Playoff’s Are Coming!!
By Jay Mwamba
From Jay Mwamba
April 26, 2018
New York Greek Americans gave their CSL title defense a huge boost with a 2-0 victory over U.S. amateur champs Lansdowne Bhoys in midweek that all but clinched them a playoff berth.
Adam Marcu and Tyler Botte scored for the Greeks at Tibbetts Brook Park. “Bradley Johnson was outstanding in goal to get the clean sheet,” added NYGA official Peter Annarumma. The result consolidated NYGA’s hold on the fourth and final playoff berth in the top flight with four games remaining. The Greeks [8-3-3, 27] moved eight points clear of fifth place Shamrocks. Lansdowne [10-2-2, 32] are now second on the table, three points adrift of Cedar Stars Academy.
This was the fourth meeting between NYGA and Lansdowne this season. Lansdowne won the first clash 3-0 in Week Two last September to scoop the Walter Rapaglia Cup, but saw their hopes of defending the U.S. amateur cup dashed by a 7-6 penalty loss to NYGA in October. The two CSL juggernauts met for the third time in late November with Lansdowne nicking a 2-1 decision in the league.
Cedar’s Chris Katona and Phil Bannister combined to knock off Manhattan Kickers 3-0 at Ramapo College last Sunday.
Katona set up a brace for Bannister on the latter’s return from injury before Phil returned the favor for the First Division top scorer.
“We truly welcome Phil’s return and it could not have come at a better time,” said Cedar owner-coach Oliver Papraniku, who also had props for goalie Bryan Lopez. “Bryan was perfect in goal again and in my opinion deserves the CSL player of the week nod with nine straight shutouts.”
Leo Saiti – from Robert Dashi’s handiwork — and Josue Ortiz scored in the Cedar reserves’ 2-1 victory. Almir Hot had the Kicker goal.
Pancyprian Freedoms hitman Adam Himeno struck twice in a 4-1 romp over New York Athletic Club on Travers Island. Daniel Bedoya and Charlie Ledula also connected for the third place giants [8-4-1, 28].
“It was close until the final 10 minutes. We gave up two goals early and had to try to dig ourselves out of that,” said NYAC coach Erik Bagwell.
“Jason Lampkin put it to 2-1 just shortly after halftime. It was probably our best combination play of the match. [We] gave up the two late goals as we pushed to tie it up.”
NYAC’s reserves won 4-1 but, according to coach Bill Saporito, the scoreline was flattering. “It was 2-1 in the 85th minute before we closed out the game,” he pointed out.
NYAC had thrashed the Greek-Cypriots 5-0 in the D’Arpino State Cup semi-finals the previous week and thought all they had to do was show up again.
“Instead, they were the ones who showed [up] – [and] very well organized defensively,” noted Saporito. “Alan Reiter got us on the board about 30 minutes into the first half after slipping the offside trap and slotting past the keeper.
“And when he scored again 15 minutes into the second half we thought we were home. But the ‘Pancyps’ caught us on a fast break to make it 2-1. Chris Sutherland put in his own rebound at the 85th minute before Brian Kuritzky got the fourth in the waning moments.”
The Shamrocks were denied a vital win by a late equalizer in a 1-1 draw with Center Park Rangers on Randalls Island.
Travis Blair’s exquisite first half strike had the Rocks ahead but Gabriel de Foresta [80th] leveled from Dan Miller’s cross.
“Shamrock had the better chances throughout, but we earned that point with a committed 90-minute effort,” said Rangers’ player-coach Eli Vovsha.
“The players are disappointed and rightly so,” said Shamrocks assistant coach John Riordan. “The first half display in particular was impressive but we couldn’t quite find that second goal.”
The curtain raiser was a thriller with CPR ‘B’ coming from one down to prevail 4-3.
“Our three top scorers this year, Faissal Sanfo [two], Sjors van Eck and Lulu Binabbas, all scored in a crazy second half where we came back from 1-0 down [with] both teams suffering from a lack of regular keepers,” said Rangers’ Vovsha.
That defeat by the Shamrock seconds saw them drop three points behind leaders Lansdowne Bhoys ‘B’ on the reserve log following the latters’ 2-0 decision over Greek Americans at Tibbetts Brook Park.
Mike Fernandez and Artan Baja scored as Lansdowne improved to 11-1-2 [34 points].
Lowly Zum Schneider shocked Doxa FC 2-0 to raise hopes of a late escape from relegation. Kyle Green and Willya Mekolo were on target at Skidelsky Field to script what was just the club’s second league victory of the season.
The result completed a rare double for Zum whose reserves had triumphed 4-1 thanks to Caesar Lopez’ trey and a goal by captain Ryan Horch.
In FC Japan’s greatest result in recent memory, the hitherto bottom side stunned Hoboken FC 3-1 on Randalls Island to hand the Division Two South title favorites their first league defeat in almost a year.
Naoki Shimada gave Hoboken a taste of what to come with a first minute goal. Kenzo Ohe [50th] and Akito Suzuki [58th] struck on resumption, and although Jeff Natale [78th] hit back for the Jersey Boys, it turned out to be a consolation goal. Hoboken lost for the first in Division Two since a 3-1 defeat to Kickers on May 21, 2017.
“We were missing some players and missed the net on multiple occasions,” said Hoboken GM Bill Marth. “FC Japan played well and scored the chances they had so I give them a lot of credit.”
The Japan-Hoboken reserve encounter went to form – albeit after a brief scare — with the chart-topping visitors drubbing their lowly hosts 12-3. Steve Korfiatis [11th] drew first blood only for Kohei Sugawara [15th, 17th] to reply.
However, Sam Omosuyi [27th, 41st, 81st], Alex Wallin [33rd, 55th], Dave Wisniewski [45th], Gleb Mironenko [49th, 52nd, 74th], Zack Yesko [54th] and Joe Kelly [79th] banished hopes of a Japan upset while clinching Hoboken a playoff spot.
Shunichiro Nakamura [59th] was the other Japan scorer.
With second place Polonia Gwardia shutting out CD Iberia 4-0, Hoboken [10-2-1, 32] had their lead cut to three points by the Poles who have a game in hand.
Unbeaten since last October, Stal Mielec dispatched Williamsburg 5-3 at Bushwick Inlet to remain third in Div. II South and in contention for a playoff berth.
Forty-eight-year-old Krzysztof Glowala, who often plays with his college school sons Jakub Glowala and Filip Glowala during the off-season, was one of the Stal stars on the day with a brace. Bartlomiej Dziuban also got two and Pawel Marczenia one for a Stal side [9-1-3, 28] that’s a point behind fellow Polish side Polonia. John Kaddo [two] and Rob Markwell were on the mark for Williamsburg.
Kevin Janeczko and Radoslaw Ksepka crafted the Stal reserves’ 2-1 decision. Oscar Tiné headed home a cross from Mat Forte for Williamsburg ‘B.’ A 90th minute equalizer was disallowed for off-side.
Steve Kovalenko’s New York Ukrainians posted their first win of the calendar year, crushing Panatha USA 8-1 on Randalls Island to end a four-match winless streak.
Andres Munoz, Yousef Alrobay and Abdulaziz Aljadany all netted twice, with Adam Maliniak and Lukasz Prawdzik accounting for the other goals. Nazar Zarichnyy and David Barry struck in the Ukrainian reserves’ 2-all draw.
A single point separates frontrunners FC Spring Valley [9-4, 27] and second place KidSuper who were both victorious in the Div. II North title race.
Roberto Garcia’s deuce for Spring Valley held off Sporting Astoria 2-1 in North Rockland where Javiar Brown had opened the scoring for Astoria from 30 yards [25th].
“He saw the keeper way off his line,” said Sporting GM Ed Romero. “[Spring Valley] scored before the half and at the 60th mark, and although we tried we couldn’t score the equalizer.”
He called it a motivating result for his men.
Astoria’s reserves were rampant in a 6-0 rout. Waltforf Stewart, Francisco Pantoja [two], Christian Lamprea, Felix Pavón and Carlos Humberto tallied.
At Baker Athletics Complex, Ebrima Jallow was the catalyst as KidSuper Samba twice rallied back – once from two down – to thrash CPR Reds 6-3.
Timur Mone [two] and Kevin Zalewski had the Reds, ahead first 2-0 and then 3-2 once Ebrima Jallow had tied the game. But that’s where the Reds’ scoring ended as Jallow went on to reel in another three goals. Abdoulaye Diallo was the other Samba marksman. Alhoussain Bah, Yankuba Janneh [twice], Youssouf Bamba, Dylan Cope and Caetano Sanchez had the Samba assists.
Sanchez, thanks to Daouda Bakayoko, netted in the Samba seconds’ 2-1 loss on goals by Paolo Luciano and John Andrade.
Also in the second tier, Raul Zuniga and Adrian Garcia lifted Manhattan Celtic 2-1 past NYPD FC at Pier 5.
Ugur Kahveci scored for the Cops, whose reserves slipped 1-0 to Jamie Tyrell’s strike.
A 4-1 drubbing of closest pursuers Gotham Argo saw BW Gottschee tighten their grip on second place in Metro One.
Stamati Amvrosiatos stabbed home Sean Towey’s pass [20th] for the Gottschee opener. Number two was a Tommy Mastoras center from the right nodded in by Joel Morales.Overlapping left fullback Paco Osorio made it 3-0 from Stamati’s ball before Edgar Carpio sealed it off Yanni Amvrosiatos’ assist. Argo got their consolation in the dying minutes.
The win opened up a seven-point gap between Gottschee [9-2-2, 29] and third place Gotham [7-1-6, 22], with the two sides scheduled to meet again in the Strumpf Cup quarterfinals.
Meanwhile, Metro One runaway leaders FC Ulqini, blanked NYFC Iliria 2-0.
In the Metro Div. One’s Irish derby, Lansdowne’s thirds run off 4-1 winners over Shamrocks 1960 on Randalls Island.
Darren McDermott, Mat Salerno, Dion Norny and Nils Kirch scored.
Mr. Dennehy’s returned to winning ways for the first time since last October, demolishing NYC Metro Stars 5-0 on Staten Island.
“[It] was a long time coming!” exclaimed Trevor Joyce after goals by Anatoliy Taranenko [two], Daniel Cano [two] and Rob Day had carried the day.
Elsewhere in Metro One, Emre Tetik had Ridgewood Romac’s lone goal in 3-1 loss to Deportivo Sociedade.
FC Flushing welcomed spring’s belated arrival with a 1-0 decision over Homenetmen at Memorial Field to maintain their five-point edge [10-2-2, 32] atop Metro Two North.
Having stopped a Flushing penalty in the first half, the Homenetmen goalie had no chance on James Gerbier’s blistering 22-yard free kick [49th] that decided the game. It was Gerbier’s 12th goal in 13 games.
“It was a victory but a tight victory — much closer than my liking of course,” coach Ryan Wiedman conceded. “At this point of the season, training is vital to staying focused and organized. There is little room for error and no time for messing around. Execution in the next month is key.”
Keeping the pressure on Flushing are the Glorian Hoxha-inspired Kelmendi who got four goals from their deadly forward in an 8-3 battering of Beyond FC.
Valdrin Lekocaj notched a hat trick and Robert Gjelaj bagged one goal as the rookie side [9-1-3, 28] continued to close in on Flushing with a game in hand.
Oz al Sahybi, Aidan Kelly and Mike Lowell scored for Beyond.
Joaco Lynch hit a hat trick and provided two assists in Metro Two South joint leaders Barnstonworth Rovers’ 7-0 annihilation of NYC Afghanistan at Flushing Meadow.
Jorge Espanol added a brace, with Gustavo Garro – the beneficiary of Lynch’s assist – and Dave Leboff the other scorers.
“We finally found our finishing form,” remarked boss Timothy Hattori. Rovers [10-1-3, 31] are in a dead heat with Mola.
Mola beat AO Brooklyn 4-1 at Abraham Lincoln HS to stay even on points with Rovers.
Peter Curto, William Novini, Alhamisi Burhan, Salvatore Ingravallo tallied for Mola.
SC Eintracht’s Juan Zaiter struck four times in an epic 5-5 tie with Grenadier Zenith on Randalls Island. Hassan Redzic had the other goal.
“[Once] again we had a full team and subs. We missed a few more and should have won the game,” said Eintracht’s Mark Lesser.
Also on Randalls, Jose Sanchez scored in New York Galicia’s 4-1 loss to Richmond. “Tough loss,” lamented said Javier Caamano. “Hopefully, we bounce back next [week].” said Javier Caamano.
East title contenders Manhattan Kickers Premier made the most of rivals Shamrocks’ week off to sprint five points clear with a 5-2 thrashing of basement dwellers Brooklyn Gunners on Randalls Island.
MVP honorable mention Ardian Hasko got Mike Fitzgerald & Co. going in the second minute when Nick Bill set him up. Then MVP Seamus Kelly took over, pumping in four straight goals [10th, 50th, 70th, 80th]. Hasko, Khouri Mullings [twice] and Colin O’Banion had the assists.
Taso Polydefkis’ hat trick saw Pancyprian trounce Hoboken FC 3-0 and draw level with New York Greek Americans on 26 points atop the West.
The Greeks tied 1-1 with Manhattan Celtic Legends, whose Rob Olin earned the hosts a vital point at Pier 40.
Manhattan Celtic Bhoys beat CPR Grays 2-0, thanks to Adam Darter and Youcef Mami.
Bottom side Eintracht went down fighting against East co-leaders America FC in a 4-3 battle at Phil Rizzutto Park.
Giuliano Bosi [two] and Vinny Vasconcelos gave America a scare. “[We] finally fielded a team and had subs,” noted Eintracht manager Mark Lesser.
Defending Over-38 champs Cozmoz FC, who share first place with America on 31 points, edged Shamrock Legends 4-3.
West leaders Manhattan Kickers Legends had a 6-0 romp over Barnstonworth Rovers Veterans on Randalls Island.
Scott Conti starred with a hat trick – netting with a volley and two headers. Dylan Dodd, Jesse Vozick and John Balson also connected.
“The passing was crisp and sublime, and we looked like that other City team that plays in light blue,” observed Eddie Yee Woo Guo.
Conti then added to the ‘best game of his life’ by stepping into goal, and making a great save from a “long lobbing shot,” added Guo.
There was also a win for CPR Legends who edged Manhattan Celtic Masters 2-1 on goals by Manuel Casanova and Bevan Rosenbloom.
Jamie Hamilton was the Celtic scorer.