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Forward Madison tops Omaha 1-0 in Midweek Battle of Birds

By Forward Madison FC, 05/26/21, 9:45PM CDT

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Justin Sukow scores in pro debut to lead Flamingos to second straight win

Forward Madison scored its second straight victory Wednesday night, defeating Union Omaha 1-0 thanks to Justin Sukow’s first professional goal. Sukow struck in the second half, keeping his composure in a one-on-one chance to give the Flamingos the win.

“Honestly I don’t know [what to say],” Sukow said. “I’ve scored goals before in club, high school and college, but scoring in front of The Flock, that was one of the best feelings in my life. I'll never forget it.”

While the visiting Owls took control of possession from kickoff, it was the Flamingos who spent most of the first half on the front foot. Aaron Molloy provided many of the highlights of the opening period as he took at least five different chances from set pieces and open play. On the other side, Union Omaha only generated a couple of shots that forced FMFC goalkeeper Phil Breno to leave his feet.

The second half went straight in favor of the ‘Mingos as Sukow, making his first professional start, scored in the 58th minute. With help from midfielder Audi Jepson’s through ball, Sukow found himself with a free chance in front of the goal and calmly slotted home to the far post.

It was Jepson who painted an apt picture of the game, summing up his contribution to the goal and highlighting Sukow’s efforts.

 “I just picked up the ball,” Jepson said. “It was quick, I saw Justin open up and make a great run and I’m just so happy for him to score his first professional goal on his professional debut. I’m just so happy for him.”

A late flurry of attempts came from Union Omaha, but a series of expert stops from Phil Breno and some timely offside calls kept Forward Madison’s net empty for the home clean sheet.

Forward Madison has now secured seven points in its first three games, its best start to a season yet. According to head coach Carl Craig, the Flamingos’ hard work has paid dividends in the team’s results.

“There’s confidence,” Craig said. “There are odd moments in every game, but I think there’s a great product. There’s a great camaraderie. This team has strengthened from last year. We went at [Omaha] and we won, and you can work with that.”

Up next for Forward Madison is a two-game road trip to South Georgia Tormenta on May 29 and Ft. Lauderdale CF on June 1. The Flamingos will then return to Breese Stevens Field on Sunday, June 6 for a rematch with Union Omaha.

Forward Madison FC 
Goalkeeper: Phil Breno #1
Defender: Christian Diaz #27
Defender: Connor Tobin #13 
Defender: Gustavo Fernandes #4
Defender: Jiro Barriga Toyama #77 
Midfielder: Aaron Molloy #6
Midfielder: Audi Jepson #20 (85’ Eric Leonard)
Midfielder: Justin Sukow #19 (76’ Michael Vang)
Forward: Tyler Allen #23 (66’ Noah Fuson)
Forward: Jake Keegan #7 (C)
Forward: Derek Gebhard #17

Unused Substitutes: Aidan Hogan #24; Ronaldo Lomeli #2, Heath Martin #11

Head Coach: Carl Craig

Union Omaha
Goalkeeper: Rashid Nuhu #24
Defender: Damia Viader #3
Defender: Daltyn Knutson #13
Defender: Illal Osumanu #28
Defender: Ferrety Sousa #25 (75’ Emir Alihodzic)
Midfielder: Conor Doyle #22
Midfielder: JP Scearse #17
Midfielder: Nicolas Firmino #10 (75’ John Murphy)
Forward: Devin Boyce #20 (71’ Elma NFor)
Forward: Greg Hurst #9 (83’ Christian Molina)
Forward: Ethan Vanacoe-Decker #7 (71’ Austin Panchot)

Unused Substitutes: Kevin Piedrahita #33

Head Coach: Jay Mims

Goals
Forward Madison
58’- Justin Sukow (Audi Jepson)

Discipline
Forward Madison
90’- Noah Fuson

Union Omaha SC
16’- Daltyn Knutson 
69’- Ferrety Sousa

Referees: 
Nabil Bensalah
Rachel Smith
Ryan Birdsall
Alex Hofstetter

Venue: Breese Stevens Field, Madison WI 

Attendance: 1,919 (sellout)

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