By Jay Mwamba
A 3-0 drubbing of Kendall Wanderers FC in Malden, Massachusetts, last Sunday propelled CSL champs Lansdowne Bhoys into the USASA Werner Fricker U.S. Open Cup Region 1 semi-finals.
The Bhoys are now in both Region 1 national cup semis, following their previous win over another New England side, Boston’s Southie FC [2-0], in the USASA Amateur Open Cup quarterfinals two weeks ago.
Ovan Oakley got Lansdowne going against Wanderers at Pine Banks Park with a 20th minute strike from Lukas Zargas’ assist.
Wanderers had a couple of opportunities to level before the break. First Francis Mulkern fired over the bar [29th] and then Lansdowne goalie Abdoukarim Danso [56th] made a superb save to stop Brama Samati’s free kick.
On resumption, the Bhoys’ Sikele Sylvester and Glen Reid finished off the Bay State Soccer League outfit. Sylvester met an Ibrahim Diaby center at the far post while Reid unleashed a 25-yard rocket from Marcos Nunez’ pass to make it 3-0 [85th].
Next up for Lansdowne in the Fricker Cup is a semifinal date with New Jersey’s FC Motown on May 14.
While the defending titlists were campaigning on the national front, Shamrock reeled off back-to-back league wins to regain the CSL First Division leadership.
Kevin Grogan’s lads beat Doxa 3-1 at Skidelsky Field to move a point ahead of the Bhoys.
Kwesi Mills-Odoi punished Doxa with a penalty he’d won. Kareem Joachim leveled before the interval, but Stu Colbert and big Charlie O’Loughlin – the latter with a bullet header from Alejandro Fritz’ cross [80th] – saw off the Greeks.
Shamrock improved to 12-2 , although Lansdowne have a game in hand.
Three nights earlier, O’Loughlin had netted the only goal of the game against Zum Schneider on Randalls Island to earn the Rocks a playoff berth in the CSL First Division.
“Amazing night for the club,” said coach Grogan. “We have a guaranteed play-off game as well as a State Cup final in June.”
Doxa’s Doug McKim and Jose Lacayo struck in the curtain raiser at Skidelsky Field to consign Shamrock ‘B’ to a 2-1 defeat.
Darren Coleman equalized at one point for the Rocks from a Joey Aronovsky cross.
Two clubs with 14 CSL titles between them clashed at St. John’s University with Pancyprian Freedoms prevailing 3-2 over NYAC to move a step closer to a playoff berth.
An own goal and Adam Himeno’s brace consolidated the Greek-Cypriots’ hold on third place [9-1-4, 28] with four games to play.
Laurin Vogel and Chris Sutherland replied for NYAC, like Pancyprian, seven-time champions. “We should’ve won — really disappointed,” rued NYAC coach Erik Bagwell.
NYAC reserve coach Bill Saporito, “10 years over 50,” he pegged his age at, had to suit up for the opener against Pancyprian when only nine of his squad made it to St. John’s in time for the 6 p.m. kickoff.
“We showed up with nine players, forcing me to fill in as a 10th [Not a guy I ever want to see in the starting 11!),” Saporito said with self-deprecating humor.
Perhaps predictably, NYAC fell behind after 10 minutes.
“[Pancyprians] played a high offside trap, but once we got it measured we were dangerous, even shorthanded,” noted Saporito.
“Sure enough, Patrick Pierre leveled on a breakaway at 20 minutes. Then Brian Kuritzky got to the field after being delayed, making it 11 vs 11, and the game changed utterly. Erik Bagwell hit him with a gorgeous pass that was met with an equally gorgeous touch and shot and we were ahead.
“An own goal made it 3-1 at the half. After the interval, it was John Stamatis who spotted BK’s brilliant run for second goal, itself a left-footed beauty. The Pancyps countered with a very nicely taken goal but Kuritzky then turned provider for Alex Meisel for the fifth. A satisfying if exasperating win,” summed up the coach who played the entire first half.
Third place NYAC improved to 10-2-2, 32], keeping both their title and playoff hopes quite alive.
Holding onto that fourth and final playoff spot, Cedar Stars Academy edged Zum Schneider 4-3 at Ichan Stadium.
Andreas Chronis’ two penalties, Julio Brasileiro and Paulie Nittoli powered Cedar, maintaining their three-point lead [7-2-5, 23] over
number five New York Greek Americans.
Bibi Dia, Ifi Akpandak and Jason Palmer hit back for Zum.
“Intense game, much like the CSL version of ‘El Clasico,’” quipped Cedar boss Oliver Papraniku.
Greek Americans made it four wins in a row as their spring revival continued with a 2-1 decision over Manhattan Celtic at the Metropolitan Oval.
Adam Whitehead and Patrick Figueiredo connected for NYGA [5-5-4, 20], who could go from relegation candidates last fall to playoff contestants this spring if Cedar Stars slip up.
Anthony Baumann had the Celtic goal, assisted by Abou Kaba.
“Another game that we deserved a point from. Onto the next one!” declared the Celts’ Scott Rowling
NYGA’s second unit was more emphatic in a 5-1 thrashing of the Celtic reserves that knocked idle Lansdowne ‘B’ out of first place on the Reserve standings.
Mario Gagliano [two], Victor Kamara, John Famularo and Dimitri Antonopoulos tallied.
Idy Watt’s 75th minute strike at Flushing Meadow lifted CPR Whites past NYPD FC 1-0 and atop the Second Division North table by a point [8-2-2, 26].
The CPR reserves cruised to a 3-0 win.
“Ilyasa Bah scored a fine solo goal, Lucas Racciatti headed in the second from Vitaliy Firsov’s corner and Stas Khadzivoyandzis converted a penalty after Roman Scialom was fouled,” reported Eli Vovsha.
Hot in pursuit of both CPR and NYPD, third-place Brishna battled to a 1-1 tie with fourth-place Bronx Supreme at Soundview Park.
Mohammad Yosef Mashriqi was the Brishna scorer.
The Brishna reserves prevailed 4-2.
Also in Division Two North, Kostas Sapoutzis and Stavros Ledardas scored in Panatha USA’s 3-2 loss to Inter New York SA on Randalls Island.
Division Two South leaders Manhattan Kickers succumbed 1-0 to Stal Mielec, whose Bartek Dziuban was on target at Bushwick Inlet.
Still, with their closest pursuers Hoboken FC dropping points in a 2-2 tie with New York Ukrainians, Kickers [9-1-2, 28] retained a two-point lead.
Almir Hot was the Kicker star in the reserve fixture with both goals in a 2-0 result. His second was a penalty won by Dennis Kachintsev.
Josh Murphy salvaged a vital point for Hoboken FC with his first ever goal for the club in the 2-all draw with Ukrainians on Randalls Island.
Andres Munoz [24th] and Cassio Costa [38th] twice had Ukrainians ahead with strikes in between Connor Goldsmith’s effort [19th] for Hoboken. But Steve Kovalenko’s men had to settle for a draw when Murphy equalized on the hour.
In the opener, Brazilian Uriah Cunha [two] and Nazar Zarichnyy led Ukrainians to a 3-1 victory. Hoboken got one back from an own goal.
Beyond FC, the CSL second tier’s other Jersey side, dispatched FC Japan 4-2 in Secaucus, courtesy of Deepak Mangwani, Sherief El-Helaifi, James Cousins and Mike Lim.
Panagiotis Pantazis hit a hat trick in the Beyond reserves’ 6-0 romp. Bradley Ferrada [two] and Karl Verna had the other goals.
In their first league win since last October, City International downed NY Ittihad 3-1 on Randalls Island. Their reserves also triumphed by the same scoreline.
“Harper Williams scored a penalty in both games, while also adding an assist from a corner to Kav Ohiomoba in the reserve game,” said coach Matt Kao.
“Ghaith Humaimidi drew the penalty in the reserve game, while Chris Matthews set up Eric Cohen for the third goal.
“For the first team game, Hrvoje Brkljačić scored twice, including a beautiful free kick. Chase West had two assists, including drawing the penalty,” added Kao.
High scoring Metro Div. One pace-setters Williamsburg International crashed 7-2 to NYFC Iliria on Randalls Island.
Aladji Kourouma, Bledi Kovaci and Elton Mone bagged a brace each with Klodi Mele the other marksman.
“Iliria were up 1-0 at the half despite playing with only nine men. With reinforcements at the break, they simply dominated the second half,” said Williamsburg’s Charles von Rosenberg.
Sergio Garcia [pen.] and John Kaddo, off a Nick Mikolenko assist, were the Williamsburg scorers.
The Brooklyn side [10-2-2, 32] saw their lead cut to a point by a Korabi team that saw off New York Croatia 3-0 on Staten Island and has a game in hand.
“From the ridiculous to the sublime,” is how coach Ovi Ordean described Ridgewood Romac’s 2-1 defeat of Gotham Argo at the Greenbelt Recreational Center.
Paul Duca [61st, 77th] notched both goals for third place Ridgewood. NanaYaw Panford had the Gotham response, thanks to Matteo Catania.
“A nightmarish first half followed by a superb second half, and a well-deserved win,” summed up Ordean.
Shamrock 1960 and Lansdowne tied 1-1 in their Metro One Irish derby at St. Michael’s Playground.
Shane Homan gave the home side Rocks a first half lead that was canceled out by Bhoys’ player-manager Dave Brady [55th].
The two sides are in mid-table separated by four points with Shamrock [6-1-6, 19] ahead.
Elsewhere in Metro One, Deportivo Sociedade New York blanked Mola SC 3-0.
Down a goal after 20 minutes, Metro Two East leaders Mr. Dennehy’s produced a nine-goal outburst at the Verrazano Sports Complex to blow away Deportivo Sociedade.
Kenny Shirley got the requisite hat trick, Andres Sole a brace, while Matt Chicavich, Dustin Benichou, Jonathan Imundo and Johnny Stocker added one apiece.
Dennehy’s [10-1-1, 31] have an eight-point lead on the log.
At upstate Sloatsburg Community Field, Missile FC overwhelmed SC Eintracht 3-0 on goals by Ben Alexandre, Jackson Eugene and Lens Alexis.
In Metro Two West, runaway leaders BW Gottschee had a forfeit victory over an SS Lazio side that showed up on Randalls Island with only six players.
The free points enabled undefeated Gottschee [11-0-2, 35] to open up a 10-point gap over Beyond FC. This after the latter slumped 5-3 to Barnstonworth Rovers.
William Frey and Osama al Sahyadi [two] scored for Beyond.
Alex Zoitos’ 89th minute equalizer ended Flushing FC’s 400-minute goalless drought in successive matches against Williamsburg II, earning the visitors a 1-1 tie on Randalls Island.
Yann Micuta had put Williamsburg in front with an unstoppable shot midway through the second half. But with a minute to spare, Zoitos slotted in Leo Coppola’s knock down from a corner to snatch a much needed point for Flushing.
Johnny Keogh, Tayfun Gokmen, Nei de Oliveira and Leo Coimbra connected for Over-30 champs Shamrock in a 4-0 rout of Hoboken FC in Secaucus, New Jersey.
“It was a very poor first half showing by us but we got in at half time, said a few words, made a couple of changes, and ran out easy winners in the end,” said boss Paddy McCarry.
“With [Manhattan Celtic Legends] drawing, we are now top of the conference and it’s ours to lose now,” he added.
His side [11-1, 33] reclaimed pole position in the East following Celtic Legends’ [10-1-1, 31] goalless tie with number three Manhattan Kickers Premier.
Over-30 West leaders Lansdowne Bhoys [8-4-1, 28] picked up points without kicking a ball when CPR Orange forfeited.
A point behind the Irishmen, CPR Old Boys spanked sister club CPR Grays 5-0 to improve to 9-4 .
Andy Cornwall, Seb Sobczak, Lalo Hernandez and David Sawyer [two] tallied.
Bill Vasiliadis led the Greek American charge with four goals in the 9-2 shellacking of NY’s Finess at Flushing Meadow.
Carlos Ramirez, Enzo Conigliaro [two], Diego Gorosito, Diego Velasquez and Ramon Bonilla accounted for the other goals.
It was, however, a horror show for another Hellenic side in Over-30 action. Pancyprian could only muster seven players, some of them injured, and no goalie against BW Gottschee at St. John’s University.
Two players showed up at the interval, but even then, 9 v 11 was never a contest and when the dust had settled, Gottschee run off 8-1 victors.
“I had the lone goal, assisted by Chris Zizimatos. It’s been an unfortunate first season,” lamented Taso Polydefkis.
Kevin Booth scored twice as Manhattan Celtic Masters pulled off a monumental upset to stun two-time Over-37 champions, Cozmoz FC 3-1 on Randalls Island.
Victor Popovsky was the other marksman.
It was Cozmoz’ first defeat in two years in the CSL. They stormed to the title last year with an 18-0 record.
OLD BOY STYLE
Barnstonworth Old Boys made the most of Cozmoz’ shock defeat to cut the juggernaut’s lead in Over-37 West to eight points with a 3-1 romp over CPR Legends.
Brent Heimlich, Aldo Morales and Alex Todd scripted the win. Simon McKeown, assisted by Ronnie Swinkels, replied for CPR Legends.
At Harbor Island Park, Eintracht’s Peter Maris nodded in Tom Strumpf’s cross for the solitary goal in the fixture with Doxa.
FIVE STAR LEGENDS
Also in Over-37 action, Shamrock Legends hammered Manhattan Kickers Legends 5-2 at St. Michael’s Playground.
Marcus Nascimento scored, as did Ducky Kelly – for the third game in a row –four days before his 40th birthday.
Karol Hughes added a fine brace while Paddy Geraghty fired in an injury time free kick.