September 15, 2016
CSL Report: Lansdowne Bhoys rally from 2-goal deficit to defeat Freedoms in extratime in Open Cup
By Jay Mwamba
Lansdowne Bhoys got off to a dramatic start in the qualifying round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at Tibbetts Brook Park Saturday. The Cosmopolitan Soccer League champions erased a two-goal deficit in the last 15 minutes to knockout three-time holders Pancyprian Freedoms 3-2 in extra time.
Coming off a fairy tale run to the third round of last season’s competition, Lansdowne appeared dead and buried after falling two goals behind in the 75th minute.
That’s when midfielder Michael Palacio had doubled Pancyprian’s lead established earlier by his fellow Red Bull alum Chris Megaloudis [37th].
What followed was an inspired bit of coaching by Lansdowne boss Austin Friel. He made three changes, throwing Daryl Kavanagh, Skele Slyvester and Conor Hunter into the fray.
Five minutes later, Kavanagh crossed for Jason Gaylord to nod home. Gaylord then struck again in the 87th minute to force extra time.
Extra time found both teams struggling for fitness on the first day of the 2016-2017 CSL season. However, with two minutes remaining and a penalty shoot-out looming, Kavanagh was felled in the box and a spot kick awarded to the Bhoys.
New signing Christiano Francisco coolly converted to decide an epic match between two of the CSL’s most successful clubs in recent seasons.
“Lansdowne showed the fight, that has seen them win the CSL championship three years in a row, against a top Pancyprian team that will feel that at 2-0 they should have had the victory,” remarked Bhoys president William McGrory. “It’s a real shame one of us had to go out at this early stage.”
In their run to the US Open Cup third round, the Bhoys stunned professional side Pittsburgh Riverhounds 2-0 away before succumbing 2-0 to the Rochester Rhinos.
Pancyprian, meanwhile, reached the second round. The Greek-Cypriots have won three US Open Cups.
In league action, erstwhile CPR hitman Mills-Odoi Kwesi scored on his debut to lead Shamrock to a 1-0 win over promotion side Zum Schneider at Icahn Stadium.
Said Shamrock coach Kevin Grogan. "We will get better each week but we showed a discipline and a maturity that very much satisfied."
His reserves were 3-0 forfeit winners.
Doxa FC, the other First Division promotion side, made a stirring debut in the top flight to salvage a 3-3 tie with Cedar Stars Academy following a 3-0 half time deficit.
Paulie Nittoli [two] and Martin Dadaj had Doxa in a seemingly insurmountable hole at Williamsburg Oval. “[We] had like 15 chances and were winning 3-0 in the first half,” observed Bujar Gjata.
Then Doxa came to life.
An own goal, newcomer Mike Vucinaj’s effort and a late strike by Andreas Michaels hauled the resilient Greeks from the abyss.
“This was a statement to the league that Doxa doesn't quit. Doxa is here and here to win,” declared Foti Bouklis. “[We] proved that the first division is where we should be, that we are a contender and a team on the rise.”
On the Hellenic derby with New York Greek Americans 8 p.m. this Sunday at Joseph F. Fosina Field in New Rochelle, Bouklis predicted: “I expect a tough game but feel we may leave the field happy.”
Glorian Hoxha [two], Mikel Agaraj and Josue Ortiz lifted the Cedar reserves to a 4-3 win.
In the other First Division game played on the opening weekend, New York Athletic Club saw off Polonia Gwardia 3-1 on Travers Island. NYAC’s reserves prevailed 3-0.
CD Iberia’s bid to regain its old glory began with a come-from-behind 4-1 mauling of Second Division rookie side Inter SA NY on Randalls Island.
Inter drew first blood in the eighth minute. But once Iberia settled down Gonzalo Barroso [30th] and Adrian Russo [35th] turned it around.
On the defensive end, goalie Victor Blanco pulled off several superb saves to thwart Inter before the Spaniards killed off the game.
Marcello Russo [80th] made it 3-1 after a sensational run by David Formoso down the right wing and then Javier Beiro [88th] sealed it.
“Overall, we are content with the result and look forward to Sunday’s tough match [4 p.m. Randalls Island] against CPR Whites who just came down from First Division,” said Iberia president David Lago. “Hats off to Inter NY SA who played a competitive match and especially their keeper who made some great saves.”
Diego Gonzalez and Jose Elias scored for the Iberia reserves in a 3-2 loss.
CPR Whites, meanwhile, drew 0-0 with Bronx Supreme, whose second unit won 2-1 at Verrazano Sports Complex.
Jabari Walkes and Ibrahima Sow scored for the Bronx seconds. Tomer Abikzer connected for CPR.
Like they did so often last season, CPR Reds came out with guns blazing in a 5-0 rout of Beyond FC on Randalls Island.
Andrew Fisher [two], Brad Janes, Deco Heffernan and Mike Lindley did the damage following a goalless tie in the opener.
Mohammed Yusuf Mashriqi and Taibullah Salimi each notched a brace in Brishna’s 4-1 drubbing of another newcomer to the expanded 18-team Second Division, Panatha USA, on Randalls Island.
Brishna swept the curtain raiser 5-0 as well.
Also up in the second tier now are City International [formerly Gotham City] who enjoyed a mixed debut against seasoned Hoboken FC 1912 at Laurel Hill Park across the Hudson.
“[Our] reserves lost 6-2 but the first team won 3-1,” reported Matt Kao, City’s head coach. “For the reserves, Jack Kelleher had a brace [8th, 84th], with a penalty and 25-yard screamer. Ghaith Humaimidi had the assist on Kelleher's second goal.”
In the senior fixture, Greg Ducasse [21st] opened the scoring with a header from a Harper Williams free kick. Ray Kuemmer [42nd] added the second and later set up Williams [65th] for the third.
Cort Chaplin [44th] connected for Hoboken, whose GM Bill Marth rued the defeat. “A disappointing way to start the season,” he lamented.
Jeff Natale [14th, 48th, 50th] starred with a hat trick for the Hoboken seconds in their 6-2 rout. Sam Omosuyi [57th, 79th] and Mark Wallis [60th] accounted for the other goals.
NY Ittihad were the other big winners in Division Two. They hammered FC Japan 4-2, thanks to Edris Younis, Ahmadulla Mayan and Abbas [two]. This after Japan had won the opener 1-0.
Old rivals Manhattan Kickers and Steve Kovalenko’s NY Ukranians left East River Park with a point apiece from a 1-1 tie.
Kickers’ player-coach Bryan Baracaldo exchanged goals with Eddie Shidlovskiy after the Kicker reserves had triumphed 2-1.
Rodney Laveau and Timothy Garton scored in that tussle, with Ureah Cunha the Ukrainian marksman.
Sporting Astoria’s Pablo Ortiz canceled out FC Spring Valley’s early goal in a 1-1 draw at Suffern Middle School.
“The match was very tight [and] both Latin teams very enthusiastic and combative. There was no space to play easy and every ball was contested like it was the last one,” summed up Jonathan Lescano, Astoria’s assistant coach.
Korabi SC’s Albert Rruci was a hat trick hero in his side’s 4-1 Metro Div. One romp over NYFC Iliria on Staten Island. Gledis Nuza had the other goal.
Ergi Janku got Illiria’s consolation, continuing his fine scoring run from last season when he reeled in 27 goals in all competitions.
Williamsburg International turned on the style in the second half to overpower Lansdowne Bhoys 4-2 in their Metro One clash at Bushwick Inlet.
Ciaran Murphy’s penalty [55th] canceled out Kevin Ruppel opener for Williamsburg who had an assist from John Kaddo.
But Mark Gallagher and Nick Mikolenko [two] connected in quick succession to seal the win, despite assistant coach-player Richard Hartnett’s late header [80th].
At St. Michael’s Playground, Ridgewood Romac strikers Ayhan Bekdemir [pen. 34th] and Emre Tetik [73rd] blanked Shamrock 2-0.
“Not as rusty as I thought we'd be after the summer break, but there's plenty of room for improvement,” noted Ridgewood assistant coach Ovi Ordean.
Upstate Missile FC came away from Randalls Island with a hatful of goals after defeating NY Galicia 6-2 in Metro Div. Two.
Lens Alexis dropped four goals on the hosts, with Jeff Durosier and Gregory Remedor adding one apiece.
Jonathan Burgos, with a beautiful flying header, and Oscar “Brais” Revalderia, had the Galicia goals.
Earlier on Randalls Island, Beyond FC banged in five second half goals in a 6-2 drubbing of 10-man Barnstonworth Rovers in Metro Two.
Rovers led 1-0 on Brandon Rowley’s long range free kick from some 40 yards, but Beyond leveled and then run rampart on resumption.
Farid Ordoñez [two], Adrian Alexandru, Samuel Gozlan, Rudy Martinez and Osama Al Sahybi tallied.
“They equalized before the half and we dropped to 10 men, putting our injured striker in goal to avoid playing with nine,” said Rovers coach Timothy Hattori. “We got a late effort goal from Blake Pizzola to make it 4-2 but then got overwhelmed and didn't have enough left to launch a real comeback.”
Brandon Silva’s “smash and grab” job against NYC Metro Stars saw BW Gottschee nick a 3-2 decision on Randalls Island.
Silva had given his side an early lead from a swerving free kick. However, Mamadou Diambera [31st] and Edwin Narvaez [43rd] struck back for Metro Stars before the interval.
“A change of ends brought a change of luck and wind,” said Gottschee’s John Ryding. “Edgar Carpo tied up the game and it looked like the teams were going to get a point apiece, when Silva pulled a smash and grab with an 89th minute goal.”
Jonathan Williamson notched a hat-trick and Jimmy Kuo one goal in Mr. Dennehy’s 4-0 shutout of Metro Two debutants Richmond County FC.
George Villalta’s brace was the difference in SC Eintracht’s 2-0 defeat of Deportivo Sociedade New York [Metro City Fury Athletic FC].
Bryan Vega slotted home a clever Danny Breslauer pass to snatch a 2-1 AO Brooklyn win over NYC Afghanistan.
The other Vega brother, Chris, had earlier assisted on Justin McPherson’s header from a corner that was pegged back by Afghanistan.
Also in Metro Two, Flushing FC and Williamsburg International played out a goalless tie.
The latter rued a Yann Micuta effort that came off the crossbar, and Arturo Bello’s shot that was cleared off the line at the death, said Charles von Rosenberg.
“The match went back and forth, with both teams having several chances, but neither was able to finish them,” said Flushing VP Ryan Wiedman.
Defending Over-30 CSL champs Shamrock began their title defense with a 2-0 decision over Manhattan Celtic Bhoys at Pier 40.
Turkish ace Tayfun Gokmen bagged both goals.
Hoboken FC went for the jugular against a Megas Alexandros side that was shorthanded until the 25th minute, destroying the Greeks 9-0 in their Over-30 opener at Sinatra Park.
Thomas Murray, Hans Aponte, Paul Alabi, Kazim Mirza [two], Jonathan Rudnick [two] and Nicholas Ferraro [two] did the damage.
“Megas only had eight to start the day and then 11 after 25 minutes,” said Hoboken boss Jason Simmons.
Dessie Beattie’s leveler [70th] earned Lansdowne Bhoys’ debuting Over-30s a 1-all draw with BW Gottschee at Tibbetts Brook Park.
Johan Ceballos [55th] was the Gottschee scorer.
Khouri Mullings fired in a free kick in Manhattan Kickers’ 2-1 loss to Manhattan Celtic Legends at Pier 40.
Kickers’ newly formed Over-37 Legends team had a hat trick from old club legend Joe Whiteman in a 7-0 demolition of Hoboken Legends at Sinatra Park.
Dave Dupuy, Jesse Vozicki, Gilad Bloom and Scott Conti contributed to the rout, with Conti, by his own modest admission, “especially delicious on the field.”
LEGENDS & MASTERS
In Over-37 action, Sebastian Sobczak scored twice and had an assist in CPR Legends’ 4-2 triumph over Manhattan Celtic Masters.
Sobczak created Legends’ third goal netted by Willian D’Andrea, after Oliver Roberts had made it 3-0.
Tom Pattinson [two] and John Hodges had the other assists.
Eintracht Over-37’s Vinny Vasconcelos [two] and Danny Ceabuca saw off Shamrock Legends 3-1.
Veterans Stavros Zomopoulos and Ron Baskin, pulled a move from their younger days to claim a point for Barnstonworth’s Over-37s from a 2-2 tie with Banatul.
“As if it were 1999, Stavros finished a beautiful touch-and-go play with Baskin. Then the latter tied the score off a penalty after he was taken down in the box,” recounted Juan Gonzalez Casares. “Should have taken the three points.”
Stavros, now the NY Greek American first team coach, and Baskin, were Barnstonworth stalwarts when the club was in the CSL top flight.