Updated: Mar 4
Just in case you missed the action from this past Sunday, Coach Lewis Dunne and his Cleveland team took on FC Buffalo at George Finnie Stadium. Coming into the game, Cleveland had huge playoff indications as a win, or a draw would cement their place in this year's playoff. With that being said, a two-win Buffalo side looked to play the role of spoilers to an undefeated Cleveland SC team at home.
Despite the inclement weather, Cleveland blitzed the Buffalo side to an early two-goal lead within the first 10 minutes of the match with tallies from Tom Beck (3') and Kyle Cusimano (6') in the early stages of the first half. Throughout the first half, Cleveland controlled the game's flow through possession on the offensive side while pressuring Buffalo around the pitch defensively. This trend put the match more in favor of the home side, with Buffalo struggling to find any rhythm or signs of life in the match.
Cleveland topped an impressive first half with a finish by Vinny Bell (40') coming within the last five minutes of the first half to bring the Cleveland lead to 3-0. Before going into the break, Buffalo's Chris Walter was sent off in the 42' due to a late slide tackle, which shortened Buffalo to 10 players after the red card.
In the second half, the two teams played more of an even match, as Buffalo looked more threatening, with just only 10 players. After some sloppy play by Cleveland early on, Buffalo was rewarded a penalty after Cleveland keeper Connor Cable missed an open-field tackle in the box resulting in a yellow for the keeper. Buffalo capitalized from the spot in the 57', putting them on the board (3-1).
As the second half unfolded, Cleveland responded to a quick Buffalo start by finding opportunities in the final third themselves. Despite the dangerous attack displayed, Cleveland could not find the back of the net after many chances in front of the Buffalo net. Both teams finished in a stalemate at a 3-1 finish after 90 minutes of play.
With the last whistle blown, Cleveland continues their undefeated season as they improve to a 7-0-1 (wins-loses-ties) record. At the same time, the visiting FC Buffalo added to their losing column leaving George Finnie Stadium with a 2-4-1 record.
With this win, Cleveland SC clinches a playoff spot for this upcoming playoff with two more games to play in the regular season.
Photo Credit: Luigi Musto and Ric Kruszynski