From Jay Mwamba
Dec. 6, 2017
It was déjà vu all over again for Lansdowne Bhoys on Tuesday night as they lost 7-6 again on penalties to New York Greek Americans in the State final of the USASA’s Werner Fricker Cup at Tibbetts Brook Park.
Like in their U.S. National Amateur Cup scrap at the same ground last October, the two CSL juggernauts battled to a goalless tie after 90 minutes.
And like in that competition when they ended Lansdowne’s defense of the U.S. crown at the first hurdle, the Greeks once more proved past masters from 12 yards in the ensuing shoot-out.
Nino Alphonso, Harri Hawkins, Adam Marcu, Jimmy Nealis, Stephen Roche, Tyler Botte and John Sabal connected in that order to add another State title to the U.S. Amateur Cup ENY accolade they picked up two weeks ago.
“For the second time this season it was the Greeks who came out on top,” lamented Lansdowne chief William McGrory, his side now effectively stripped of the two national crowns it picked up in a trophy-littered 2016-2017 campaign.
“Great display by both teams showing why the CSL is the best in the land. Congrats and good luck to Greek Americans as they move forward in the competition,” McGrory offered.
Three days earlier, Lansdowne had trounced PDB Irish Rovers 5-1 at Tibbetts Brook Park to advance to the semi-finals in their defense of the Manning Cup.
The rare derby between two Irish clubs from different New York amateur leagues completed an all-CSL line-up in the last four of the State competition.
Momadou Guirassy [34th, 63rd], Tom Wharf [50th], Joe Lopez and Jean Voltaire connected for the Bhoys.
“In the end Lansdowne were deserved winners but there was nothing easy about it against a talented Rovers team,” said McGrory.
Lansdowne meet Central Park Rangers Whites in the semis next spring. CPR edged Manhattan Kickers 2-1 last month to the reach the last four.
Brace for a third Pancyprian vs. NYGA clash in two months when the two Hellenic titans meet in the other Manning Cup semi-finals.
NYGA, with two trophy victories to their name, assured this when Danny Elliott’s brace knocked out last season’s losing finalists, Shamrocks, 2-0 at the Metropolitan Oval.
Seven-time cup winners Pancyprian had earlier crushed the LISFL’s Real NYFC 7-1 in their quarterfinal tie.
Douglas Narvaez and Ugur Kahveci struck for NYPD FC in a 2-1 squeaker over Polonia Gwardia at McCarren Park that put the Cops in the Flamhaft Cup quarterfinals against CPR Reds’ first XI.
On Randalls Island, Brishna joined NYPD in the last eight with a 4-1 romp over the EDSL’s Black Eagles.
Amidullah Popal [two], Mohammad Yusuf Mashriqi and Mohammad Basir Mashriqi scored to secure a date with Alianza [EDSL].
Manhattan Celtic was the fifth CSL club to pull through to the quarters. Gaston Becherano, Marco Charnas, Jamie Reilly and Raul Zuniga swept the Celts past Port Jefferson 4-2 on the road.
Mo Jalloh’s late strike for Sporting Astoria was the difference in the CSL side’s 1-0 victory over Olympiacos NY in a delayed Round of 32 tussle on Long Island.
He volleyed in a bad clearance by their LISFL rivals but saw his celebration cut short when he was ejected moments later.
“It was a tough match,” said Astoria manager Ed Romero. “It was clear why Olympiacos is one of the top teams in the LISFL (Div. 2). Their keeper was superb. But the law of probability never fails. He was blocking everything which meant that we needed to increase our chances. It came with minutes left.”
There’s no reprieve though, for Astoria who qualified for the Round of 16.
“This only gets tougher with Williamsburg International,” noted Romero. “Another top (Div. 2) team in the South group. The winner of that plays Manhattan Celtics. Hoping our luck stretches a little further.”
Winless and at the bottom of the table in the CSL, Pancyprian ‘B’ stunned Lansdowne’s second unit 2-1 at Tibbetts Brook to end the Irishmen’s three-year reign as D’Arpino Cup holders.
The quarterfinal defeat was the Bhoys’ first in all competitions this season. They are 9-0  in the league.
Costa Meletie had the Greek-Cypriots ahead after 45 minutes.
It was one-way traffic on resumption, with Lansdowne creating myriad chances but unable to finish. They’d come to rue that 10 minutes from time when Dimitri Nikitopoulo made it 2-0 for Pancyprian.
“The Bhoys continued to attack and got a goal back on 85 minutes by Cesar Ceja,” reported McGrory. “And even in the final five minutes they had three corners and multiple chances but in typical cup fashion the underdog defended bravely and hung on for the win.”
Said Panayiotis Onisiforou, Pancyprian’s technical director: “I am absolutely ecstatic about the result and the work the boys put in. Take nothing away from Lansdowne, they kept coming and coming.
“They are the best team in the reserve league -- the stats don't lie. They kept us on our toes the whole game.”
Reflecting on his side’s lowly standing in the league, Onisiforou conceded “It has been a difficult season thus far in the league, but before the game the boys were upbeat and believed that they could get something out of this fixture -- and they were up for it from the first second.”
Pancyprian’s reward for the major upset is a semi-final encounter with 2009 D’Arpino Cup victors New York Athletic Club reserves.
Bill Saporito’s 10-man NYAC returned to the semis with a 3-1 decision over NYPD ‘B’ on Travers Island.
“We absolutely dominated the ball but I guess you could say the Cops know how to defend a perimeter,” remarked Saporito.
Pete Lynch headed in a corner early in the second half. “Then in five crazy minutes they got a PK and we had a guy sent off -- harsh,” added Saporito.
Chris Bowie converted the NYPD penalty.
“But Lynch connected off another corner and Gabe Bagot scored a brilliant individual goal that put the game beyond their reach,” summed up Saporito.
Also through to the last four are NYGA ‘B’ who eased past the CPR Reds reserves 5-1 on Randalls Island.
Mani Walcott, Meshack Addy, Alexandre Hryniuk, Brian Bartichek and Sebastian Ramirez were on target for the Greeks, D’Arpino champions three years running between 2006 and 2008. Their last Cup triumph was in 2014.
Trip Burke scored the Reds’ face-saver.
Still pending is the Manhattan Kickers-Manhattan Celtic quarterfinal outcome. They were tied 1-1 in the 56th minute when darkness descended on Randalls Island Field 90.
Cesar Valcarcel was the Celtic scorer.
Lansdowne’s Metro side advanced to the quarterfinals with a 5-0 blowout of the LISFL’s Pro Touch USA.
Niels Kirch torched Pro Touch with four goals. Adam Fleming accounted for the other as the Bhoys set up an encounter with NY Galicia.
“The football was exceptional and the finishing clinical. The pick of the goals, however, was the second when Seamus McDaid curled in a 20 yard lofted pass for the assist,” said coach Gene O’Driscoll.
Lansdowne’s Irish compatriots Shamrocks 1960 bowed out 1-0 to Metro One rivals BW Gottschee, whose Greg Davis struck in the first half at St. Michael’s Playground.
“A typical hard fought cup match,” observed Gottschee head coach John Ryding. “In cup football, winning is all that matters. It wasn't a pretty game and the lads have certainly played better games this season but it was good enough to advance us to the quarter finals.”
Man of the Match honors went to Glenn Whelan, “who gave everything in closing down the forward line of the Shamrocks, splitting his time between center back and holding midfielder,” noted Ryding.
Gottschee extended its winning streak to five games in all competitions.
FATHER & SON
Young forward Yosef Shamovsky and his goalkeeper dad Ilya starred in a
2-1 result over NYFC Iliria at Pier that earned Gotham Argo a shot at Gottschee in the last eight.
Shamovsky junior and Federico Testi both struck in the first half, off assists by Nick "Bash" Bashour and Clifton Wellcome, in the proverbial game of two halves.
“Iliria dominated the second half -- they scored in the [48th] minute -- and we were lucky to hang on with some brilliant saves from our goalkeeper Ilya Shamovsky,” said Gotham manager Dana P. Dimon.
Shpendi Agaj was the Iliria marksman.
Elsewhere in the Strumpf Cup, Enrico Boccadifuoco got both goals in AO Brooklyn’s 5-2 quarterfinal loss to the LISFL’s Guyana Jaguars Juniors at Abraham Lincoln HS.
“We came back from three nothing to cut it to 3-2,” said a Brooklyn official. “We nearly tied it with a header that they cleared off the line. Then three injuries forced us to play with 10 for the final 39 minutes and we gave up two goals in the final five minutes.”
The only CSL side to lift the Marth Cup is now the only CSL outfit left in this season’s competition.
Paddy McCarry’s Shamrocks evicted Greek Americans 5-3 at St. Michael’s Playground to book a quarterfinal tie with Port Jefferson.
The 2016 cup winners went ahead early [5th] on Sean Riley’s finish from a Bingo O’Driscoll assist. Riley connected again [30th], thanks to Johnny McGeeney before NYGA’s Sandro Aquista’s cut the deficit.
McGeeney’ quick free kick restored the two-goal cushion, only for an Enzo penalty to cut the lead again [65th].
Davey Harvey then made it 4-2 with 15 mins to go upon which the Greeks went straight up the field and were awarded another PK that goalie Robbie O’Neil saved.
An own goal [82nd] put the Greeks within touch of the Rocks but that’s as far as they’d get, although it wasn’t for lack of trying.
“[They] pushed us very hard and put us under a lot of pressure for the rest of the game. Then we caught them on the counter with three minutes left,” said coach Paddy McCarry.
Riley set up Aidan Morton who lobbed the goalkeeper.
“I am extremely proud of all my boys. They played a great game against a very strong Greek side,” said McCarry. “We are making a very big effort this year to try and get that state cup trophy back
CPR Grays, the third CSL side in the Round of 16, slipped 2-1 to Port Jefferson, with Marko Guzijan netting for CPR.
A 3-2 comeback victory over Doxa FC lifted CPR Whites four points clear of the drop zone in the top flight in their penultimate fixture of the fall.
Dead ball specialist James Greco -- with a 62nd minute penalty and a superb free kick six minutes later -- struck twice to spark a CPR fightback after Patrick Alvarez [6th] had put Doxa ahead.
The tussle then came to a dramatic climax when first Doxa’s Michael Corbi converted a penalty [83rd] to tie the match, and former Doxa player Stephanos Hondrakis notched a late winner [89th].
"It was a very open game with many chances for both sides, a tie would have been fair, but our subs just gave us that extra boost we needed in the second half," said CPR boss Eli Vovsha
His reserves’ had earlier attempted at similar comeback in the opener, but went down 4-2.
“Ryan Geswell from Justin Dotzman's cross, and Donje Green with a PK scripted a comeback in the second half that fell short, after an embarrassing performance from us in the first half,” reported Vovsha.
Cory Chaplin reeled in four goals at Laurel Hill Park on a day when Hoboken FC’s two teams scored a combined 20 goals against FC Japan.
Chaplin’s outburst came in the firsts’ 9-0 goal-fest. He opened the scoring in the eighth minute and then connected three times in an 18-minute span [50th, 65th, 68th].
Zach Kraft [31st], Jeremy Witherspoon [43rd], Mark Roussey [44th] and Tom Hogue [85th, 87th] also tallied.
The rout lifted unbeaten Hoboken [7-0-1, 22] five points clear in Div. II South.
Their reserves went two better in the curtain raiser, drubbing Japan ‘B’ 11-1.
Gleb Mironenko [21st, 24th, 83rd] and Sam Omosuyi [9th, 59th, 69th] led all scorers with a hat trick apiece.
Adam Kovonuk [36th], Joe Kelly [41st], Andrew Stauble [51st], and Andres Vargas accounted for the other goals, with the latter opening his Hoboken account with a brace [74th, 76th]. Japan also conceded an own goal [65th].
Hoboken’s veterans also came good at the weekend, edging Megas Alexandros 2-1 in an Over-30 game at Van Buren HS. Tim McSherry and Kyle Feigley scored.
And Celtic Masters also produced an 11-1 explosion against SC Banatul Over-38 action in a late game at Pier 40.
Jamie Hamilton, Bachir Zeroual [two], Emin Avsar [two], Victor Popovsky [two], Kevin Booth [two] and Pedro Borges [two] had the goals.