GOSHEN CITY FC: Goshen captures 4-2 win with stout substitutions, second half performance

May 12—GOSHEN — Through Goshen City FC's first three games of the season, there were a few conclusions to make from the frustrating start.

"Goshen can compete with the best" and "Goshen struggles to finish games" were the most evident.

On Saturday night at Goshen College, and facing the leader in the United Premier Soccer League's Midwest Central South division, Goshen City FC (1-2-1) solidified the first statement while disproving the second in the team's 4-2 win over Berber City FC (5-0-1).

"Henrique [Eichenberger] and I have had the feeling all along that we're really one of the best teams," head coach Tyler Born said, all smiles after the victory. "We've just had some unfortunate things happen within our group and unfortunate results that maybe we deserve, but we've had belief since the beginning."

Goshen City entered Saturday having held a 4-2 lead over Chicago Nation at home last weekend before settling for a 4-4 tie. GCFC made the changes this time out and the second half showed the difference.

Stuck at a 2-2 knot at halftime but with Berber City having a clear advantage on ball possession and fewer mistakes, Goshen locked in for the final period.

Outshooting the visitors 11-2 in the second half, Goshen came out more aggressive and the difference was felt early. The high-flying offense made it's first appearance of the night after Berber's defense stifled Goshen in the opening half. At the 71st minute, the home crowd celebrated Goshen City's first lead of the game.

Two minutes after coming off the bench, midfielder Tito Sanchez, made a move toward the goal. Attacking the net head on, Sanchez avoided multiple defenders before pulling his shot towards the back of the netting. With GCFC misfiring on multiple chances to start the half, Sanchez had just scored what would be the game-winner.

"I think a big thing was we were more fit, we could run more," Born said about his groups ability to control the pace of the play the second half. "[Berber] started to get more tired as the game went on. They're a very good team, they're at where they are for a reason. They definitely challenged us in that first half but we had two great responses after a few mistakes and giving up the goals in the first half. We had two really good responses, I really can't ask for more."

Goshen's defense was equally as crucial to Saturday's second-half effort. While GCFC did hold possession for much of the second frame, when Goshen City's defense needed to stand tall, it answered every time, deflating the visitors offense with each stop.

Still, Born knew that a one-goal lead does little to relive any pressure. That's when Jonathan Boye netted Goshen's fourth goal of the night during stoppage time.

"I felt like the substitutions I made — Stephen Bandi had an assist, Miguel Aguilar had an assist, Tito Sanchez had a goal two minutes after he came on and John had a goal one minute after he came on — all those guys in the second half, all those guys who can sometimes get frustrated when they don't get as many minutes, they were the game changers in the second half," Born said.

It was both Sanchez's and Boye's first goals of the season. Boye subbed in during stoppage time for Goshen's main threat of Tebello Ntene, owner of Goshen City's first two goals of the night.

"That's what we were going for," Born said on the late goal. "Even up 3-2 I said 'keep pushing, keep making it difficult for them' and we kept pushing for another one just to put it to bed. The second half, we had possession most of the time, we had the chances, we were the ones that were initiating everything."

Goshen entered the night with just two points and sat last in the South division. Berber held 15 points entering Saturday's game. After GCFC's win, Berber still holds the lone spot in first with 15 points. Goshen moves up for a tie in fourth with Indiana United — both of which sport five points. Goshen City's next opponent, Chicago Strikers (3-0-2), sits in third place with nine points.

For the first half Saturday, Berber showed every bit why they had won each of their five games this season.

Goshen's typical fast-paced offense found itself kicking into a brick wall with Berber's back group. The visitors would then thwart any GCFC offensive attacking, sending the ball towards it's own offense to get the job done. There, Berber was equally impressive with controlling most of the action.

The pair of goals in the first half for the home team came from Ntene capitalizing on miscues. The first was a turnover that Ntene took over on a short field before tying the game at one. The second came after Lucas Bontreger's shot was blocked, leaving Ntene to resume possession and score from the top of the penalty line.

His goals didn't show it, but Ntene's ability to speed past back lines played a part in Berber being wary of the forward.

"He brings a different level of speed, quickness, attacking ability, attacking IQ, understating the moments and runs he needs to make at the right time," Born said of Ntene. "He's always a threat for us. It's so nice to have him down the middle and up because he keeps [the other team's defense] back because of the threat he brings."

Born continued to stress the importance of the whole group's overall strength leading to the win. The head coach's ability to make the right substitutions should also be noted. With the fresh faces, Goshen City was able to keep it's second half aggressiveness without losing an edge. It gave them a clear advantage.

Goshen City will travel to Glen Ellyn, Ill. next Saturday to face Chicago Strikers. It will mark the halfway point of the season for the club.


Goshen City FC — 4

Berber City FC — 2


B — Amine Airaki (13')

G — Tebello Ntene (20')

B — Jacob Graiber (27')

G — Tebello Ntene (38')

G — Tito Sanchez (71')

G — Jonathan Boye (94')


G — 17

B — 8


G — 4

B — 2


G — 2; Ariel Matute (11'), Lucas Bontreger (91')

B — 3; Gabriel Fernandes Cavalheiro (52'), Jacob Graiber (85', 93')


G — 0

B — 1; Jacob Graiber (93')

Reach Matt Lucas at 574-533-2151, ext. 240325, or at