Saleman Salim’s first FC Buffalo goal was a highlight of a 4-hour, lightning-delayed, 3-1 loss to Cleveland SC in the NPSL Members Cup on Wednesday in Pennsylvania.
Hunter Walsh assisted the goal with a corner kick but captain Robert Williamson was sent off late and will miss Sunday’s match in Detroit.
[ WATCH: Salim’s stoppage time equalizer ]
The Blitzers were up a man for much of the game but only capitalized once after conceding a 45th-minute penalty to Cleveland. A tie would mean nothing to FCBFLO’s hope for silverware following a Friday defeat of Erie, and Cleveland scored in the 88th minute as we pushed for a winner then added another penalty just before stoppage time.
FC Buffalo had the better of play for the first 45 minutes and found themselves up a man after 42 minutes when a debuting David Nkansah-Siriboe drew a second yellow card from one of Cleveland’s center backs.
Cleveland would soon win a free kick inside FCB’s half and a foul in the box allowed the reigning conference champs to win a penalty which would not be taken for nearly two hours thanks to a long lightning delay.
The game returned with a vigor as Cleveland converted its penalty but Salim powered home a back post header off a Hunter Walsh corner kick during three minutes of stoppage time.
Cleveland showed its savvy when the teams switched sides for the second half and managed possession well despite being down a man. FCB had numerous chances and Jordan Acevedo and Nukelle Gboe each came close to scoring on a day Colin O’Keefe and Zach Drayer were flying up the wings.
Substitute Akean Shackleford’s bid for another day of second half heroics appeared to have a chance at success with a late steal that drew contact in the box but the referee waved it away.
A late surge from FCB saw chances all over the pitch but it was Cleveland who would score off a controversial scrum in the box after a foul deep in Buffalo territory. A desperate push forward by the Wolves saw Cleveland win and convert a second penalty after Williamson cut down Vinny Bell for a second yellow card.
FCB meets Detroit City SC on Sunday at 3 pm ET for the NISA Invitational Cup. The match will be played behind closed doors.Follow @FCBuffalo