FC Buffalo started their 2021 NPSL season with a goal after four minutes and two more by full-time in a 3-0 defeat of neighbors Rochester Lancers on Sunday at the Aquinas Institute in Rochester, N.Y.
The Blitzers got goals from a trio of Niagara University products as second-year men Nuukele Gboe (Liberia) and Jayson Repine (Miami, Florida) were joined by debutant Rodrigo Almeida (Lisbon, Portugal).
Local boys Zach Drayer (Lancaster, N.Y. / University of Rhode Island) and Robert Williamson (Buffalo State College) picked up assists in the win.
[ BOX SCORE, STATS: Rochester Lancers 0-3 FC Buffalo ]
It was also a night of league milestones, as captain Chris Walter started and played 45 minutes at center midfield for his 75th NPSL appearance. Williamson also made his 25th appearance in the win, taking the armband from Chris at halftime.
William Banahene, a former All-NPSL goalkeeper for the Lancers, made three big saves in shutting out his former team, who had a few ex-FCB players in the fold as well.
The man they call “Nuke” opened the scoring when he jumped a dangerous pass in front of the Rochester goal, dancing into the box and slotting a low shot inside the far post.
It was 2-0 after 20 minutes when Christoffer Jensen (Denmark / Monmouth University) collected his own partially-cleared corner kick and swept a cross toward the back post.
Williamson took a step back, craned his neck and popped a header back toward the near post, where Rodrigo darted in front of a mark to head home.
The score stayed 2-0 deep into the second half, and Jonas Lindner (Germany / Monmouth University) played a big role in steadying the midfield and helped produce FCB’s third goal right at the end of his 88-minute shift.
Lindner drove the middle of the park and hit Drayer’s right-sided run flush with a perfect pass, the Buffalo back hitting a perfect ball through the 18 that Repine stayed with to make it 3-0 heading into stoppage time.
The Wolves next welcome Syracuse FC to town for a Friday night home opener.