BY JONATHAN TURNER
Livonia, Mich. — Coming into the game Michigan Stars FC High School Senior forward Nicolas Nikolla had yet to score a goal in his 12 appearances. Nikolla who entered the game in the 77th minute with game tied at 2-2 made an immediate impact.
After a Leon Maric free kick just outside the eighteen was blocked by Gold Star defenders, the Michigan Stars worked the ball all the way back to Stars goal keeper Tatenda Mkuruva. Anthony Bowie received the ball up the left flank and played a perfect ball onto the head of Nikolla who put it home to give the Michigan Stars a 3-2 lead.
The game which kicked off at 4:06 PM ET from Madonna Soccer Complex saw back and forth action early in the match. With both the Michigan Stars and Gold Star FC putting chances high and wide. In the 25th minute the Michigan Stars from their own eighteen made three passes spanning 102 yards and 14 seconds with Hunter Olson getting on the end of a cross from Andres Chalbaud for his 4th goal of the season,
For much of the next nineteen minutes both teams had their chances, but a foul in the box on Derek Ramirez of Gold Star saw Roddy Green Jr step to the spot and convert his 2nd goal of the season and tie the game heading into the half time break.
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Gold Star FC starting with the second half kick, wasted no time creating a chance that saw Roddy Green Jr. one on one with Michigan Stars goal keeper who pushed a shot destined for the upper ninety. For the next several minutes Gold Star would pressure the back line of the Michigan Stars to no avail. In the 51st minute Tekodah Lobsiger would throw the ball in and Roddy Green Jr would head the ball down to a running Vlad Jokic that would see Michigan Stars defender Garrett Hogbin loose his footing. Jokic would dribble toward the eighteen and slot a pass far post to Daniel Wright who would one time bury from twelve yards out under the arms of Mkuruva to give the Gold Star FC a 2-1 lead.
The Michigan Stars would find an equalizing goal in the 64th minute after a corner kick from Kotaro Umeda dropped down to the foot of Ahmed Junior Ahmed-Shaibu who poked it into the back of the net.
In the 77th minute Nicolas Nikolla entered the match and put in the go ahead goal, the first of his professional career. Gold Star FC had a chance to tie the game in the second minute of stoppage time when Roddy Green Jr on a free kick from 25 yards out saw a shot go through the hands of Mkuruva hit off the cross bar and the rebound put over by Brandon Riddle.
Mkurva would punt the ball that was mistimed by Gold Star defenders and Leon Maric would play a ball to Nikolla who would one time shoot from 22 yards out over Gold Star keeper Brandon Barnes to give the Michigan Stars a 4-2 lead and the win.
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25th Minute #20 Hunter Olson AS: #15 Andres Chalbaud
44th Minute #10 John Cassiday AS: Penalty
51st Minute #7 Daniel Wright AS: #23 Vlad Jokic
63rd Minute #21 Ahmed-Shaibu AS: Unassisted
83rd Minute #17 Nicolas Nikolla AS: #27 Anthony Bowie
90th Minute #17 Nicolas Nikolla AS; #9 Leon Maric
SHOTS 3 6
TARGET 1 2
CORNERS 1 5
OFFSIDES 1 0
FOULS 6 6
SAVES 1 0
SHOTS 7 7
TARGET 3 4
CORNERS 1 2
OFFSIDES 0 0
FOULS 8 7
SAVES 2 3
SHOTS 10 13
TARGET 4 6
CORNERS 2 7
OFFSIDES 1 0
FOULS 14 13
SAVES 3 3