May 15, 2016
9-man Flames down FA Euro, 1-0
QUEENS, N.Y. - In a wild game that saw a missed penalty kick and two players ejected, the nine-man Westchester Flames held on to defeat FA Euro, 1-0, and win their first Premier Development League game of the season Saturday night.
Defender Alejandro Penzini made a memorable debut with a stunning goal from the run of play early in the second half to give the Flames a 1-0 lead. Earlier in the game, Penzini had a penalty kick saved by goalkeeper Thomas Zehner. The penalty kick had been awarded after FA Euro defender Dominick Falanga was judged to have fouled midfielder Brendan Reardon in the penalty area.
Shortly after the Flames took the lead, defender Laquan "Marley" McClain picked up his second yellow card of the game and was dismissed. Minutes later, Flames midielder Jonathan Uy also was awarded his second yellow and was ejected. This left the Flames reduced to nine men and with a lot of time to defend their lead.
The Flames coaching staff quickly made a series of substitutions bringing on Timmy O'Driscoll, Shaquille Saunchez, Mattias Correa and James Thristino to get some fresh players on and reorganize the defense. Goalkeeper Rashid Nuhu mades a series of superb saves and combined with a strong defensive effort, preserved the lead.
"I'm very proud of the guys for the effort they gave today," Falmes general manager and head coach Gus Skoufis said. "It was a tough game against a good team and they got the win, in spite of the challenges they faced. Any player or team may not agree with decisions that a referee makes, but you have to keep playing to win and tonight the guys did. I still think we can play a lot better and I want to see us do that in our game next week."
The Flames nearly scored another goal late in injury time with a shot that hit the crossbar.
"I'm extremely proud of the whole group today and glad we got our first win under our belt." Flames associate head coach Matthew Uy said. "We will keep working hard in training and prepare for a massive home opener on Saturday."
Prior to the goal, the game had been pretty even throughout, with both teams creating several chances. Reardon was in the middle of some nice combination play with forwards Caelan Hueber and Mosiah Whyte. Midfielders Joseph Sanchez and Uy also were involved in some good scoring chances.
FA Euro was strong defensively and well organized, as you would expect from a team coached by former Inter Milan midfielder Angelo Orlando. The hosts were able to create several good scoring chances and nearly took the lead a few times. Midfielder J.C. Obregon was in the middle of many of the opportunities that FA Euro created.