ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Diego Casillas converted a penalty kick in the 85th minute to lift the LA Force to a 1-0 victory over 10-man Flower City Union in a National Independent Soccer Association match at the Rochester Community Sports Complex on Wednesday night.
Flower City Union (5-10-2, 17 points), which has been shut out in three consecutive games, while the fifth-place Force (25) improved to 7-4-4.
The deciding goal was set up when Josue Cartagena fouled Casillas in the penalty area. The Force midfielder fired his spot kick to the lower right past goalkeeper Michael Mejia.
Flower City Union was forced to play a man down for the final 19 minutes after forward Ali Diakhate was assessed a red card after he was awarded his second yellow card of the match. It was the second successive game that Flower City finished with 10 players, after its 2-0 loss at the Michigan Stars on Sunday. Diakhate will miss Flower City’s next game, against Gold Star FC.
The hosts were given seven yellow cards by the referee, while the Force was awarded two.
In an evenly played first half, Flower City Union had two great chances to break the ice.
Only 29 seconds after the opening kickoff. midfielder Gabe Ortiz trip a chip shot, off a feed from Luke Ferrera, from 24 yards that goalkeeper Hugo Perez leaped to save in the upper right corner.
The hosts had another close encounter in the 20th minute, when Alioune Diakhate latched onto a through ball from Matt Boluc and ripped a shot off the left post.
The Force’s best opportunity came in the 33rd minute when Mejia dove to his left to save Clayton Torr’s header off a corner kick.
Stephen Elias had Flower City’s best chance in the 83rd minute when he sent a shot that Gomez fumbled before he gathered in the ball.
Flower City Union will hit the road for their next two matches, visiting the Maryland Bobcats on Saturday, Sept. 2 at 7 p.m. and Club de Lyon in Daytona Beach, Fla. on Sunday, Sept. 10 at 7:30 p.m. The team will return to New York as Salt City Union as it will host the Michigan Stars in Auburn, N.Y. on Saturday, Sept. 23 at 6 p.m.
After playing at Gold Star FC on Wednesday, Sept. 27 at 7 p.m., Flower City Union will return to Rochester to welcome the Savannah Clovers at the Rochester Community Sports Complex on Saturday, Sept. 30 at 6 p.m. The team will hold a “Celebration of Rochester Soccer History” as players, coaches, owners and front office staff from previous professional soccer teams will be honored prior to the match. Former members of the Rochester Lancers, Rochester Flash, Rochester Rhinos and Western New York Flash have been invited to attend the celebration.