GRFC vs Ft. Wayne – 5.16.21 Match Recap

Grand Rapids FC opened up its USL League 2 campaign on Sunday evening after a year of
waiting, hosting Fort Wayne FC at the Midwest United FC Soccer Complex

While each team had chances to earn the win, it was a match of two great goalkeepers as after
90 minutes the match ended in a scoreless draw, 0-0.

In the opening twenty minutes, it was GRFC’s goalkeeper Tor Erik Larsen who was called into
action. Larsen made a crucial double save in the 14th minute of action, making a diving stop on
a shot from the center of the box, then getting up quickly to snuff out the shot off the rebound
from a Fort Wayne attacker.

Minutes later, in the 20th minute, a curling effort from a Fort Wayne attacker looked to be
heading toward the top corner before another diving effort from Larsen sent the ball wide.
Grand Rapids FC had a chance on a free kick as the first half came to a close, but the effort
from Matthew Cornish only caught side netting and the match went into the break scoreless.
In the second it was Fort Wayne’s keeper Joe Bowles that was called into early action. Tommy
Visser was able to collect the ball in the Fort Wayne penalty area and had a shot from the spot
that was turned aside.

Both teams continued to fight for opportunities, and in the last few minutes, they were available
but neither side could capitalize. In the 85th minute, Fort Wayne’s Seth Mahlmeister connected
on a header but put it right at Larsen.

A Grand Rapids FC chance came just two minutes later as Farai Mutatu hit a low driving ball
toward the far post that Bowles tipped away.

The Boys in Blue had one more opportunity in the third minute of second half stoppage time. A
run up the right flank from Adam Knight ended at the end line where the winger put the ball right
across the face of goal. Theo Maye was in the right place at the right time, meeting the ball in
front of goal, but his shot was saved by Bowles. The opportunity would be the last for either side
as the official blew the whistle just seconds later to bring the match to a close.

“It was a tale of two goalkeepers, I said to the boys,” said GRFC head coach Stu Collins. “On
reflection they created two quality chances they should have taken, and obviously Tor made two
class saves. We should have taken four, I thought. On the balance I think we deserved it.”
“Dom (Hart), Dan (Nimick), Austin (Sweich), and Caden (Jackman) performed well, and as a
unit I thought we did well, we did what was needed of us,” commented Larsen. “We kept a clean
sheet, and hopefully next game we keep another one and we’ll get the goal to win it.”

“If we keep creating the amount of chances we’re creating we will take chances and score
goals, we just haven’t been clinical tonight,” added Collins.”At the end of the day, we take nil-nil because we weren’t good enough in front of goal to win it and neither were they. I look forward
to play them again, though, they were a good side.”

The Boys in Blue return to action on Friday, May 21 at the Midwest United FC Soccer Complex.
Grand Rapids will host Kalamazoo FC, with kickoff scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Tickets $5/advance, $10/day of match


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