Battle for Ohio: The I-71 Cup

This weekend, AFC Cleveland will face off against the Cincinnati Saints in what will be the first leg of a two game series to decide who gets to keep the I-71 Cup. This will be first edition of the I-71 Cup, so called because of the interstate highway that connects Cleveland and Cincinnati.

AFC Cleveland heads into the game with a 1-1-1 record, having lost and tied away to Detroit City FC and Michigan Stars respectively. The Royals’ lone win came in a 2-0 victory at home against Erie Commodores FC. This past weekend, AFC Cleveland faced Erie for the second time, but the match was postponed due to lightning just as the Royals had gotten a 2-0 lead.

Meanwhile, the Cincinnati Saints head into the game with a 2-0-1 record. Despite losing their first game of the season away at Buffalo, the Saints are now on a two-game winning streak, having beaten FC Indiana and Fort Pitt at home.

Last year, the Royals beat the Saints 5-2 at home thanks to an inspiring performance by Antonio Manfut, who had a brace and was voted the Man of the Match. Cincinnati will certainly have this loss in mind when seek revenge on Saturday.

As per the I-71 Cup rules, the winner of the two-leg affair will be decided on aggregate score, with the first tie-breaker being away goals and the second being penalty kicks. Make sure you are there to cheer for AFC Cleveland on June 6 at Rocky River High School. Visit afccleveland.com/tickets for more information on tickets.