority of the first half but the Royals held off the home team before striking first to stun the home crowd. Defender Dan O’Callaghan outleapt several FCB defenders off a long free kick from Carter Poe to put Cleveland up, 1-0.
The next three belonged to the Blitzers in a bizarre sequence. In the 33rd minute, midfielder Andrew Bednarsky’s (Hackettstown, NJ // St. Lawrence University) free kick caught a Cleveland player to tie the score at 1 on the own goal. The Buffalo boys kept up their series of quick succession goals when Asani Samuels (Savanna la Mar, Jamaica // Canisus College)won a loose ball in a scrum in the box, sliding into to Anthony Rozzano (Webster, N.Y. // University of Albany) who scored his first goal as a Blitzer.
Midfielder Brian Knapp (Liverpool, N.Y. // University at Buffalo) was named Man of the Match for his industrious effort and monster throw-ins that keyed FCB to winning 8 first-half corner kicks. In the 49th minute, a Cleveland clearance off a big throw deflected off another Royals player and went in for the Blitzers’ third goal and second AFC Cleveland own goal of the game.
Cleveland substitute Andrew Fletcher narrowed the score to 3-2 in the 83rd minute and the fans breathed a huge sign of relief when a stoppage time equalizer was turned back for a dangerous play in the box by Cleveland.
FCB’s next home match is a critical one, with the Erie Admirals paying their first of two visits to All-High for a 7 p.m. Friday match. Tickets are $5 and the first 250 fans receive a blue FCB cowbell courtesy of Minuteman Press of Downtown Buffalo.