MELVINDALE, Mich. - In veteran Detroit Waza Flo style, the MASL team took a commanding 5-0 lead by halftime over the Harrisburg Heat in Saturday night's home opener.
The first two goals were by the veteran Goliath Worteh Sampson with assists by Polack and Tello. They continued their veteran "Flo" when Miki Djerisillo slotted one in after an assist by none other than the Count, head coach Costea Decu.
As if the stellar crowd and atmosphere with pumped-up music and fast-paced action was not enough for the fans, Decu had his own turn at scoring in the 2nd quarter off a penalty shot. Seconds later, Danny Dragoi followed his coach's lead with his own unassisted goal.
Despite the new league and change of rules, which had to be discussed a few times between the refs and players to make sure all were followed correctly, Waza Flo showed that it is an underdog that demands to be taken seriously.
After halftime, Harrisburg tried to rally and make a comeback when Kenny Fultz had 3rd period goals. Tom Mellor and Dave Cash picked up their own goals, too.
At one point, besides the fans seeing an ever closer game and energetic action, they saw Waza Flo owner Dominic Scicluna's finesse touches and flare with the ball while dribbling past opponents. They also saw him up close and personal with the ref about a questionable call against his player.
Waza Flo at one point had two players in the penalty box with only three players on the field. This only seemed to propel goalkeeper Vito Lonigro and the team even more as he made some lighting-fast, crucial saves. The players were able to get the ball to the other end of the field and actually create some pressure for the Heat goalkeeper and team.
Detroit turned it around and had another veteran step up when Miki made a pass to Victor Otieno for a goal to extend the lead. The Heat were 0-3 on power plays and Waza Flo's pressure was seemingly never-ending.
In the 3rd, Sampson created even more of an expansion in the score differential and Nik Djokic created the assist.
In fitting fashion in this home opener of the inaugural season of the MASL, Waza Flo made their mark and put the other teams on notice when the Count himself yet again drove the "nail in the coffin" and scored another unassisted goal to end the game, 8-4.
To give you an idea about how non-stop this action is in the Major Arena Soccer League, the subs jump out of their bench area or even over the wall continuously, just playing minutes or less at a time to ensure that all players have sprint-like speed and energy when on the field. The goalkeepers are involved the entire time -- Harriburg's goalkeeper made 24 saves and Waza Flo keeper Vito Lonigro had 28 saves. Harrisburg tried to change things up late in the game by pulling their goalie and putting in Witmer for the last two minutes, but their fate was already sealed.
Detroit currently sits in 1st place in the Eastern Division after Saturday night's win -- it was the first match up of the Eastern Division -- and they hope to keep that spot warm and claim it as their own by the end of the season.
The next Waza Flo game will be 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 8 at the Melvindale Civic Arena against the Rochester Lancers.
Ticket prices are $12 for adults and $8 for children ages 3-12.
Tickets can be purchased online here.
The full schedule can be found here.29477926
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