The away side actually opened the scoring on the night through Wojciech Wojcik, but Detroit responded well, taking the lead before halftime thanks to goals from Matt Lewis and Maxi Rodriguez. Chicago then tied things up after Drew Conner converted from the penalty spot following the break, but Detroit would have the last laugh as Anthony Manning scored the winner with minutes to go.
Both sides will have plenty to take away from the contest, but at the very least, it was a wonderful watch for the neutrals.
Story of the match
It seemed like Detroit was set to take the lead when they were awarded a penalty midway through the first half. However, the resulting spot-kick from Pato Botello Faz was saved by Mike Novotny, who managed to corral the rebound as well.
Chicago would make the most of the momentum boost, as they opened the scoring a little bit later. A dream ball from Musa Morris picked out Wojciech Wojcik in the area, and he was able to bring the ball down before converting from close range.
The hosts nearly equalized a few moments later in bizarre fashion. A House defender tried to head the ball away, but he headed it towards his own goal instead. Luckily for him and his team, his accidental effort hit the post before going out of play.
Detroit did tie things up right before the half-hour mark, though. A cross from the wing found an unmarked Matt Lewis in the box, and he was able to head home with relative ease.
They were then awarded another penalty after a coming-together of sorts in the area, and this time, they would capitalize. Maxi Rodriguez stepped up and buried the pen, picking out the bottom corner with a cool and composed finish.
A third penalty kick was then given minutes into the start of the second half. This one went to Chicago after Wojcik was taken down, and Drew Conner was able to convert to level the scoring.
Things eventually calmed down. Both sides had half-chances, but neither came too close to scoring.
That was until the 86th minute, when Detroit retook the lead. A corner wasn’t dealt with properly, which led to a loose ball bouncing around the box. After a bit of chaos, Anthony Manning was finally able to pounce on it, as he fired a shot into the back of the net from just a few yards out.
That proved to be the final highlight of the contest, as the hosts held on to secure the win and all three points.
Chicago will obviously be disappointed to lose on the night, but they should be very happy with their performance nonetheless. In their first league game against the reigning champions, they put up an absolute fight. It was a close match throughout, and they could’ve definitely gotten a result on a different day. Either way, this showing should serve as a springboard for the future.
This game showed why Detroit are the reigning champions after all. They just know how to get the job done even when they’re not playing too well, and they did exactly that here. They are still the team to beat.
Both sides do have a bit to work on, to be fair. There were too many defensive mistakes on either side of the pitch, which is what led to most of the goals. Detroit and Chicago could each have excellent seasons, but that can only happen if they learn from this match.
Watching and covering a game at a party is not the easiest task.
Man of the match - Anthony Manning
The matchwinner on the night, Anthony Manning’s late goal proved to be the difference between the two sides.
Far from the prettiest way to score, Manning managed to poke home from close range, getting to the ball ahead of a number of bodies nearby him. They way it came won’t matter to him or his team, of course, as the goal was what gave them the three points.
He also did a good enough job defensively, but he will be disappointed to concede twice at home. Manning stepped up when it mattered most, though, which is what’s truly important for Detroit.