Rio Men’s Soccer Defeats Point Park 2-1

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Escaping with a win in round one of the NAIA tournament proved to be a bit tougher than Rio Grande may have envisioned. The RedStorm staved off a motivated Point Park squad in the second half to win 2-1.

Luiz Filho started off the scoring in the 12th minute when a Craig Davies free kick landed on his head, bounced off the post and he put the ball past the keeper on the rebound for the early 1-0 lead.  The goal was Filho’s 28th on the season.

In the 17th minute, Pau Rodriguez trapped a ball that bounced around in the box. He let loose a strike from a sharp angle on the right, hitting it on the outside of his foot and the ball curved just inside the left lower corner of the net for the second Rio goal.

Point Park held Rio scoreless the rest of the match. Play became more and more physical as the RedStorm seemed phased by mind games.

Several yellow cards highlighted the aggressive start of both teams’ play early in the second half. At the 54’ mark, Patricio Arce was red-carded and sent off in a call that was much disputed and did little to limit the physical play.

A man down, Point Park upped the pressure on the Rio defense as leading goal-scorer Ousman Jaiteh supplied pressure on the Rio backline. This helped get Max Flick a look on goal as he chested the ball into the goal as several Rio players protested a no-call with keeper Jon Dodson on the ground.

Rio did not maintain possession near as much of time in the second half as they did in the first. As the chaotic minutes ran down to the final seconds, Point Park received one last look on goal. The ball squirted away from Rio defenders in the box, and ended up at the feet of Flick, who bounced a ball into the diving hands of the keeper Dodson.

After the kick, the whistle sounded and Rio escaped to travel to Montgomery, Alabama for the second round of tournament action. Point Park fell to 12-7-1 to end their season. Rio now sits at 16-2-2.