Luka Prpa (left) and Chicago won this PDL Central Conference semifinal, 5-3, over Dayton. Photo credit: Jayde Vogeler
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Friday, July 20, 2018 – It’s not often you see a soccer team turn a two-goal deficit into a two-goal win.
Yet this is what Chicago FC United pulled off today at Valley Stadium in the Premier Development League Playoffs.
Down 3-1 at halftime against the Dayton Dutch Lions, Chicago stormed back to claim a 5-3 victory and advance to tomorrow’s Central Conference Championship.
Back-to-back goals by Luka Prpa evened the match in the 70th minute and put Chicago ahead in the 82nd; Connor Alba iced this one in second-half stoppage time.
“Unbelievable, man,” Prpa said. “We knew if we played our game, the goals would be coming. We just kept on it. We thought we were better than the score line showed, and I thought we were much more focused in the second half.”
Max Todd’s penalty kick in the 52nd minute pulled Chicago within a goal. Todd also assisted today’s first score – by Alex Alfuro in the 28th minute – and Prpa’s equalizer.
Dayton (8-3-3 PDL regular season) appeared to be in control after scoring three straight goals.
The Lions’ top three scorers delivered today. Tate Robertson (31st minute), JJ Williams (41st) and Jackson Dietrich (a PK in the final moments of first-half stoppage time) found the net for the Great Lakes Division champs.
Chicago (7-5-2) rallied for just its third win since a 5-0-0 start to the season. The Heartland Division runners-up await the winner of the host Des Moines Menace (13-0-1; Heartland champs) and Lansing United (7-2-5, Great Lakes wildcard).
MAN of the MATCH: Luka Prpa, for his game-tying and game-winning goals. Prpa, who has been part of the United States national youth-team pool, prepares for his junior season at Marquette in his native Wisconsin.
Match: Dayton Dutch Lions vs. Chicago FC United
Date: Friday, July 20, 2018
Competition: Premier Development League Playoffs, Central Conference semifinal
Venue: Valley Stadium (artificial turf) in West Des Moines, Iowa
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. CDT
Weather: 80s, sunny and windy
Scoreline 1 2 F
DAYTON 3 0 3
CHICAGO 1 4 5
CHICAGO – Alex Alfuro (Max Todd) 28
DAYTON – Tate Robertson 31
DAYTON – JJ Williams (Sam DeRoy) 41
DAYTON – Jackson Dietrich PK 45+
CHICAGO – Todd PK 52
CHICAGO – Luka Prpa (Todd) 70
CHICAGO – Prpa (Christian Sanchez) 82
CHICAGO – Connor Alba (Seven Koenig) 90+