AC ST. LOUIS DEBUT IN CAROLINA
ST. LOUIS, MO (April 10, 2010) – AC St. Louis, playing in their first ever USSF Division 2 Pro League game, lost to the Carolina Railhawks Saturday night by a score of 2-0 at the WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina.
The Railhawks wasted little time getting on the scoreboard as Etienne Barbara found the back of the net just four minutes into the game. Joseph Kabwe played Barbara into the right side of the area with a through ball that allowed the Railhawk forward to gain the edge on defenders John Lesko and Mark Bloom. Barbara slotted home his chance past St. Louis keeper Alec Dufty, staking the Railhawks to an early lead.
AC St. Louis began the game with just 10 players due to Manuel Kante leaving his identification at the hotel. Rather than substitute for Kante, and thus removing him from the game, St. Louis decided to play with ten men while Kante’s identification was produced.
Etienne Barbara struck again midway through the first half. Cory Elenio delivered a perfect ball from the right hand side of the penalty area that found Barbara open in the middle of the channel. Barbara finished his chance with a calm first touch, giving Carolina a 2-0 advantage.
AC St. Louis nearly scored their first goal in franchise history off a free kick. Ryan Moore swung in a perfect ball, picking out an onrushing John Lesko at the left post. Lesko’s resulting header from near point blank range missed the mark . Good news came for St. Louis minutes later when Manuel Kante entered the game after producing his identification, in this case his passport, bringing both sides to 11 v. 11. St. Louis settled down following Kante’s entrance as Elvir Kafedzic produced the second chance for AC, but was denied by Carolina goalkeeper Eric Reed.
Kante nearly drew one back early in the second half as a second ball fell to him just inside the 18-yard box. Kante volleyed the chance as he held off a defender, sending the ball just over the top of the bar. Minutes later Jack Traynor nearly set up Ryan Moore for a goal as AC St. Louis began to find their stride. Elvir Kafedzic would later force a good save from Carolina’s Eric Reed as the Bosnian struck a hard and low shot from just outside the penalty area. Late in the half Jeff Cosgriff fired his first shot in anger, but Eric Reed once again provided the save.