English League Cup champion Sheffield Wednesday adjusted to the bumpy field at Cedar Lane Park and defeated the Maryland Bays, 2-0, last night in the Bays' third exhibition of the season.
"We knew we had to play well to win. We thought they'd be tough," Sheffield Wednesday coach Trevor Francis said. "We took our chances in the second half."
Both teams were scoreless in a physical first half that featured 13 personal fouls.
At the 49-minute mark, Sheffield midfielder Steve Mackenzie broke the scoreless tie with a left-footer that sailed over the head of goalkeeper Steve Powers.
Late in the second half, Francis put down his whistle and played more than 20 minutes. At 37, he's the oldest player on the team.
He showed off some of his fancy footwork and soccer expertise at the 77-minute mark, assisting forward Paul Williams to give Sheffield a 2-0 lead.
"The longer the game went on, the better chance we had of winning," Francis said.
"It was a good match for both clubs," Bays coach Gary Hindley said. "Maybe we were a little more tentative in the second half. They had a little more going forward."
Hindley said he was pleased with the team's effort against a First Division team.
But Sheffield managed to shut down a team that features the three top scorers in the American Professional Soccer League -- Jean Harbor (12 goals, eight assists), Kevin Sloan (10 goals, two assists) and Brian Haynes (seven goals, four assists).
"We weren't finishing with our chances," Hindley said.
The Bays (13-2) will travel to Albany, N.Y., for a Saturday game against the Capitals at 7:35 p.m.
Albany will follow the Bays back to Columbia for a 7:05 p.m. game at Cedar Lane Park.
In their last meeting, in Albany, N.Y., on July 22, the Capitals beat the Bays, 3-0.
Sheffield Wednesday .. 0.. 2 -- 2
Maryland .. .. .. .. ..0.. 0 -- 0
Goals: S--Mackenzie, Williams. Assists: S--Francis. Saves: M--Powers 4, S--Turner 2, Pressman 2. A--3,812.