By Jay Mwamba
New York Greek Americans’ second reign as Manning Cup holders lasted only one match last Sunday. On bye to the quarterfinals, the U.S. amateur champions bowed out 11-10 in a dramatic sudden death penalty shoot-out with Hellenic rivals Pancyprian Freedoms at St. John’s University.
Goalie Rafael Diaz was the Pancyprian hero in the titanic battle that had finished 1-1 in regulation time. He not only converted one penalty, but also pulled off two saves in the shoot-out including the decisive stop that sent the Greeks packing.
With the win, eight-time Manning Cup holders Pancyprian advanced to the semi-finals of the Statewide competition scheduled for December 7.
“We paid the price for missing too many chances, including twice in the penalty shoot-out, one completely inexplicably!” fumed Greek coach Stavros Zomopoulos.
His men had fallen behind to a fifth minute Yannick Reyering goal and would not draw level until five minutes from time when Kene Eze struck.
“Their keeper made some key saves, but we also were unlucky,” added Stavros. “We build up the pressure and finally equalized.”
In his estimation, the Greeks should have prevailed in regulation. He cited a Keith Detelj shot that went narrowly wide and Peter Touros’ effort cleared off the line.
While the superb Diaz and misses by the normally lethal Chris Megaloudis and skipper Shaun Foster would conspire to hinder the holders, Pancyprian would put on a clinic in the shoot-out.
Jeff Matteo, John Koutsounadis, Andreas Chronis, Michael Palacio, Julio Cesar Dos Santos, Billy Antoniou, Taso Polydefkis, Panayiotis Onisiforou, Katsanos, Diaz; Matteo and Koutsounadis, again, would score in that order.
Pancyprian await the United FC vs. New York/AC Glen Cove winner in the last four.
Greek Americans defeated Manhattan Celtic 4-0 in last season’s final to lift the Manning Cup for just the second time in their 68-year history. The first was in 2009.
Fans of Pancyprian and Greek Americans won’t have long to wait for a rematch. The two clubs clash again next Tuesday night [Nov. 25] at St. John’s in the U.S. Open.
Pancyprian set that up by dispatching Real Westchester of the EDSL 3-1 at St. John’s, four days before their Manning Cup duel with the Greeks. Reyering, Julio and Polydefkis tallied in that one.
In the other bracket in the Manning Cup, CSL league champs Lansdowne stormed into the semis after a 5-0 blitz of New York Rovers at Tibbetts Brook Park.
Ander Steele [two], Kendon Anderson, the prolific Daryl Kavanagh and Sikele Sylvester fired the 2013 losing finalists into the last four.
Standing between Lansdowne and a second trip to the final in three years for the Yonkers Irish are the Clarkstown Eagles-Central Park Rangers [CPR] winners.
Clarkstown also hit five past the HASL’s Serbia without conceding a goal to book a quarterfinal date with CPR.
Bledi Bardic [two], Drilon Berisha, Edmir Arucevic and Mike Defonte connected for Eagles on Randalls Island.
CPR, meanwhile, went past Stal Mielec 1-0 in the Round of 16 on an own goal off a Kwesi Mills cross.
CSL Second Division joint leaders New York Ukrainians advanced to the quarterfinals after a
2-1 decision over the LISFL’s New York Olympiakos at Bushwick Inlet.
Alagie “Alas” Janneh tapped in the winner from an Adam Maliniak cross [82nd], after Olympiakos [56th] had canceled out David Alkasimi’s toe poke of an opener [55th].
Shamrocks, Ukrainians’ co-leaders in then CSL second tier, bowed out of the Flamhaft Cup 2-1 away to 10-man South Stars of the EDSL.
Midfielder Sean Doran opened the scoring from an early free kick [10th] when his low drive went through the legs of the Stars goalkeeper.
But the hosts hit back twice before the interval and held on for the win even after they had a man ejected in the 65th minute.
In a rematch of their drawn league game seven days earlier, NYPD FC and Doxa SC again tied 1-1 after 90 minutes in the cup, but penalties would favor the latter this time.
”The entire first half was nonstop back and forth with opportunities for both teams,” reported Doxa’s Frank Bouklis.
Kyle Hurst drew first blood for the Cops on the hour. That lead would hold until four minutes from time when Kurt Cameron fired in a rebound, forcing penalties from which Doxa emerged triumphant 4-3.
Chris Norelli – off an Alberto Sanchis assist — Dylan Golden, Mike DeChristopher and Tomer Abikzer scripted the CPR reserves’ 4-0 win over New York Croatia ‘B’ at McCarren Park.
BHOYS CRUISE II
At Evander Childs High School, Lansdowne Bhoys’ second unit came from behind to thrash Sporting Astoria ‘B’ 4-1 and reach the quarterfinals of the D’Arpino Cup.
Timmy O’Driscoll [two], Stephen Devlin and Brendan Hansbury tallied.
Doxa’s reserves were 4-2 penalty winners as well in the D’Arpino after outshooting the LISFL’s Forest Park following a 2-2 draw.
Doxa trailed twice but Akay Nuredini and Emir Delijanin – the latter from the penalty spot after he’d been fouled – brought them back in the game on both occasions.
A Greek derby now awaits Doxa in the next round, against Pancyprian’s seconds.
Bogdan Matsushenko [two] and Grigol Andriadze [two] crafted United FC’s 4-0 drubbing of CD Iberia’s reserves on Randalls Island.
Manhattan Celtic reserves’ evicted Hampton United 3-1 at Brooklyn Bridge Park on goals by
Francis Ellis, Barrie Taylor and Hans Julia.
Former holders Hoboken FC qualified to the quarterfinals of the New Jersey State Cup with a
1-0 win over Jersey Shore Boca in Bayville.
“The match was a defensive struggle and was 0-0 until the 117th minute when Hoboken FC scored as a result of a Jersey Shore Boca own goal,” reported Gm Bill Marth. “This is the fifth time in the last six years that Hoboken advanced to the quarterfinals.”
Invincible in the CSL where they are 7-0-2 atop the Metro Div. One [East] log, CPR Reds suffered their first defeat of the season in all competitions – albeit on penalties. They succumbed 3-0 to West leaders FC Gwardia after a 1-1 draw at Bushwick Inlet.
Reds’ Eric Pierot and Marcin Trzaska of Gwardia exchanged goals in regulation time.
But it was all Gwardia in the ensuing shoot-out with Wojciech Targonski, Mateusz Chlost
and Marcin Januszko connecting from the spot for the Poles.
“The Gwardia goalkeeper really won the game for those guys with several big saves in regulation and shutting out the Reds in penalties,” was Blake Berg’s take.
Mohammad Basir Mashriqi got the only goal of the match in Brishna’s victory over Mr. Dennehy’s.
NYC Vllaznia came away from upstate Sloatsburg Community Field savoring a 10-9 sudden death penalty win over Missile FC.
Regulation time had finished 3-3 with Salvatore Finazzio [two] and Mohamed the Vllaznia scorers. Jo Valentin [two] and Jackson Eugene replied for Missile
Wilson Tilme had Grenadier Zenith’s face-saver in a 4-1 drubbing by Gotham Argo.
“The team put up a valiant effort but the elements were against us,” said Jacky Felix. “Gotham were very disciplined. They were not the same team we beat last year. Good luck to them.”
Short-handed Brooklyn had a consolation goal from Dash Martin in an 8-1 defeat by Metro Div. Two leaders FC Spring Valley Huerto United.
“We only had nine players,” said player-coach Chris Vega.
Elsewhere in the Strumpf Cup, FC Bravehearts’ Jaime Rodriguez and Diego Soto were on target in a 4-2 loss to Los Galacitos.
Manhattan Kickers Premier edged CPR Old Boys 3-2 on Randalls Island, courtesy of
Stu Kaiser, Antonio Ruiz-Giminez and Richie Webb.
Greek Americans were another team to experience the agony of defeat from penalties.
Diego Velasquez and Tommy Bouklis scored in a 2-2 draw with Integral, but the Long Islanders prevailed in the shoot-out.
Eintracht, meanwhile, had a goal from Dan Ceabuca in a 2-1 loss to Port Jefferson .
EMRE HAT TRICK
Emre Tetik’s trey [21st, 32nd, 70th] handed Ridgewood a hard earned victory over New York Dynamo in a rescheduled Metro Div. One at Kaiser Park. Dorin Dican [40th] was the other scorer.
“A three-goal advantage at half time was the product of a solid performance,” said assistant coach Ovi Ordean. “BUT considering our inability to play consistently well throughout the match, that was not great news.”
Indeed, Ridgewood conceded twice after the break and as fears rose of another collapse akin to the meltdown against FC Gwardia two weeks ago, Tetik completed his hat trick to calm nerves.
“Overall, this was a good effort by our guys,” summed up Ordean.