The Milwaukee Wave took down a very physical Kansas City Comets team in the opening game of the Major Arena Soccer League Ron Newman Cup Playoffs Thursday night at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena.

“It’s never easy to win on the road in the playoffs,” said Milwaukee Wave Head Coach Giuliano Oliviero. “We are very happy to be heading back to Milwaukee with 1-0 lead and look forward to playing in front of our fans but we know the job is only half done.”

It was a very physical game from the start. Both the Wave and Comets tallied 3 fouls each in the first three minutes of the game before Kansas City Forward #19 John Sosa was given a 2 minute penalty for handling the ball. That resulted in the first Wave goal of the game scored on a penalty kick by #26 Ian Bennett.

Other Milwaukee Wave goals came from Defender #3 Chad Vandigriffe and Forward #99 Andre Hayne who both had a pair of goals on the night.

“We knew the Comets were going to play us physical,” added Oliviero. “They wanted to take us out of our possession game and they did that at times but we were able to adjust.”

A total of 31 fouls were issued for this game. Kansas City with 15, Milwaukee with 16 and each had one 2 minute penalty.

The Milwaukee Wave defense was the difference this evening. Team leading shot blocker #75 Jonathan Santos blocked 4 shots, as did defender #77 Marcio Leite. #3 Chad Vandigriffe, #9 Robert Renaud, and #28 Angel ‘Chino” Curiel tallied 2 blockes each, #14 Alex Bradley had 1.

Goalkeeper #30 Josh Lemos had an exceptional night and took 18 shots against and saved 16 for a save percentage of .889.

“If you want to be a championship team you have to be good on both sides of the ball and that’s something we feel we have this season,” stated Oliviero. “We’re just taking it one game at a time and now changing our focus to Saturday to put our best foot forward at home.”