Story by Nick Lozanovski, photo by Brett Ballachino

The Pittsburgh Hotspurs downed nine-man FC Buffalo 5-1 at Dobson Field in downtown Buffalo on Friday, the hosts playing down a man for over an hour and down two men for the final 30.

Pittsburgh was awarded two penalty kicks in the first dozen minutes, but FC Buffalo pulled a goal back through Ander Castillo (Bilbao, Spain / Medaille College) in the 21st minute with Nevado Elliott (Bellevue, Jamaica / Mercyhurst University).

Unfortunately, a skirmish in the crease following the goal resulted in a red card to Jordan Araujo. FCB then went down to nine men when Chris Walter was sent off for a verbal incident.

The Hotspurs take hold of second place in the NPSL’s Rust Belt Division, improving to 4W-2L (12 points) while the Blitzers remain in third place with a 2W-1D-3L record (7 points).

Pittsburgh’s Michael Sullivan recorded a first-half hat trick, with two of his goals coming from the penalty spot inside the first 12 minutes of action. Bryan Akongo also tallied off a rebound following a strong shot from Nicholas Greca. Akongo would add his second of the game in stoppage time, beating FC Buffalo keeper Andy Queen on a low shot tucked into the left corner.

The Blitzers would make a variety of substitutions, ending the game with only nine players on the field.

The FC Buffalo men will be back in action on Sunday, taking on Akron City FC on the road, while the FC Buffalo women will host the Pittsburgh Hotspurs women Sunday at 3:00 at Dobson field. Presale tickets are available online at