Richmond County FC pushes the ball downfield against Afghan FC NY on Saturday, September 15, 2019 (Credit: Richmond County FC)
In the second week of CSL play in Division 2, multiple teams rebounded while others are struggling to gain their footing. Even still, three teams have claimed all six available points including one of the new faces in the division this year. Heading into the next round of games, four groups will be looking to earn points and jump out of the bottom half of the table.
Here is the full recap of games from Week 2 in D2:
Saturday, September 14
Kelmendi FC NY v. NY Ukrainians (1-1)
Kelmendi FC NY and the NY Ukrainians played to a draw, 1-1, on Saturday morning. For Kelmendi, this is the second straight draw in as many games to open the season while NYU has only just opened the new year.
Adnan Zaganjor came up big for the Ukrainians by scoring the first goal of the team’s season and securing them the point. The squad will be looking to improve on last year’s D2 season where it finished second from last in the table with only 16 points. Kelmendi on the other hand has held two of the CSL’s well known squad to ties in it’s first two games after it earned a draw against Polonia Gwardia NY last week. It's lone goal came from Anton Lekocaj, assisted by Valdrin Lekocaj.
The group will look to keep up the pace against FC Ulqini on Sunday while the Ukrainians will face Real Olé FC.
FC Japan v. Stal Mielec NY (2-2)
No goal scorer information provided by Stal Mielec NY
FC Japan earned a single point for the second straight week in the new season as it drew Stal Mielec NY, 2-2, in one of Week 2’s early games.
A goal from each team in both halves as neither could take a dominant role in the game. Stal scored first on a through goal but FCJ responded not long after with a thunderous shot from the halfway line byTatsuya Otani off a pass from Ken Mochizuki, a possible goal of the year contender. In the second half, Naoki Sekikawa crossed to Haruo Inoue on the left side who gave the team the lead, but Stal equalized late.
FC Japan plays Williamsburg International FC in Brooklyn this Sunday while Stal Mielec faces Polinia Gwardia NY in a Polish derby.
Sunday, September 15
DeSportiva Sociedad NY v. Hoboken FC 1912 (3-6)
In a game of firsts, Hoboken FC 1912 earned its first three points of the year against DeSportiva Sociedad NY, 6-3, in the latter’s first ever Division 2 game.
Hoboken head coach Steve Korfiatis said after the match that his team’s performance was exactly what it needed to be against a resilient opponent.
“First team picked up their first three points of the season with a good offensive performance,” Korfiatis said. “We were pressured a few times throughout the match, but our offensive quality ultimately made it a comfortable afternoon against a Desportivo side that showed a lot of heart until the final whistle. Ash Augustus had a notable performance with his first goal and hat trick for the club with goals added by Tom Hogue, Julian Berrios and Geoff Rouin."
DSNY started the game off slow after one of its players was late to the game and caused the backline to be disorganized, giving Hoboken a chance to score three times early on. In total, four players scored for Hoboken with Ash Agustus picking up three goals while Julian Berros, Thomas Hogue, and Geoffrey Rouin all scored one each.
DeSportiva kept close behind Hoboken FC with goals throughout the game. Nicolas Garcia finished off a cross from Wade Hoffman before converting a penalty kick early in the second half. With his team down a man late in the second half due to a second yellow against his goal keeper, Nico finished the hat trick after a feed from Vladimir Sekiguchi. But one final 1912 goal put the game to its end.
Both teams play this Sunday as DSNY plays Manhattan Kickers while Hoboken hosts Manhattan Celtic.
Picturerd: Hoboken FC 1912 poses for a team photo on Randalls Island prior to their game on Saturday afternoon (Credit: Hoboken FC 1912)
Beyond FC v. Polonia Gwardia NY (1-1)
No goal scorer information provided by Polonia Gwardia NY
Beyond FC and Polonia Gwardfia NY scored one goal each in the former’s second straight draw this season in Division 2.
Despite starting off slow, Beyond came back after going down in the first half when James Cousins scored midway through the second 45 off an assist from Abe Hamami. The second half adjustments for the team allowed them to get chances to take the lead before the end of the game but the team couldn’t convert.
“Polonia are such a strong side that when you don't take advantage of the opportunities, they can quickly counter and score which they almost did hitting the crossbar late in the second half,” Hamami said after the game.
Beyond faces Central Park Rangers FC this Sunday on Randalls Island while Polonia will renew one of the league’s biggest rivalries when it faces fellow Polish heritage side Stal Mielec NY the same day.
Manhattan Celtic v. Central Park Rangers FC (6-0)
For the second straight week, Manhattan Celtic scored over five goals as they beat Central Park Rangers FC, 6-0. The team has scored a total of 11 goals in two games with none being allowed.
Despite the high score Celtics head coach Matthew Kane explained afterwards that his team could have done more in the earlier parts of the match and during scoring opportunities.
“To be honest the scoreline highlights our dominance in the game but we were sluggish for large parts of the tie,” Kane said. “Our pressing wasn't near the level I expect. We dominated possession yet could have used the ball much more effectively.”
Kane did say that his team’s defense and press did well in limiting CPR’s offense. The team was limited to only one chance all game while also pushing a Ranger’s player into two carded fouls in the first 10 minutes to give Manhattan the man advantage.
Marcos Charnas opened the scoring off an assist from Kwadwo Asante, with the latter scoring two of his own later on in the game. Daniel Arvidsson played the biggest role in the game when he scored a terrific goal midway through the match and spent the rest of the 90 minutes assisting on three other goals. Dan Korman and Jonathan Leon both rounded out the final with one goal each with Charnas picking up an assist as well.
The Rangers will remain on Randalls Island this week as they face Beyond FC. Celtic will travel to New Jersey to take on Hoboken FC 1912 in what Kane believes will be a huge challenge.
“The squad realizes we have a huge game next weekend and will prepare hard for the game,” Kane said. “We've two key players out for next week but we are confident in picking up the result.”
Real Olé FC v. Williamsburg International FC (4-3)
In a back-and-forth battle with two lead changes in the second half, Real Olé FC earned the three points by beating Williamsburg International FC, 4-3, off the feet of two goals in the last 15 minutes.
The Olé goal scorers included Patrick Alvarez, Oscar Rodriguez, Jimmy Barrios, and Nick VonEgypt. Barrios also assisted on one of the other goals, earning him MVP honors from his team, while Christian Henry, Omar Hibbert, and Tim Ryan also took part on successful goal attempts.
A quick start helped the home team when a shot to the opposite corner found its way into the back of the net and one more not long later made it 2-0. The score until the second half when Williamsburgh began to rally. Oliver Harrison sent a through ball to John Kaddo, the team’s leading scorer, who cut the lead in half. The duo stuck again about five minutes later to tie the game at two each with Real struggling to keep the ball out of their end and taking poor shots on the other side.
The Doylies broke through to get the lead when in a chaotic scene, Harrison nabbed the ball in the box with just under a quarter of an hour left to play. The visitors couldn’t hold however as two headers found the back of the net and left Williamsburgh with its first loss of the year.
Week 3 has WIFC hosting FC Japan in Brooklyn while ROFC will play NY Ukrainians, with both games taking place this Sunday.
Pictured: Two Real Olé FC players celebrate after a play against Williamsburg International (Credit: Real Olé FC)
Manhattan Kickers v. FC Ulqini (3-0)
No goal scorer information provided by either team
The Manhattan Kickers scored three unanswered goals on Sunday night and picked up its first three points of the year over FC Ulqini.
The Kickers defense rebounded after last week’s tussle with Richmond County FC where the back-line had issues holding off attackers and keeping pressure on the offense. Meanwhile Uliqini’s first loss of the season comes after the team held off a newly relegated Hoboken FC 1912 for a surprise point in Week 1.
Both teams will be home this Sunday for Week 3. Ulqini will take on Kelmendi FC NY while Manhattan will be playing host in the late game to new D2 side DeSportiva Sociedad NY.
Afghan FC NY v. Richmond County FC (3-4)
No goal scorer information provided by Afghan FC NY
Richmond County FC has made the most of its Division 2 start as the side beat Afghan FC NY, 4-3, to take home it’s second consecutive win. The team went into the closing stages with a multi-goal lead but held on as Afghan FC attempted a comeback.
“Afghan FC were a strong opponent who made retaining possession very difficult for us,” Richmond team manager Halid Brkanovic said after the game. “In order for us to be where we want to be at the end of the season, we must learn to finish off games and not allow our opposition to score late goals and regain confidence.”
Game MVP Marcin Fijalkiewicz was taken down twice in the box, allowing Peter Zima to convert both penalty attempts, and scored a goal of his own in the second half. Danny Tsygankov scored his team’s final goal in the 65th minute, assisted by Jonas Kadriu, and helped hold off the comeback.
Richmond won’t be able to attempt a third league win in-a-row until next Sunday, Sept. 29, when it hosts Williamsburg International FC at Corporal Thompson Park on Staten Island. For Afghan FC, it will travel to Flushing for this Sunday’s early game when it takes on NYPD FC.