Detroit City FC, Manchester play to a draw

Al Willman
The Detroit News
DCFC's Bobby Budlong gets behind Manchester goalie Nick Culkin and Matty Wolfenden and puts it to the net for teammate Alec Lasinski to tap it home for the game-tying goal at the end o the second half.

Hamtramck — Detroit City FC coach Ben Pirmann said Saturday’s game against FC United of Manchester was a game his team was playing to win, despite being an international friendly.

Detroit and Manchester played to a 3-3 draw in front of 6,245 fans at Keyworth Stadium.

“I think we’ve given up seven goals in our last three (games),” Pirmann said. “I know it’s quote ‘just a friendly’ but we’ve got to play better defensively.”

Javi Bautista, Jeff Adkins and Alec Lasinski scored for Detroit (2-2-3).

Sam Madeley, George Thompson and Dave Johnson scored for Manchester.

Down 3-2 in the 93rd minute, Lasinski’s equalizer sealed the draw.

“We knew they were going to be tired because it’s hot out,” said Lasinski, who was named Man of the Match. “We had to press hard.”

Detroit opened the scoring in the 11th minute, when Bautista put a rebound past Manchester goalkeeper David Carnell.

“It’s always good to get the first goal,” Bautista said. “I think we started playing pretty well (after that). We had some pretty good intensity. That first goal, Danny Deacon played a great ball over the top and the rest of it was the easy part.”

Manchester answered quickly. Madeley scored in the 13th minute, but Adkins gave Detroit a 2-1 lead with his goal in the 25th.

Manchester scored twice in the final minutes of the first half, taking a 3-2 lead before the break. George Thompson scored in the 44th minute and Dave Johnson put Manchester ahead with six seconds left.

“I thought to give up two goals in the last (minutes) of the second half was unacceptable,” Pirmann said. “It came down to work rate. It wasn’t players, or this or that. It was work ethic. We didn’t work hard enough to stop that play twice.”

Detroit played with more intensity in the second half but failed to capitalize on several scoring chances.

“We really commanded the game in the second half,” Pirmann said. “We played well, we moved the ball well. We had to come out in the second half with a new group with more energy and a little bit more focus. I wanted to get two goals back, but getting one was enough to save for a tie. We’ve got to keep moving forward for next weekend.”

Injuries are an issue for Detroit, which was missing four starters. Troy Watson, Spiro Pliakos, Cyrus Saydee and Tommy Catelano were held out.

“Hopefully they’re back for next weekend,” Pirmann said. “If not, we’ll keep moving forward. We’ve played 21 players (before today) and that was our 30th player that we’ve played this season.”

Detroit has a home-and-home friendly against FC Buffalo next weekend. It hosts Buffalo on Friday, before making the trip to New York for a match next Sunday afternoon.

Al Willman is a freelance writer.