By Jay Mwamba
In a Hellenic derby on one of the coldest nights of the year, ten-man New York Greek Americans defeated Pancyprian 5-4 on penalties at the Metropolitan Oval Tuesday night to win the New York leg of the U.S. Over-30 National Cup. NYGA now advance to the regional Level.
“One of the finest derbies of the year,” said the Greeks’ Tom Bouklis. “Pancyprian showed up with 80% of their first team including soccer names [such as] Chris Megaloudis, Taso Polydefkis, Michael Palacio, Cuba, Pete Halkidis, Panikos Onisiforou and more.”
Pancyprian proceeded to take an early lead on Leandros Gkoros’ own goal. Then the prolific Polydefkis made it 2-0 inside 25 minutes. Both teams were moving the ball well at that point, according to Bouklis. However, the Greeks had lost faith until Mauricio Turizo pulled one back [41st]. He equalized [55th] on resumption but unrattled, Pancyprian kept attacking.
“Two balls were cleared from the Greek goal line which could have put Pancyprian ahead again,” noted Bouklis.
In the 72nd minute, the Greeks were reduced to 10 men when Hemir Niebles was ejected for a professional foul on Chris Megaloudis. Still, the Greeks battled on bravely and even hit the post late. Bouklis said his side, coached by Kosta Politis, were expected to put up a fight but were definitely the underdog going into the match.
“However the players pulled through and fought for the win above and beyond expectations. Truly a remarkable win on behalf of the historic club!” he added.
Going into the Over-30 New York final, both Greeks and Pancyprian had dropped points in the league. Mark Finn and Jeff Farrell scored for the Lansdowne Over-30s who blanked the Greeks 2-0 at Tibbetts Brook Park to join CPR Old Boys atop the West.
Pancyprian, on the other hand, had a goal from Chris Megaloudis’ older brother Mike in a 3-1 loss to CPR Old Boys. Brandon Levy [two] and Matt Hureau were the CPR marksmen.
Last weekend, Cedar Stars Academy produced a five-star performance on Randalls Island to knock off Manhattan Celtic by as many goals without conceding en route to a fourth straight CSL victory. Jordan Ayris starred for Oliver Papraniku’s crew, notching a hat trick inside the opening half hour [12th, 20th, 27th]. Andreas Chronis had an assist and a goal [83rd], with Gabriel [60th] the other scorers.
With Pancyprian Freedoms also victorious against New York Athletic Club, the result kept Cedar level with the Greek-Cypriots in third spot [16 points] in the top flight, within sight of second place Lansdowne Bhoys.
Cedar’s reserves won 1-0.
Three nights later, the Cedar seconds blew a 3-1 lead against Reserve champs Lansdowne in a thrilling 3-3 tie. Mark Vilson, Sean Kelly and Arten Bajaj connected for the Bhoys, who could afford to miss a penalty.
Stefan Dimitrov, one of several MLS alum plying their trade in the CSL, netted both goals in Pancyprian’s 2-1 decision over NYAC on Travers Island. This after the Bill Saporito-drilled NYAC ‘B’ had romped 3-0 in the opener.
“Pete Mehlert got us on the board with a goal off a rebound about a half an hour in,” reported Saporito. “[Pancyprian] were very stubborn, but we had the wind in the second half and really pinned them in.
“Patrick Pierre got the second with a fine solo effort 15 minutes into the second half. Shortly afterward Felipe Gomez headed a corner home and that was that.”
At McCarren Park, champions Lansdowne capped a fruitful 10 days with a 5-0 thrashing of Polonia Gwardia. Coach Austin Friel rang the changes on account of the grueling schedule of match, but there was no let-off for the bottom side Poles.
Anthony Grant hit a hat trick while Ovan Oakley struck twice as the three-time CSL titlists improved to 6-0-1 , five points behind leaders Shamrock, albeit with two games in hand. The rout was the Bhoys’ fourth win in 10 days in both cup and league soccer.
Mark Vilson, Artan Balaj and Danny Suspiro scored in the Lansdowne reserves’ 3-1 triumph.
Shamrock’s Alejandro Fritz had the only goal of the match in the league leaders’ 1-0 defeat of Doxa at St. Michael’s Playground. Kevin Grogan’s lads upped their record to 8-1  and have just one more scheduled league game, against Pancyprian on December 11, before the winter break.
“This was the most important win of the season,” said Grogan. “It wasn’t the best of performances but we had the maturity and patience to score and win.”
The Shamrock reserves also prevailed 1-0 on Andrew Scott’s strike.
It ended goalless between New York Greek Americans and Zum Schneider at the Metropolitan Oval. But the point was sufficient to lift NYGA [1-3-4, 6] out of the bottom two on goal difference.
Brad Janes and Mack Woodruff were on target as CPR Reds battled back to hand Manhattan Kickers their first loss of the season, 2-1 at East River Park. Brian Morris shot the Division II South pace-setters ahead off Bryan Baracaldo’s lovely ball down the wing in the second half. However, CPR responded minutes later, Janes tapping in a cross at the back post. The Reds then proceeded to defend stoutly before nicking the winner through Woodruff.
Kickers, now 6-1-1 , took the reserve fixture 2-1, thanks to Danny Challita’s brace, and an assist by Rodney Laveau.
Joint second Hoboken FC and Stal Mielec were the biggest beneficiaries of Kickers’ red light at Easter River Park. Both won big to draw within three points of the South leaders. Hoboken hammered New York Ukrainians 4-0 at Laurel Hill Park after a whirlwind start. David Mendez [4th], Cory Chaplin [7th] and Isaac Asomani [18th] had the hosts 3-0 up early. Alex Wallin [58th] sealed it.
“[We] played very bad, maybe because of the cold and bad marking in defense,” said Ukrainian boss Steve Kovalenko
Uriah Cunha and Eduard Shidlovskiy earned his reserves a 2-0 decision.
Stal, meanwhile, blew out Beyond FC 7-2 at McCarren Park to keep pace with Hoboken on 16 points. Jacek Lawniczak got the requisite hat trick, Nick McBee a brace and Bartek Dziuban and Marcin Jaworek one each.
The curtain raised finished 1-1 with Jacek Korba the Stal scorer.
Also in Division II South, NY Ittihad and City International drew 0-0 on Randalls Island following a 4-0 romp by the latter’s second unit.
“Berk Kasal opened the scoring with a 30-yard free kick,” said coach Matt Kao. “Max Ferre had a deft finish to make it 2-0. Ghaith Humaimidi scored a tap in for the third and Ted Elkington added the fourth.”
Mike Pereira, Paul Cho, Kasal and Humaimidi had assists.
ST. PAT’S DAY
NYPD FC’s Pat O’Callaghan bagged both goals in the COPs’ 2-1 defeat of Sporting Astoria that saw them join idle CPR Whites atop the Div. II North standings. Both clubs have 17 points.
Reserves tied 0-0.
A 2-1 decision over Sporting Astoria moved Bronx Supreme [4-2-2, 14] into third place in Div. II North. George Ofonime and Marfo Assibu connected, while Iqbal Yousfy had the lone goal in the Bronx’ reserves win.
Francis Moran’s hat trick helped nick a 4-3 decision for Spring Valley over Panatha on Randalls Island. Antoni Galouzis, Samuel Glickman and Jermaine Smith replied for Panatha.
In an incredible scoring feat in any division in the CSL, Mohammad Yusuf Mashriqi reeled in seven goals in Brishna’s 8-0 demolition of Inter New York SA on Randalls Island. Karimullah Mashriqi was also on target.
Frontrunners Williamsburg International stayed a point clear of Korabi in Metro Div. One with a 4-1 victory over Ridgewood Romac. John Kaddo set up Nicolas Mikolenko for the opener before Andreas Moudatsos connected from a Kevin Ruppel pass. Then Mikolenko played provider for Mark Gallagher while Kaddo finished unassisted
“Justin Osorio’s 70th goal was one of our few highlights in the game,” conceded Ridgewood coach Ovi Ordean.
Korabi [7-2, 21] eked out a 3-2 decision over Gotham Argo on Staten Island, courtesy of Dis Nuzi, Berat Islami and Zekail “Zigi” Gazafer. Chris Ward netted both Gotham goals off assists by Jonathan Munoz and Nanayaw Panford.
Hughie McGowan keyed Shamrock 1960’s 5-0 shellacking of New York Croatia with a hat trick in the Metro One clash. Larry Slaughter and Isaac Wohlsen were the other marksmen. Veteran goalie Robbie O’Neill kept his second clean sheet of the weekend after starring for the reserves 24 hours earlier.
Ergi Janku, Endrit Bllaca and Bledar Kovaci scored in NYFC Iliria’s 3-0 defeat of Mola.
Richard Hartnett and Jamar Gayle [two] fired Lansdowne Bhoys Metro One side past Deportivo Sociedade 2-0 on Randalls Island.
Mr. Dennehy’s Andres “Andy” Sole was another hat trick hero in the CSL last weekend. He scripted a 3-1 triumph over New York United in a Metro II East top-of-the-table clash that lifted the victors [7-1, 21] five points clear.
AO Brooklyn were the other big movers in Metro II East, besting SC Eintracht 2-0 on Randalls Island to claim third place  on goal difference.
Daniel Breslauer [20th] slotted in a great ball from Austin Costeria while the second came from a beautiful 23-yard Nicola Cirrincione free kick [40th], assisted by winds estimated at 50 mph by Bryan Vega.
“Clean sheet kept by new keeper Christopher Marshall for the third consecutive game,” noted Vega.
Rampant Flushing FC rained goals on SS Lazio at Bushwick Inlet, sinking the rookie Metro II side 9-3. Striker Christopher Hain Prada had one goal on a day when Flushing’s midfield did most of the scoring.
“Winger Jose Elias grabbed one while his counterpart Samory Mullings netted twice. Central midfielder Alexander Zoitos netted two goals and the most notable of the day was the number 10, David Orsono, who secured a hat trick,” said Ryan Wiedman. Jose Elias was another standout with four assists.
The rout ended FFC’s three-game skid.
Also at Bushwick Inlet, NYC Metro Stars overwhelmed Williamsburg II 4-1. New Malian star Mamadou Diombera produced a hat trick [15th, 35th, 56th] with Ecuadorian Juan Cungachi [81st] sealing it. Oscar Tiné, from an AJ Bello pass, scored for Williamsburg.
“Another big victory for us away over a very difficult opponent,” said Edison Calle.
Metro II West leaders Beyond Metro picked up three points from a 3-2 squeaker over Homenetmen at Prospect Park to go six points clear of BW Gottschee, who did not play. Ibra Al Sabhiya, Farid Ordonez and Rudis Martinez connected.
MVP honors in Manhattan Kickers Premier’s 7-3 Over-30 drubbing of FC Partizani on Randalls Island went to the returning Joe Steffa who had a brace and defended tenaciously.
Khouri Mullings [honorable mention] also struck twice and had two assists, while Adrian Hasko, Oscar Villada and Alex Vargas chipped in with a goal apiece.”
“Good job taking care of F.C. Partizani on a cold bitter and snowy evening,” summed up Mike Fitzgerald.
Manhattan Celtic Legends dispatched Megas Alexandros 3-1 at Pier 40 on goals by Brian Mazza, Takinori Yoshizaka and John Tanios.
Also in Over-30 action, Matt Hatcher and Marko Guzijan tallied in CPR Grays’ 2-all tie with NY Finess.
On a weekend when the CSL asked all teams to observe a minute’s in memory of former Shamrock coach Robbie Walsh, the Rocks’ Over-37 team that he last played for retired his jersey after a 1-1 draw with Barnstonworth Rovers Veterans.
His old buddy, Eoin Sweeney, donned Walsh’s number 14 jersey and laid on the assist for Eddie Gilmartin’s late equalizer at Bush Terminal Piers Park. Justin Pike had netted earlier for Barnstonworth.
TWIST & SHOUT
Kicker Legends’ Scott Conti scored on a twisted ankle in a 2-0 Over-37 win over Barnstonworth Old Boys at McCarren Park. Gilad Bloom added a thundering strike late in the game despite playing for the “half cripped” Kickers with bruised ribs.
CPR Legends beat Doxa FC Legends 2-0 thanks to Manuel Casanova and Ronnie Swinkle.
And there was a 3-3 Over-37 tie between Banatul SC and SC Eintracht with Marty Russo, Abe Takane and Peter Maris on target.