ST. LOUIS – Top-seeded CITY2 defeated Tacoma Defiance 2-0 in the MLSNext Pro Western Conference Finals at Ralph Korte Stadium Sunday. CITY2 advances to the MLSNext Pro Cup Finals to face Columbus Crew 2 who won the Eastern Conference Finals.
With both sides desperate for the win, there was a real tempo to the match in the early exchanges. Early on, CITY2 was pinning Tacoma Defiance in their defensive third. The game’s opening goal came in the 31st minute through midfielder Tomáš Ostrák. Ostrák weaved his way past two defenders before rocketing a shot in the top corner of the net. Minutes later Tacoma Defiance hit the woodwork, as they searched for a quick response.
On the defensive end, Michael Creek came up big with a double save in the 41st minute to deny Tacoma’s Alfonso Ocampo-Chávez. CITY2 came close to doubling their lead three minutes later. However, Isak Jensen’s shot ricocheted off the post, rounding out an action-packed first half.
After winning the back high up the pitch, Max Schneider whipped a cross into Josh Dolling who headed home to give CITY2 the 2-0 lead in the 59th minute.
Tacoma Defiance won and converted a penalty in the 75th minute through Abdoulaye Cissoko. Tacoma pushed numbers forward in search of the equalizer but CITY2’s resilient defending meant they would hold off their opponents to become MLSNext Pro’s first-ever Western Conference Champion.
MLSNext Championship: CITY 2 vs. Columbus Crew 2
CITY2 will face the Eastern Conference Champions Columbus Crew 2 at Lower.com Field on Saturday, October 8, with kickoff scheduled for 4:30 p.m. CT. Fans will be able to watch the match live via enhanced broadcasts on mlsnextpro.com.
Heartland Newsfeed was unable to get remarks from the team about the win as of press time.
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Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network, wrestling editor and contributing writer for Ambush Sports, a contributing writer for My Sports Vote and Midwest Sports Network, and a former contributor to Bleacher Report and Overtime Heroics. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dog Buster.