Lansing United Crowned 2018 Michigan Milk Cup Champions

 By Fletcher Sharpe

By Fletcher Sharpe

A chippy and wild game at Mason High School came down to the final minutes as nine man Lansing United edged out AFC Ann Arbor 3-2 in a match that featured five yellow cards, two red cards, and three penalty kicks.

Play started early in the 7th minute, Lansing United’s DeJuan Jones forced the first corner of the match as his cross from the left side of the box was knocked out by a Jack Cawley slide. 14 minutes later, Jones had a corner forced by AFCAA’s Stephen Turnbull.

Lansing’s first goal came by way of this as Kosti Moni’s corner found the head of Jones and it was steered into the back of the net in the 22nd minute.

Lansing would soon add another as a turnover on the right side of the field led to Leroy Enzugusi threading a ball forward to TJ Ifaturoti who crossed the ball to Jones who tapped the ball in for his second in three minutes.

Lansing would drop down a player though as Enzugusi would be shown a straight red card in the 38th for studs up slide on Sercan Cihan. A quick scuffle would break out and yellows would be issued to AFCAA’s Cawley and Lansing’s Steeve Pouna.

Ann Arbor’s first real chance on goal came just as the half was ending when Yuri Farkas sent in a free kick that was headed on frame by Jordan Montoya. It was saved by Anthony Mwembia.

After halftime, Ann Arbor turned up the offensive pressure. In the 70th minute, Cawley let loose a curving free kick that was pushed wide of net by a diving Mwembia.

Lansing has a chance to put the game away in the 83rd as DeJuan Jones broke into open space in front of the Lansing net. He deked right and sent low shot past Ann Arbor’s Nick Barry, only to hit the post and have it trickle out.

Four minutes later, Ann Arbor would strike as Azaad Liadi would earn a penalty in the 87th minute. Yuri Farkas stepped up and slotted his penalty home to make it 2-1 Lansing.

But the scoreline would soon change as Jones received a ball in Ann Arbor’s box. Rather than force a shot, he found a wide open Pouna who was taken down right after for another penalty, this time to Lansing. His shot was saved by Barry, but the deflection fell right back to Pouna who stroked it home and went to celebrate with the fans. He, however, forgot that he already had a yellow card and was issued a second one and sent off, leaving Lansing with nine players, but a 3-1 lead.

Scary moment in the 4th minute of extra time as a ball was sent in to Lansing’s penalty area and the keeper Mwembia went for the punch. He caught Jack Cawley’s head instead and was shown a yellow. Cawley got up after a few minutes down on the pitch. Farkas would send the ensuing penalty into the back of the net to make it 3-2.

Ann Arbor had one last chance to score with Mwembia being caught out of his net, but the side judge ruled that the pass to a waiting Jake Rosen was deemed offsides. Soon after the ref blew his whistle and Lansing United was crowned the 2018 Milk Cup champions.