NPSL Matchday 5: Regals SCA V FC Wichita

It’s often symptomatic of dynamic championship teams to know how to win in different ways, and that was in full display against Regals SCA. Compared to the free-flowing and free-scoring fashion that the CFCSA game unfolded, this game was rough, sloppy at times, and hard-fought.

It was another slow start in the first half from FC Wichita in the second game of their Texas road trip. Possession had to be well over 60% during the game, as Regals showed that they were willing to just play on the counter and find their chances when they fell to them.

Only three real chances occurred in the first half. One coming from an unexpected source, as on a run forward from right back, Yann Martinez forced the RSCA keeper into an acrobatic save, tipping it onto the crossbar and over.

The second chance came from a much more familiar outlet, from the right foot of leading goal scorer Jeffrey Kyei. He found himself in some space on the left side just outside of the box and tried his patented curling effort, only just missing the bottom corner.

Regals did have a few chances where they looked dangerous, the main one when their number 10 popped up in some space and stung Goldsmith’s hands, who was covering for an injured Weir.

After a relatively hum-drum first half, it was time to see if FC Wichita could turn it on like they had against their last two opponents from Texas; scoring two in two minutes against Dallas City and scoring 4 in the second half against CFCSA.

“It was a really good half-time talk,” said head coach John Markey, “The players just needed to understand their roles and perform them to the best of their abilities, and they went out and did that in the second half.”

The second half began with FC Wichita immediately getting on the front foot. Kyei, Barry, and Osterloh in particular started taking on their defenders and really going at the Regals defense. Some of the goals scored in San Antonio that Friday were beautiful, but the goal that provided the breakthrough for FCW came from an ugly scramble in the box. The ball came in from the right, was poked to Osterloh from Kyei, who finished from close.

Osterloh in particular impressed over the next 15 minutes of the first half, where the visitors were clearly in the ascendancy. The one moment where you could really see the confidence oozing out of the Brazilian striker was when he attempted a rabona pass to Kyei down the left wing. He was also involved in one of the most impressive, flowing movements with link-up between Cantor and Contreras almost ending in the second goal of the game.

Although the home team really started to press in the final 20 minutes, no major chances really came for them. The only big dangers came from FC Wichita, who went as close as possible in the 80' with Sosa shooting narrowly wide from a perfect Kevin Ten Eyck free kick.

The game was finally closed out with the Regals keeper coming up for the final corner of the game, and substitute Pinto breaking on an open goal and finishing it off.  

“When we left Wichita, we were looking for 6 points on this road trip,” said Markey, “At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how we got them, we got them.”

This maintains their position at the top of the table, and with a stretch of home games coming up, Markey, the players, and the rest of the staff expect more of the same to come.

Colin Johnson