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Offensive Explosion Leads Lions to Victory Over Hurricanes FC

On Saturday evening the Houston Dutch Lions FC traveled to southwest Houston to take on the Houston Hurricanes FC in a Texas Premier Soccer League (TPSL) match. The Lions were sitting on top of the TPSL table with a perfect 3-0-0 record, while the Hurricanes were a few points behind in second place. With the both clubs having experience in the highest US semi-professional leagues, NPSL for the Hurricanes and USL PDL for the Lions, this matchup looked to be a good one.

From the opening whistle it was apparent that the Lions planned to use their speed to take advantage on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. Early on the Lions were forcing turnovers and turning them into opportunities in the transition game. Four minutes into the game the Lions almost took the early lead when Javier Vazquez’s free kick screamed off the crossbar. This early chance was a sign of what was to come from the Lions throughout the match. Six minutes later, at the ten minute mark, the Lions opened up the scoring. Chuy Vidal took a ball from Vazquez and buried it home to give the Lions a 1-0 lead. Following the goal the Hurricanes looked to build up and create some pressure, but were having an extremely tough time getting through the Lions defense. Despite a decided Lions advantage in possession, the Hurricanes were able to knot the game at 1-1 when their shot from distance trickled past Lions goalie Dylan Meeker in the 24th minute.

Following the goal, the Lions answered right back to regain the lead. In the 26th minute Javier Vazquez rattled the woodwork with another beautiful free kick, but this time Jose Hernandez was there to slot home the rebound for his second goal of the season. The Lions reclaimed the lead at 2-1, and would not give it back for the rest of the match. Before the end of the half the Lions would add another goal when David Otoya used some excellent footwork to make an action in the box and beat the Hurricanes keeper for his third goal of the season.

Despite a couple more Hurricanes efforts to move forward, the boys in orange would carry a 3-1 lead into the half.  During the break Lions head coach Marco Pruis and his staff warned their players of getting complacent and relaxing on the pitch. They knew the Hurricanes would start the half trying to throw everything they could at the Lions to get back into the match. With this thought in mind, the visitors were ready to weather the early storm from the Hurricanes. Just as expected, the ‘Canes came flying out of the half but the Lions defense and several strong saves from Meeker kept them off the board. Just as in the first half the Lions seemed to be everywhere the Hurricanes wanted to go and made it nearly impossible for them to build up any kind of sustained attack. After having several chances to increase their lead, the Lions were finally able to tack on another goal. Roberto Velazquez came on as a substitute in the 72nd minute and would almost immediately make an impact. In the 77th minute he took a ball from Otoya that he calmly put home to essentially put the game out of reach with a 4-1 lead. It wasn’t the last time Velazquez would be called upon in the match.  Minutes before the final whistle, Eric Suarez delivered a skillful corner into the box and Velazquez banged it home for his team leading fourth goal of the season to close out the scoring at 5-1.

With the win the Lions moved to 5-0-0 and remained unbeaten in the TPSL this season. Throughout the match the team played an excellent style of soccer, passing well and using the speed to create combinations. This play along with defensive pressure on the Hurricanes all night lead to a dominating performance. Lions keeper Dylan Meeker recovered nicely after letting in an early goal and made several key saves in the match.

The Lions are off this weekend and will return to the field on November 9th. The 9th will be the final regular season home game of the first half of the season. BCS BearKatz, who sit in second place after defeating Pirates SC this weekend, will come to town looking to end the HDL win streak.