FORT WAYNE, IN - Liquid Football lost their first friendly 3-0 against USL League Two side Fort Wayne FC at Bishop D'arcy Stadium Saturday evening.
From the first whistle, Fort Wayne FC set the game's tempo. Running a 4-1-4-1, Liquid Football was focused on defending, with left striker Waseem Muthana alone up top. Liquid Football was happy to sit back, let Fort Wayne pass it around, and only pressed when Fort Wayne crossed center field. Liquid Football was hoping Muthana could hold it up enough for reinforcements to arrive for counterattacks, but he wasn't getting much help from his teammates. It was often one attacker against five defenders, making the Fort Wayne offense challenging to defend.
In the 31st minute, when Liquid Football looked to have settled into the game, Fort Wayne's Nkosi Graham found space in the middle to slip a pass toward Henri Kumwenda. With two Liquid Football defenders on him, Kumwenda shielded the ball and shot it on the half-volley to beat Liquid Football keeper Esmail Haidan to score the match's first goal.
With the clock ticking toward the break, Fort Wayne's Adam McAleenan sent a long ball toward Joe Kouadio, who was stopped by Haidan. Despite their efforts, Liquid Football failed to clear the ball, and Henri Koumwenda was there to pounce, finding Nkosi Graham at the back post for a diving header to make it 2-0.
After the halftime pep-talks, the second half was more pep talks similar for both sides. Fort Wayne dominated possession, creating constant opportunities deep in the Liquid Football zone. In the 69th minute, Mason Gonzales intercepted a pass from Elijah Hyman, leaving him one-on-one with the goalie. Gonzales took advantage of the golden opportunity, finishing it in the bottom left corner to take a 3-0 lead.
Despite the 90 minutes of domination by Fort Wayne, Liquid Football made a final push to salvage a goal in the 78th minute. Unfortunately for Liquid Football, the keeper denied their single shot on goal, ending their hopes of a consolation goal.
In the end, Fort Wayne filled up the stat sheet on their way to a 3-0 win, but Liquid Football came out with an experience they'll never forget. It's not often that an MWPL team gets to travel over a hundred miles to play a quality team, in a quality stadium, in front of quality fans. Fort Wayne FC were terrific hosts, and Liquid Football appreciates their support as we build the culture of our club.
Liquid Football's next game is their home opener against Futsal Factory at University Liggett School in Grosse Pointe Woods on Saturday, June 10th at 6:45 p.m. Tickets are on sale now for just five dollars.