Preseason: Ajax Africa FC vs Bateaux FC
Starting XI: Nelson (GK), Burk, Walters, Klusendorf, Hoepner, Schwartz, Tepole, Lopez, Ripplinger, Martinez, Kreutzfeldt Subs: Balsiger, Bates, Goodrie, Nunn, Puglisi, Mena, Xiong
Bateaux FC lost 5-1 to Ajax Africa FC at Regis High School on Saturday afternoon.
Truthfully, the team didn't play near their best throughout the 90 minutes despite going ahead through a David Ripplinger penalty kick on 10'. The PK was awarded after Alan Martinez drew a foul in the box while making one of his trademark runs.
The lead stood for 14 minutes before Ajax Africa equalized off a set piece of their own. A foul was awarded to the visitors, resulting in a free kick from about 30 yards out. The ensuing kick was a cheeky one, the ball casually lobbed over the wall to an open player who fluidly took the ball down and finessed it into our net.
Within five minutes, it was 2-1 to the visitors which was also the score at halftime. It was clear by the interval that the visitors had the momentum. Two or three missed chances by the hosts early on could've provided the difference.
The visitors put in a third off a corner routine in the 68th minute. A ball into the far post was headed back across goal and into the far side netting. Fifteen minutes on, they made it 4-1 when the ball, aided by the shifting winds, propelled the ball over our defense and left the goalkeeper helpless.
Ajax Africa FC would add a fifth and final goal just two minutes from time, this one coming off another excellently timed run and through ball.
That's two losses on the bounce after two positive results to open our preseason. We play one more match - May 7 in Minnesota against the Togolese Heritage team - before our Wisconsin Primary Amateur Soccer League (WPASL) opener against Barron Soccer Team on May 15.