GRFC Falls To Adria 3-1
An explosive affair sees the Boys In Blue lose for the 2nd Time
Coming into Friday night’s contest against league leading RWB Adria, coaches and players of Grand Rapids FC understood the difficult task set out for them against a veteran squad. Add to that a red-card to GRFC in the 29th minute which saw the home side go down to 10 men, and the result was 60-plus minutes of grueling work.
“Really proud of the boys tonight, thought we stayed together as a team, especially with 10 men,” said defender and captain Tony Deakin. “We worked hard, we worked our butts off – you saw guys cramping out there because they worked so hard.”
At the point of the sending off, GRFC was up 1-0. In the 14th minute, forward Elmedin Zukic received a pass from forward Domenic Barone behind the RWB Adria defense, blasting the ball past the visiting keeper for a 1-0 home lead.
Grand Rapids still had chances after going down a man. Deakin had an opportunity one-on-one with the opposing keeper in the 37th minute, but sent the shot just wide of frame.
RWB Adria then tied the contest just seconds before halftime as Taylor Bond collected a bouncing ball in the box and found the back of the net.
“I thought we played well in the first half, they had a lot of possession but we played compact, and we did well,” said Deakin. “It was a shame they scored in the last minute of the first half, that was a tough one to take.”
The visiting side then went up just minutes into the second half, as a 48th minute tip-in by Adria’s Vlad Baciu saw GRFC’s climb to try and earn at least a point become even steeper.
“We were self-aware of this team’s abilities because they have mature players, they will take advantage of one moment’s loss of concentration, and that’s what they did,” said head coach George Moni. “They took advantage of those lapses we had during the game.”
The Blues continued to fight, and saw a number of players subbed out with cramps. In stoppage time, GRFC had one opportunity during a scrum in the box, but the RWB Adria keeper pounced on the ball. The visitors then added a stoppage time goal as Bond scored his second of the contest, finding an empty net after the GRFC keeper came forward for one last try on goal on a corner kick.
Despite the final 3-1 scoreline, the appreciation for the team’s hard work was evident by the long applause from the home fans after the match.
“I went into the dressing room and I told the guys that I couldn’t be any prouder or any happier with their hard work and with the commitment they showed and the togetherness,” said Moni. “I told them, ‘You are the reason these people are coming and watching these games, because of that team spirit and perseverance.’ ”
“All-in-all, a disappointing result, but I’m proud of the boys tonight, I’m proud of the coaching staff, and proud of the fans for coming out and supporting us again, another 4000 people is absolutely tremendous,” said Deakin. “We want to keep playing for those guys, for the fans.”
The Boys in Blue now look forward to next Sunday when they travel to Chicago to once again face RWB Adria. The game, which will be played at the Kroc Center, will kick-off at 5:00 p.m. central time.
With the loss, GRFC is now out of contention for the top spot in the league, 10 points behind RWB Adria with only three matches to go. The Blues sit two points behind second place Oakland United and one point behind third place AFC Ann Arbor.
For the video highlights, head to: https://vimeo.com/132933948.