On a night when the most of the four USL Pro clubs struggled against amateur opposition (1-1-2 with two advancing in penalties), the Dayton Dutch Lions were the only club to earn an outright victory, downing River City Rovers of the PDL Great Lakes Division 3-0 on goals from three different players.
It did not take long for the USL Pro side to take the lead, finding the opener just eight minutes into the contest when the ball popped up at the top of the penalty area. Irakli Khutsidze leaped into the air to meet the ball with a shoulder high volley that he drove past the visiting keeper from 17 yards.
In the 27th minute, Eric Kissinger doubled the advantage when he picked up a loose ball and ripped a shot from the edge of the box just a couple yards away from where the first goals came from, firing it inside the post from 18 yards.
The game nearly turned into a rout in the first half, but River City goalkeeper Taylor Hafling made several quality saves to keep the gap at two goals going into the break.
Hoping to rally, the Rovers came out looking to attack at full steam. It backfired, however, as the offensive pressure allowed Dayton to fly down the field on a quick counter three minutes into the period, with Charles Hertsenberger working with scorer Tjeerd Westdijk in the final third to lock the game up as things went quietly the rest of the way.
The Dutch Lions, who are 3-2-0 in league play, will host the USASA’s Dearborn Stars in Round 2 on May 21. The winner will take on a club from Major League Soccer in the Third Round on May 28. Last year, Dayton was one of the surprise teams of the tournament, upsetting the Columbus Crew and reaching the Quarterfinals despite finishing in the bottom half of the league table.
DAY: Irakli Khutsidze – 8th min.
DAY: Eric Kissinger – 27th min.
DAY: Tjeerd Westdijk (Charles Hertsenberger) – 48th min.
Rovers starting line-up: Taylor Hafling; Peter May, Aljosa Stankovic, Luis Ramirez, Robertson Tarver; Lindokuhle Mfeka, Callum Tychowski, Dean Abdehov, Pierce Kiembi, Richard Ballard, Lwandiso Gonya