PEORIA IL (July 1, 2022) – Justin Frietas scored a pair of goals, including the game-winner in the 57th minute, leading Peoria City (5-2-3, 18 points) to a 3-2 decision against FC Manitoba (3-5-2, 11 points) for the first home win in franchise history Friday night at Shea Stadium.
The first half couldn’t have started better for Peoria City as in the ninth minute Gevork Diarbian moved into the left side of the box and crossed the ball for Adria Sabater, who made no mistake and put the ball into the back of the net to give Peoria City the early 1-0 lead. They weren’t done there however, just five minutes later, Freitas sent one into the net off of a nice feed from Tim Ennin to put FC Manitoba in a 2-0 hole.
FC Manitoba had a quick response in the 20th minute, however, when Reyes Delgado put his free kick inside the right post. Following that goal, FC Manitoba controlled the rest of the half, but was unable to tie the game. The ref blew the whistle signaling the end of the first half with a 2-1 lead for Peoria City.
The second half started off the same way the first half ended. FC Manitoba got chance after chance and in the 53rd minute the visitors were able to tie the game up. Forward Ethan Cabral curled one past the outstretched glove of Peoria City GK Rimi Olatunji. \
It didn’t take long for Peoria City to respond, though, as Freitas put the home side back in front, 3-2, four minutes later with his second goal of the game.
FC Manitoba would get its chances throughout the remainder of the second half and even hit a couple of posts and crossbars, but after five minutes of stoppage time, the final whistle blew and Peoria City won its first game on its home pitch.
While Peoria City’s 18 points keeps the first-year club in solid playoffs position with two matches remaining in the regular season, FC Manitoba and St. Croix SC both were eliminated from postseason contention.
Looking ahead to Sunday’s regular-season home finale, the matchup against Thunder Bay also carries huge playoffs implications. The Chill (3-1-3, 12 points) began the week with just six games played, but picked up a critical point by drawing defending League Two champion Des Moines Menace Friday night. Although Thunder Bay enters Sunday’s 7 p.m. game at Shea Stadium six points behind Peoria City in the Deep North Division standings, the Chill will have a chance to draw closer Sunday night and still has two more games remaining on its current 4-games-in-6-days road swing – Tuesday at St. Croix SC and Wednesday at Minneapolis City SC.
In addition to the playoffs storyline, Sunday’s matchup has an added local angle as Thunder Bay starters Jackson Fyda and Camden Kowalski are returning to their collegiate home as both will be third-year sophomores for Bradley during the 2022 fall college season.
Tickets for Peoria City home games start at just $5 and are available for purchase in advance online at peoriacitysoccer.com or by visiting Peoria City Five Bar locations The Fieldhouse Bar & Grill, The Fox Pub & Cafe and Pour Bros. Craft Taproom. Parking is free for Peoria City home games at Shea Stadium with tailgating permitted at 5 o’clock.