Dayton Dutch Lions FC hosted KW United FC at DOC Stadium in West Carrollton, OH on Friday evening. Dayton had battled their Cincinnati namesakes to a 1-1 draw last week, but knew that KW United presented an entirely different challenge. With the defending USL PDL champions coming to town, the Dutch Lions needed to play to the utmost of their capabilities to secure a win. Over the course of 90 minutes, United gave Dayton a lesson in PDL soccer and a 4-0 drubbing.
KW United opened the scoring in the 15th minute. Ken Krolicki was the beneficiary of one of several bad giveaways by the Dutch Lions, and the United midfielder made the home side pay for this one. Krolicki dribble unimpeded down the right flank then toward goal, forcing Dayton goalkeeper Nathan Jones to cover the near post. Krolicki made an easy pass into the path of forward Sergio Camargo, who was making the run to the middle of the open net. Camargo slid onto the ball and netted his second goal of the season.
“Camargo is just a brilliant player, such a positive player, so much creativity and always looking to create something. His energy, his communication, his leadership. He brings so much quality,” said KW United FC Head Coach Martin Painter. “We had a couple of other veteran guys step up today, too. I thought Ken Krolicki in the center midfield was outstanding.”
KW United FC doubled its lead in the 34th minute. Sven König received a throw-in in the box with his back toward goal. The United forward was able to turn a Dutch Lion defender and avoid an awkward tackle. König then rolled the ball between the legs of another DDL defender and beat Jones near post.
The goal that König scored in the 38th minute was more impressive. He stole the ball near the halfway line and dribbled all the way into goal, avoiding several defenders and going around the goalkeeper en route to giving the visitors a 3-0 lead at intermission.
“The energy in the first half was low. The pressure on the ball was low. We let them play. We let them score goals,” said Dutch Lions Head Coach Sid van Druenen. “We made mistakes that our U9 girls don’t make anymore.”
Van Druenen made three substitutions at the half, and the Dutch Lions came out of the locker room with renewed vigor. Indeed, the opening minutes of the second half gave the home fans reason to believe the Dutch Lions might make a match of it. The Dutch Lions were able to maintain meaningful possession and create scoring opportunities.
Unfortunately for Dayton, as their attack started to heat up, KW United FC goalkeeper St. Clair was equal to the task. Nduka Kemjika and Mees Linders forced St. Clair into saves at the 48 and 50-minute marks. St. Clair made another diving fingertip save at the 60-minute mark.
“Credit to our goalkeeper tonight. I thought he had his best game of the season,” said Painter.
As the match wore to a conclusion, KW United regained their footing and closed out the victory. König was taken down in the box and was awarded a chance from the mark. König converted the penalty kick and earned his hat trick in the 85th minute.
Van Druenen said, “All can hope for is that this is a learning experience, the guys pick it up, and we do better next week.”
It does not get any easier for the Dutch Lions next week. The Michigan Bucks, who won the PDL Great Lakes Division in 2015 and trounced KW United 6-0 last week, come to Dayton on Friday, June 3.