Minnesota Thunder Handily Defeats Puerto Rico Islanders 5-2
BLAINE, Minn. (Thursday, September 10, 2009) - The Minnesota Thunder played one of their best matches of the year tonight with a 5-2 victory over second place Puerto Rico Islanders. Minnesota's offense was clicking as early as the fourth minute when the Thunder scored their first goal with a header from Marco Terminesi and continued to score throughout the game. By the end of the first half, the score was 3-1 in favor of Minnesota and by the end of the match it grew to 5-2.
Marco Terminesi kicked off the match with an early goal in fourth minute. Rod Dyachenko had the ball on the right side of the box when he centered it towards Terminesi. The pass was low and Terminesi made a diving header that Islanders' goalkeeper Behonick deflected but the ball still rolled in for the first goal of the game.
Kevin Friedland scored his first goal of the season and the second Thunder goal of the match in the 38th minute. Unassisted, Friedland rifled a shot past Behonick to the corner of the goal to extend Minnesota's lead.
The Puerto Rico Islanders narrowed the gap in the score in the 43rd minute. Martin Nunez had the ball with speed when he gave a through pass to Fabrice Noel who put a quick shot on goal. The try was low and out of Platter's reach as he dove to make the save but came up only grabbing air.
The Thunder reclaimed their two goal lead in the 45th minute. Dyachenko manipulated the ball to create a shooting lane where he blasted a shot toward the upper corner at the far post. Behonick was helpless because the shot was past him before he could do anything about it.
After 45 minutes of play, the match was already an offensively dominated game. The Thunder went into the locker room with energy and the Islanders went in looking to fix their game plan.
Puerto Rico were given a penalty kick in the 52nd minute and Josh Hansen took the kick. Hansen shot low and to the left post, Platter guessed correctly and dove toward the ball. Despite Platter's efforts, the ball still managed to get by him and the Islanders closed the gap for the second time of the match.
Minnesota was awarded a penalty kick of their own in the 56th minute. Terminesi was fouled in the box and Ricardo Sanchez took a shot low and to the right. Justin Myers also guessed correctly and made an accurate dive but Sanchez's shot slipped between Myers' hands and the post for Minnesota's fourth goal of the match.
Brian Cvilikas adds to the Thunder's lead in the 88th minute with the fifth and final goal of the match. Cvilikas was had the ball in the upper right corner of the penalty box when he took his shot. The try was a laser of a shot and it found its way past Myers and into the goal.
After the 90 minutes expired, Minnesota takes down the second place team in the USL First Division, the Puerto Rico Islanders, 5-2.
"It was nice to be able to finish the chances that we got tonight," said Minnesota Head Coach Donny Gramenz. "We scored some nice goals. I also liked the way the players came and committed to attacking and we played with a lot of freedom with the mind to score. We played very confident in the final third tonight."
The Minnesota Thunder have only two more matches in their 2009 campaign, one away and one at home. On Sunday, the Thunder will be in Montreal to face the Impact on Sunday, September 13 at 2:45 p.m. The match can be viewed for free at www.usllive.com. Minnesota will finish their season in Blaine when they host the Charleston Battery on Sunday, September 20 at 5:05 p.m.
For individual tickets to final Thunder home match of the season, please visit www.ticketmaster.com or for group tickets call the Thunder office at 763.390.8336.
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