LUDLOW, MA- FC Buffalo knocked off top-seeded New England Mutiny in a thrilling 2-1 affair at Lusitano Stadium on Friday, using an 89th-minute goal to overcome a late equalizer from the hosts.
The win gives the Blitzers their second playoff win in as many seasons, setting up another away game at 2pm ET Sunday, this one a showdown with Coppermine United at Coppermine Norris Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland.
Newly-minted team MVP Carissima Cutrona kicked off the scoring, tallying her 8th goal of the season with just over 10 minutes to go in the opening half when she worked a 1-2 with Kat Camper following a brilliant entry from Gurjeena Jandu. All three players are University at Buffalo alums.
The lone Mutiny goal came courtesy of Alexis Legowski from a set piece in the 81st minute to level the match at 1.
Substitute DJ Thiam put FC Buffalo ahead in the 89th minute to send the Blitzers to the second round, using a sublime turn of Tess Ford’s interception and perfect long pass.
FC Buffalo started strong, holding possession for extended periods in the opening half before Camper and Cutrona’s exchange that saw Cutrona come open at the top of the box to blast a shot into the left corner that left New England goalkeeper Bella Mendoza perplexed.
After Legowski tied the game in the 81st minute, the Blitzers continued to push forward searching for a winning goal.
They would find that winning goal courtesy of a long ball by Ford, a current University at Buffalo back, that found 75th-minute substitute DJ Thiam. The Niagara University forward beat out a Mutiny defender, pulled away from the defense, and beat Mendoza near-post for the game winning goal. Thiam’s goal was her fifth this season and the assist from Ford was her first.
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