It was another clinical victory for the Wolverines as they downed UC Riverside 3-0 on a lovely Friday evening.
Michigan dominated the vast majority of the first half, with the best chance coming from a headed attempt by Mohammed Zakyi after a great cross from Marcello Borges. Michigan pressed forward with a pair of chances in the 18th and 19th minutes as Umar Farouk Osman and Zakyi both had shots just wide.
The scoring was there for the taking, and it would eventually come.
Jack Hallahan made his first impact almost immediately. Osman made a nice run and had a great attempt, but the shot somehow hit the inside of the post and stayed out. Hallahan was in the perfect position to finish the play with a goal, despite an attempted save from the Riverside keeper Edwyn Gutierrez while in the net.
Osman has had a full freshman year with great play and a strong pair of games to open this season, but he's been unlucky when it comes to actually finding the net. That duck was broken under ten minutes after his chance hit the post.
Austin Swiech, again playing right back, picked out a running Zakyi down the right wing with an absolutely stellar pass. It was a beautiful pass that started this play, but Zakyi's run to get in place for the pass was nice as well. He shuttled the ball off to Osman, and he finished from close range to double the Wolverines lead, where it would stay into the half.
After the whistle, Michigan continued to press via Hallahan; with multiple missed opportunities. That is until minute 58 rolled around, and his efforts paid off. With a hard cross from the right wing, which deflected from a UCR defender and made it 3-0. However, Michigan would not stop the hard press, forcing UCR to play defensively. Their counter not being fast enough to pose a threat for Michigan.
Austin Swiech had a bit of a different test than he had against South Florida with the bigger number nine on Riverside, the 6'1" Roberto Garcia-Vargas. But aside from being troubled once early, Swiech was absolutely brilliant for Chaka Daley's Wolverines in defense. Additionally, he had plenty of fantastic passes forward, and his pass setting up the second goal of the match was perhaps the play of the match. He deserves plenty of credit for slotting right into the right back position.
The two Ghanaian players continued their fantastic form this season, with special highlights on Umar Farouk Osman snagging his first goal of his career. Both players used their pace to give nightmares to the Riverside back line as they seemed to continually attack in waves. Jack Hallahan continues to work his way back to full fitness, and we would imagine that the match against Western Michigan on September 7th could be targeted for him to make his first start.
Michigan's next match is their Labor Day match, Monday at 1 PM against Canisius. Cansius fell to Michigan State this afternoon by a score of 3-2, making it a game late with two goals in the last fifteen minutes against the Spartans.