As the lone holdover from the scheduled night of the First Round, the Des Moines Menace and Madison 56ers had all the attention Wednesday evening. Set-up for a battle, the game did not disappoint and became the only first-round match with a 1-0 finish.
Earning the program’s first home-win in the 100-year old tournament since 2006, the Des Moines Menace (1-0-1), will move on to face Minnesota United FC (2-2-1 NASL) of the North American Soccer League in the Second Round next week. Opening its 2013 home-stand with a win, the Menace found the net just once out of its 10 shots on goal. One is all that was needed for first year head coach, Mike Jeffries squad.
“I’m happy and relieved,” commented Jeffries. “No matter what game it is, the first is always tough to get.”
Despite dominating the first half, taking five shots and earning eight corners, the score rested at 0-0. Coming out of the gates hot for the second 45, the Menace put it on the 56ers and didn’t stop until the final whistle was blown.
Just six minutes into the second stanza, Jimmy Tulloch notched his first goal in a Menace uniform; a header from the corner of the six-yard box that was just out of the reach of Madison goalkeeper Ryan Onwukwe’s hands.
“It feels great to score for this club,” said Tulloch. “Great victory. There is a lot of pride here and I’m happy to score.”
While the Menace look forward to competing against professional foes, the 56ers return to the NPSL with a chance to reclaim its title as the Midwest Region Champions. Holding a record of 17-6 in the 2012 season, the club remains a force to reckon with.
Preparing for the Second Round of the tournament, coach Jeffries is excited to get his team out there and compete without the pressure as the favorite.
“We go in to the next game a little bit of an underdog,” said Jeffries. “Most of the guys want to play professionally, this is the chance for them to showcase their abilities.”
Minnesota United FC has the host for the matchup on Tuesday, May 21.