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Ahmed nets 5, leads Cards past Anderson

It was a fast paced game that was fairly evenly matched through the first half when Melvindale and Anderson took to the field Monday evening.

But the Cardinals, or Saleh Ahmed for that matter, decided they were not going home without the win.

Ahmed accounted for five; yes, all five of his team’s goals in their 5-2 win over the Titans.

A tie game early in the second half transitioned into three Melvindale goals in 13 minutes and suddenly it was a very different soccer game.

The Titans had taken a 2-1 lead into the half after a pair of their own goals in a four minutes span late in the second half, but couldn’t manage the comeback in the second half.

“It went from 2-1 to 4-2 and that’s hard to recover from,” Anderson Coach Larry Lankford said. “Nothing you can do.”

It took both teams awhile to settle in and once they did it was an exciting match up.

Ahmed opened the scoring midway through the first half, grabbing the rebound on a penalty kick and finding the back of the net.

Ten minutes later, Anderson’s Aaron Jsolyn tied things up and four minutes after that Justin Barnes gave the Titans the 2-1 lead that they took into the half.

Ahmed tied it up with 30:02 to play in the second half and 12 seconds later got his hat trick to give Melvindale a lead it never let up.

With 17:25 left to play, a Cardinal skirted a ball in front of the net that bounced off the corner post. Ahmed grabbed the rebound and buried his fourth goal of the net.

With 6:50 to go he found the ball at his feet once again and ran away with the ball and the game, knocking in his fifth of the night for the final score.

Melvindale Coach Brian Fritz said he was pleased with his team for settling in against a strong Southgate team and finishing with the win.

“I was very impressed with Southgate, especially their defense,” he said. “Their defense was very fast, so it took us awhile to get something going. I’m just proud we battled back.

“It was the first time we had adversity this season, so it shows a lot about this team’s character and how hard they’re willing to work to finish a game.”

Fritz encouraged his team at the half to never give up and keep themselves in the game.

“(We talked about) picking up the team’s speed, trying to control a little bit and not to give up,” he said. “Just keep sending that ball down and putting pressure on the defense.

“If we keep shooting, good things are gonna happen.”

Lankford too kept encouraging his squad to not give up despite the score.

“I told them I knew they were strong enough to play,” he said. “They were playing the best soccer they’ve played in a long time.

“Melvindale’s a good team; they earned the win, but there were a combination of strange plays there that cost us.”

Lankford said he takes nothing away from the Cardinals and looks forward to playing them again in the second half of the season.

“We knew they were good coming in,” he said. “They’re well-coached and they play hard. I’m not disappointed.”

Moving forward, the Cardinals are one of two teams left undefeated Downriver and Fritz hopes they continue to compete.

“We just wanna compete every game and put ourselves in position to at least win every game,” he said. “The league is so tough; it’s gonna be interesting.

“Every team is good (and) we’re just trying to take it day by day, practice by practice, game by game.”

The Cards host Truman at 4:00 on Wednesday, while Anderson plays host to Allen Park the same night.





Last Updated: 8/26/2014 12:42:18 AM EST

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