By Jay Mwamba
Ovan Oakley notched five of Lansdowne Bhoys’ 12 goals in two matches against NY Polet that saw the Irish juggernauts thrash the LISFL side in the Werner Fricker National Open Cup’s New York final and, later, reach the Manning Cup final.
The forward hit a hat trick in an 8-1 battering of Polet at the Mitchel Athletic Complex in Garden City last week. With the win, Lansdowne atoned for the 1-0 loss to Everton FC Westchester Eagles in the 2015 Fricker Cup final.
Equally outstanding in the final was Dubliner Stephen Roche (right). The midfielder came off the bench in the second half to score a hat trick of his own in an impressive 10-minute spell.
Jonathan Okafor and Konstantin Mollering were the other goal heroes for the three-time CSL titlists who picked up their first silverware of the season.
The emphatic victory also earned the Bhoys a berth in the Fricker National Cup proper in the spring.
Oakley starred again against Polet four days later in the last four of the Manning State Cup. He struck twice [15th, 43rd] in the 4-1 romp at Van Buren HS.
Okafor [35th] and Michael Holzer were also on target to send the Yonkers Irish to their second Manning Cup final in three years. They lost 5-4 on penalties to United FC in the 2013.
Shamrock’s 5-0 drubbing of East Hampton in a delayed quarterfinal tie raised the possibility of an all-Irish Manning Cup final next summer.
Ibrahim Diaby [two], Jamie Clarke [two] and Alex Wasilewski scripted the Rocks victory at St. Michael’s Playground.
However, Shamrock must now get past a resurgent New York Greek American team to reach the final. The Greeks came from behind to stun Manning Cup holders Cedar Stars Academy 6-3 in another delayed quarterfinal tie.
Adam Marcu and Joe Holland felled Cedar with a hat trick each. Phil Bannister [two] and Josue Ortiz replied for the hitherto Manning champions.
“We had a bad day,” rued Cedar owner-coach Oliver Papraniku. “We were up 2-0 and lost. [The] Greeks had a great game and new signings played well for them.”
New York Athletic Club and NY Ukrainians set up a semi-final date in the D’Arpino Cup following wins in the last eight.
Bill Saporito’s NYAC ‘B’ forked out NY Polet on Travers Island while Ukrainians were 3-1 penalty victors over fellow CSL side Panatha USA after a 2-all tie.
“We won 4-1. And a nasty little game it was,” remarked Saporito. “After a scoreless first half, Patrick Pierre got us on the board in the 50th minute, running onto a long ball, beating the onrushing keeper with a header and then walking the ball into the net.”
John Hemmert tucked in a Pierre rebound [60th] and after Polet pulled one, the game heated up.
“Hemmert restored the two-goal margin with a tap-in after left winger Chris Sutherland smoked his defender, got to the byline and made a perfect pass. Hemmert completed his hat trick by slotting a rebound off his own PK,” added Saporito.
Ukrainians and Panatha also produced a dramatic affair that involved penalties during and after regulation time.
Jorey Garcia [30th] gave Panatha the lead. Joshua Fischer leveled for Ukrainians 10 minutes. On the hour, Adnan Zaganjor shot Ukrainians ahead, thanks to Uriah Cunha’s second assist of the game. Panatha were then given two bites of the cherry to rescue their D’Arpino future. In the 75th minute they were awarded a penalty that Ukrainian goalie Iurii Vovk stopped.
The hosts needed a last minute penalty from which Raheem Smith equalized to force a shootout. Player-assistant Boris Shapoval, Cunha and Zaganjor converted for Ukrainians. Fischer missed while Vovk saved another penalty to seal the 3-1 victory.
D’Arpino champions Lansdowne ‘B’, meanwhile, moved a step closer to a third straight trophy after mauling Inter NY SA ‘B’ 7-0 at Tibbetts Brooks Park. Inter were down to 10 men at the interval when they forfeited the game.
Cyrus Hadavi, Mike Corbi [three], Conor Hunter, Jack Legg and Danny Suspiro were on target for the Bhoys, who face Manhattan Celtic ‘B’ in the last eight.
The Shamrock seconds are also through to the D’Arpino quarterfinals, courtesy of Cónall McGrandles’ double in a 2-1 decision over Zum Schneider at St. Michael’s.
“It wasn’t a great game but it feels good to be through to the quarters now,” said coach John Riordan. East Hampton are next for Shamrock.
There was more joy for Steve Kovalenko & Co. in the Flamhaft Cup where the Ukrainian first team held off Flora Park 2-1 to reach the semis. Gamil Yahya [78th] and Lukasz Prawdzik [85th] connected.
“It was Lukasz’ birthday, too, so he made it count,” observed Boris Shapoval, before applauding his two sides. “Both teams showed resilience and discipline to advance to the next round.”
Ukrainians face the FC Spring Valley vs. Germania winner in the Flamhaft semis after the latter, from the EDSL, nudged out CPR Reds on penalties in a delayed Round of 16 tie.
“We went down 2-0 in the first half, came back to tie it 2-2 in the second and shoulda knocked ‘em off in regulation but lost in penalties instead,” lamented Reds’ Blake Berg.
Donal O’Cofaigh got both CPR goals in regulation.
Central Park Rangers still have an interest in the Flamhaft Cup. CPR Whites hammered El Salvador 5-1 to secure a quarterfinal date with Stal Mielec.
Alex Presciutti, with probably the fastest goal in the competition this year, scored after 20 seconds. Alex Subin [two], Jake Joseph and Mouni Kabore were also on target.
Sam Kilb and Joe Paljaj had assists.
Elsewhere, the CSL’s Beyond FC succumbed 2-0 to EDSL envoys Oranje 1777 who go on to meet Flamhaft Cup holders Manhattan Kickers in the quarterfinals.
Williamsburg International took their high scoring ways into the Strumpf Cup where they routed Hicksville American SC 9-1 to sweep into the semi-finals.
Mark Gallagher [two], Misha Carrel-Thomas, Nicolas Mikolenko, Sergio Garcia, John Kaddo, Kevin Ruppel [two] and Andreas Moudatsos tallied.
Standing between Williamsburg and a place in the final is the Mr. Dennehy’s-NYFC Iliria winner. Iliria had a brace from top scorer Ergi Janku in a 4-2 victory over CSL Metro Div. One rivals Korabi 4-2. It brought his fall tally to 10. Bledar Kovaci was the other Iliria marksman.
Albert Ruci and Dis Nuzi connected for Korabi.
Also through to the Strumpf Cup last four are Lansdowne’s Metro side. They outgunned BW Gottschee 5-3 on Randalls Island to make it three wins out of three for teams from the Yonkers club in cup football last weekend.
Player-manager James Slater, Sperio [two], Adam Fleming and Mike O’Driscoll saw off Gottschee.
“Greg Davis [scored our] first. That pulled it back to 1-1 just before the half,” said Gottschee’s John Ryding. “We went down 3-1, but Brandon Silva rifled a shot from outside box.”
Gottschee then trailed 4-2 and cut the deficit to one when John Falidas hit a shot into the roof of net from three yards. However, Gottschee conceded a fifth goal in the dying seconds while pushing for the equalizer.
“A well-deserved win after a hard week of training,” declared Lansdowne’s Slater.
NYC Metro Stars’ fifth straight win in all competitions put them in the quarterfinals of the Strumpf Cup. Guisseppe Romero [3rd], Rodolfo Oliveira from a free kick [25th], and superstar Mamadou Diombera [50th, 76th] were on target in a 4-2 romp over New York United.
Stars meet fellow CSL Metro II side Missile FC in the last eight, with the winners on a collision course with Lansdowne.
Marth Cup holders Shamrock dug deep to edge LISFL powerhouse Integral 3-2 and secure a quarterfinal berth in the Over-30 State competition.
Alex Berne and Sean Riley both scored either side of an own goal on Randalls Island.
“[It] was a real battle for us,” said coach Paddy McCarry. “We were very rusty after our three-week lay-off and Integral certainly came to play. We had to cope with a lot of pressure for the last 20 minutes but our defense held strong.”
His lads tackle the NY Hota-Port Jeff winners in the quarters.
Sister club, Shamrock Legends had a farewell goal from Matteo Stiglich in a 2-1 loss to Glen Cove at Brookside Jr. HS. Stiglich is returning to his native Peru.
In other Marth Cup action, slow starting Greek Americans of the CSL spotted Polonez two goals before coming alive and cruising to a 7-3 victory and into the quarterfinals.
Mauricio Turizo [two], Roman Bonilla [two], Hemir Niebles and Tom Bouklis were among the Greek scorers.
“We fell asleep on them but picked up after,” said Tom Bouklis, whose side meets Glen Cove next.
Another Bouklis brother, Foti, also enjoyed success against Polish opposition with Doxa FC’s 3-2 decision over Polonia Gwardia in a CSL make-up game at McCarren Park.
Kareem Joachim struck on his Doxa debut off Enrique Hidalgo’s assist and then set up Mixalis Dramoutnanis for the second goal.
Polonia refused to roll over and clawed back to 2-2, with their equalizer coming after they’d been reduced to 10-men.
“We couldn’t afford a tie at this point in the season so [coach] Paul Grafas pushed his entire team to go for the win,” said Foti, the Doxa manager.
Eddie Bullaku responded by firing a bullet that the Polonia goalie failed to hold. Charles Abu Bio steered in the winner.
Earlier, Gerard Janko [two] and Alex Kaliontzakis connected for the Doxa reserves, beaten 4-3 despite an early lead.
And in a rescheduled Over-30 fixture at Pier 40, Oscar Villada scored twice in Manhattan Kickers Premier’s 4-1 drubbing of Celtic Bhoys.
Former NYAC ace Khouri Mullings won and converted a penalty [30th] to draw the proverbial first blood. Thanks to a superb Mike FitzGerald save on free kick, Kickers took the lead into the second half.
Mullings and Joe Steffa had a hand in Kickers’ second goal by Andy Stern on the hour, after which Man of the Match Oscar Villada [75th, 80th] finished off the Celts.
There would, however, be a Boris Kapelnik consolation [pen. 85th] before the final whistle.