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Menace ends drought, wins 4-2

Lebogang Moloto's two-goal, one-assist performance keyed the win. Here, he's shown celebrating a goal with (left to right) Jubril Lawal, Luis Piffer and Maniac.
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Saturday, June 18, 2011 – Lebogang Moloto led the way, notching a goal in each half of the slump-busting Des Moines Menace’s 4-2 Premier Development League win over the Kansas City Brass tonight at Valley Stadium.

Moloto also assisted John Sosa’s game-winning goal, as the home team put an emphatic end to a 10-day scoring drought that lasted 333 minutes of soccer.

“It felt like a decade (since the team’s last goal),” said Moloto. “We’ve been making chances, but we just haven’t been finishing. We knew we needed a win, and we stepped up.”

Kenan Malicevic put an end to the scoreless run when he slotted the ball past goalkeeper Andy Fitzpatrick in the 27th minute. Moloto’s first goal followed in the 42nd minute, providing momentum and a 2-1 halftime lead.

Sosa put the Menace up 3-1 in the 63rd minute, and Moloto sealed it in the 70th minute.

“I’m happy,” said Menace head coach Laurie Calloway. “The players deserve all the credit, bouncing back the way they did.”

Calloway was not happy, however, to watch his team concede two goals or more for the sixth time this season.

“We can still be doing better than we’re doing,” Calloway added. “We need better leadership in the back. Too many mental mistakes.”

Kyle Greig scored both of the visitors’ goals, spotting the Brass (2-5-2) a lead in the fifth minute and making it a 3-2 game in the 67th minute.

The win pulls the Menace (7-3-0, 21 points) within one point of Heartland Division leader Real Colorado (7-0-1), which is idle this weekend and plays at Kitsap (Bremerton, Wash) on Tuesday in the second round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

Before tonight, Des Moines’ last goal – and win – came on June 8. Since Finn Jor scored in the 53rd minute of a 4-3 decision at Winnipeg, the Menace had gone without a goal for the equivalent of three and half games.

The Menace was reeling, after 2-0 and 3-0 defeats at Thunder Bay (June 10 and 11) and a 1-0 loss against Chicago Fire PDL on Tuesday that forced a first-round exit from the Open Cup.

This was the start of six straight weekends at home for the Menace, which takes a break from league play, hosting the Winnipeg Lions next Saturday (June 25).

“With all the fans we have, we hope for the home-field advantage,” Moloto said. “Hopefully we’ll keep scoring and winning.”

MR. B MAN of the MATCH goes to: Lebogang Moloto, who scored his third and fourth goals of the season. The South African nicknamed “Tsunami” has nine points, third on the team behind Deshorn Brown (14) and John Sosa (13).

UP NEXT: The Menace hosts the Winnipeg Lions on Saturday (June 25) for a 7:30 p.m. exhibition presented by the YMCA. This is the second of six straight weekends the team plays at Valley Stadium. Des Moines resumes league play with back-to-back doubleheader weekends, July 1-2 against WSA Winnipeg and July 8-9 against Thunder Bay.

Match: Des Moines Menace vs. Kansas City Brass
Date: Saturday, June 18, 2011
Competition: Premier Development League regular-season match
Venue: Valley Stadium in West Des Moines, Iowa
Attendance: 3,326
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. CDT
Weather: 80s, Sunny

Scoring Summary:     1   2   F
MENACE                      2    2    4
KC                               1   1    2
MENACE – Kenan Malicevic (James Garces) 27:00, Lebogang Moloto 42:00, John Sosa (Moloto) 63:00, Moloto (Deshorn Brown) 70:00
KC – Kyle Grieg 5:00, Grieg (Brian Harris) 67:00

Stats Summary: MENACE / KC
Shots: 19 / 8
Saves: 3 / 5
Corner Kicks: 1 / 3
Fouls: 5 / 7
Offside: 1 / 1

Misconduct Summary: KC Yellow Cards: Hamil Laeth 45:00

The Des Moines Menace competes in the 64-team United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League (PDL), the highest amateur level of soccer in North America. The Menace plays its home matches in a fun, family-friendly environment at Valley Stadium in West Des Moines. The organization promotes a healthy lifestyle through its popular youth programs, including the Menace Academy (select soccer for ages 9-19), camps, clinics and tournaments.

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