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Michigan Stars stumble in 1-0 setback to Oakland Roots in NISA Fall Tournament

Larry O'Connor
The Detroit News

Oakland Roots made Seo-In Kim’s goal in the fourth minute stand up in a 1-0 victory over the Michigan Stars on the final day of Group A play Sunday at Hamtramck’s Keyworth Stadium.

As a result, the Roots (2-0-1) advance to the National Independent Soccer Association Fall Tournament semifinals Wednesday. The Pontiac-based Stars (1-1-1) crashed out of the competition after Detroit City FC defeated New Amsterdam 4-2.

Michigan Stars' Steven Juncaj chases down Oakland Roots' Ariel Mbumba on Sunday in Group A play at Keyworth Stadium.

The Stars needed a win or draw by New Amsterdam (0-1-1) to advance. Michigan defeated DCFC 2-0 to open Group A play on Sept. 21 and drew 2-2 to New Amsterdam on Thursday.

The top two finishers in the four-team group advance to the semifinals.

Group B play concludes Monday with Chattanooga FC playing Cal United Strikers at 5 p.m. and New York Cosmos taking on LA Force at 8 p.m.

Semifinals start Wednesday with the Group A first-place finisher playing the Group B second-place finisher at 5 p.m. and the Group B first-place facing the Group A runner-up at 8 p.m.

Oakland, which lost 2-1 to DCFC on Thursday, started on the attack against the Stars, earning an early corner kick. Kim managed to move in unmarked and backheeled the delivery past a stunned Stars goalkeeper Tatenda Mkuruva.

The Stars made a few forays on the Roots’ goal, which was admirably commanded by 6-foot-7 netminder Christian Herrera.

Late in the first half, the Stars’ Kyle Nuel barely missed on a low drive off an indirect free kick that was awarded after Herrera was adjudged to have crossed the 18-yard area while punting a ball.

The Stars also had a goal off a free kick called back in the second half on an offsides call late in the second half.