“It was a good start,” said Moyo after his his club battled hard before a large crowd at the Lee Soccer Field. “I was really happy with the way we played in the first half. We worked hard and controlled most of the game. I thought the final line should have been 3 or 4 to 1. We missed some awfully good looks, especially near the end.”
Lee’s domination midway of the first half showed clearly on the stat sheet. The Flames kept the ball on their side on the field the majority of the half and out shot the Panthers 14-5. For the game, Lee attempted 19 shots and had just five on target. Davenport managed nine attempts and placed just one on goal.
The Flames and Panthers fought on even terms for the opening 30 minutes. Luke Cuthbert justed missed a goal in the 30th minute when his free kick hit the top of the goal and bounded away. Fernando Barriga stepped up to tally the first Lee goal of the season on a well-played ball by Stanley Magwano in the 35th minute.
Magwano, who missed the entire 2009 season with an illness, came back to make it a 2-0 game with a penalty kick in the 39th minute. “It was great to have Stanley back,” noted Moyo. “He gives it everything he has and means so much to this team. For that reason, we didn’t want to take any chances and limited his time to only about 20 minutes tonight.”
Down 2-0, the visitors from Grand Rapids, Mich. were not about to throw in the towel. For the first 20 minutes of the second half they looked like an entirely different team and cut the margin down to 2-1 when Jai Waw scored on a penalty kick in the 56th minute.
“I give them credit, they put a lot of pressure on us and sent three or four forwards at us,” said Moyo. “We finally settled down and dominated most of the final 30 minutes. I hate we missed those easy chances near the end.”
Moyo singled out the effort of Sias Reyneke. “He was excellent,” said the coach, “very strong on the ball.” Chevon Roberts and Juan Lara also drew the attention of the Lee staff, while Moyo also praised the work of Gilbert Ruiz in the middle.
However, Moyo was quick to stress that his Flames face a much stiffer test on Tuesday. “SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) always fields a strong club,” he said. “They are always very well organized. We will certainly have to improve on our play.” Tuesday’s non-conference action at the Lee Soccer Field begins at 7 p.m.