Lansdowne collects another win against Pancyprian, 2-0
By Ralph Chery
November 29, 2016
Lansdowne Bhoys defender Tom Wharf passing the ball against NY Pancyprian Freedoms. Photo by Dinos Avlonitis.
Lansdowne Bhoys improved their winning streak against NY Pancyprian Freedoms to five games after blanking them 2-0 Sunday night at St. John's University Belson Stadium.
New signing Jonathan Okafor's long-range deflected shot granted Lansdowne the opener in the 73rd minute after they had taken 14 shots on target. Ovan Oakley doubled the visitors' lead nine minutes later with a low-drive from inside the box.
In their past three meetings against the Freedoms, Sunday's match was the earliest the Bhoys scored their first goal of the game, in the 73rd minute. Oakley was content by the high competitive level the Greek side brings out of them.
"It's always a pleasure playing against the Pancyprian," the striker said after the game. "It's always competitive, that's kind of what I look forward each and every game. It's a good win for the team going into the winter [break] also."
This win extends Lansdowne's unbeaten run in the league to 41 games and moves them two points shy of league toppers Shamrock SC, with a game in hand. The Freedoms, on the other hand, surprisingly only won one of their last four matches and remain fourth in the league.
Lansdowne played the game without captain Sean Kelly and star striker Daryl Kavanagh, however they had their first shot on target early in the seventh minute of play as Glen Reid hit a well struked volley from outside the box. Reid's volley fell straight in Nicholas Tarkany Jr.'s gloved hands for the first of his many saves.
Lansdowne Bhoys starting XI. Lansdowne Bhoys Images.
The Greek goalkeeper almost gifted Lansdowne an opener later in the 21st minute. Tarkany hit a goalkick straight at Oakley in his own defensive third. Fortunately for the veteran keeper, Oakley shot the ball right back at him.
The Jamaican striker had a chance to redeem himself five minutes later when he dribbled across the box before firing a shot on target, but Tarkany was there again to deny him.
Pancyprian's best chance to score came in the dying seconds of the first half when Adam Christopher bolted down the right wing on a counter attack before sending a low-cross to Stephen Megaloudis. A running S. Megaloudis swept the ball wide.
NY Pancyprian Freedoms' Stephen Megaloudis holding his head after missing a glorious opportunity to put his team on top. Photo by Dinos Avlonitis.
Lansdowne also missed a couple of chances to score themsleves ten minutes into the second half. Konstantin Mollering's shot from Anthony Grant's low-cross was blocked by a Pancyprian defender right back at him. Mollering had another go at goal, his shot was blocked again as Simon Tchoukriel rose all 6' 2'' of his body for a crucial header-save.
Oakley didn't give up on his quest for goal in the second half, one of his closest attempt was in the 65th minute when he headed Mollering's cross on frame. Tarkany was once again well positioned and performed a routine save. The veteran goalkeeper finished the game with 12 saves.
It took a deflected shot to beat the Greek keeper. After exchanging passes with Michael Holzer from midfield, Okafor had a go from outside the box, his shot was deflected by a Freedoms' defender in the net in the 73rd minute.
It was the midfielder's first league-goal for his new club. "It was great," Okafor said. "I've been here a few games now and I've been working hard and I was looking for the opportnity to contribute for the team and today I was able to do that."
Nine minutes later, Oakley was finally rewarded the goal he was desperately looking for. The striker collected a pass from Mollering in the box before dragging a low-shot away from the opposing keeper.
The Bhoys' opportunity to go into the winter break in first place still stands as they're two points shy of first placed Shamrock with a game in hand. Okafor shared that Lansdowne's game plan to push the Rocks down to second place is to take it one game at the time.
"What we're trying to do right now is focus on the next game that we have, taking one game at the time and hopefully we'll finish first when everything is all set and done."
The champions' next game is not a league game but a cup game, the Fricker Cup final against NY Polet SC on Wednesday at Mitchell Ahletic Complex, Garden City, NY, at 9:00 p.m. Meanwhile, next time the Freedoms are in action is on December 11th against Shamrock at St. John's University Belson Stadium at 2:00 p.m.
NY Pancyprian Freedoms Lansdowne Bhoys
Shots (on target): 10 (2) 26 (16)
Saves: 12 2
Fouls: 7 11
Corner kicks: 2 7
Yellow cards: 0 0
Red cards: 0 0
Offsides: 3 0