Some nights, the ball just won’t go in, no matter how well it’s hit or how open the net is. For the Michigan Bucks, it summed up their night in general, losing 2-1at home in extra time to the Dayton Dutch Lions, still winless in USL Pro, in the Fourth Round of the US Open Cup.
From the start, the Bucks were dominant in possession and strong on the counter attack. Despite that, Dayton took an early lead from a Gibson Bardsley cross that met Eli Garner who poked it in during the 12th minute.
Throughout the first half, the game alternated between one team having a dominant spell and another taking its turn, reaching the break with the visitors in front, 1-0.
The Bucks showed signs of life just after halftime, when substitute Anthony Grant came on and equalized with a shot from 15 yards out after a defender gave the ball away.
Both sides showed signs of scoring, including a chance for Dayton that Bucks goalie Adam Grinwis managed to keep out with just one hand. Near the end of the second half Dayton’s goal was bombarded with shots from the Bucks, but the ball wouldn’t hit the net.
During extra time, the Bucks threw everything at Dayton’s goal but couldn’t convert. However, a Michigan foul led to a Dayton penalty, which Joel DeLass scored and put Dayton in the lead at 2-1.
The Bucks began throwing everything they had towards the Dayton goal, including placing defender Sebby Harris up front, but failed to find any success. The one minute of stoppage time in the second half of over time wasn’t enough for the Bucks either.
Dayton coach Iver van Dintren was proud of his team’s performance.
“We fought like Lions and I think we deserved to win the game,” van Dintren said.
He also praised the Bucks for their style of play.
“I knew the Michigan Bucks, I played myself two years ago. They have some talented players and they try to play soccer instead of kicking the balls long. I think they did well,” van Dintren said.
Bucks coach Gary Parsons acknowledged that the Bucks’ struggles in front of goal hurt them.
“The whole thing with soccer is you got to put your chances away. I thought we had some quality opportunities to get the second goal. You don’t put those away, something can happen and it did,” Parsons said.
The Dayton Dutch Lions move on to a Quarterfinal match on the road versus Sporting Kansas City, who downed fellow MLS side Colorado 2-0. Until then, they will be looking to finally pick up their first league win, playing host to Pittsburgh and Wilmington on either side of a trip to Los Angeles.