Hondrakis’ late winner pushes CPR past Doxa 3-2

By Ralph 'Onz' Chery

Central Park Rangers players celebrating James Greco's 68th minute go-ahead goal. Picture by Andrew Faherty/ Central Park Rangers Whites

 

Dec. 5th, 2017

 

Central Park Rangers substitute Stephanos Hondrakis scored an 89th minute game-winning goal against his former team Doxa SC to grant CPR a 3-2 win over the Greek club on Sunday afternoon at McCarren Park.

Doxa was the first team on board as Patrick Alvarez controlled a crossfield ball before whipping a left footed shot in the net from a tight angle in the sixth minute.

 

Doxa SC captain Patrick Alvarez. Picture by Dinos Avlonitis

 

Central Park wouldn’t find an equalizer until the 62nd minute when they were rewarded a spot kick for a hand ball on a Doxa defender in the box.

James Greco converted the penalty, smashing the ball to the right corner of the net.

The Rangers scored a go ahead goal six minutes later as Greco curled a stunning free kick to the top left corner of the net.

 

Central Park Rangers midfielder James Greco bagged a brace in his team's 3-2 win over Doxa. Picture by Andrew Faherty/ Central Park Rangers

 

The Greek side brought itself back on level term in the 83rd minute. CPR conceded a penalty for a foul in the box. Micheal Corbi netted from 12 yards for Doxa, picking the left corner.

Hondrakis scored the winner for CPR one minute before regulation. The forward brought Alex Presciutti’s long ball down before steering a low shot to the right corner of the net.

 

Three key notes

1. It’s about how you finish: Central Park Rangers had the lead for 16 minutes while Doxa was on top for 56 minutes.

2. Stuck on two: Doxa scored two goals in their last three league-matches. Before their match-up with the Rangers, the Greek side tied with Zum Schneider 2-2 and lost to NY Pancyprian Freedoms 7-2.

3. It was a bottom of the table clash: CPR moves four points above the dropzone while Doxa remains in last place with two points.

 

Players' corner: Stephanos Hondrakis (89th minute game-winning goal)

 

Central Park Rangers Whites forward Stephanos Hondrakis. Picture by Andrew Faherty/ Central Park Rangers Whites

 

Central Park Rangers and Doxa exchanged the lead twice and were tied twice as well. CPR forward Stephanos Hondrakis explained what it was like to be in this up and down battle.

“It was like an emotional rollercoaster,” Hondrakis said. “You think you’re going to get those three points and then next thing you know you’re back to a tie and then back again to the win.”

Central Park outlasted Doxa 3-2 in the thriller, thanks to Hondrakis’ late winner—against his former club. This win gives CPR some breathing room from the dropzone, which Hondrakis is very pleased of.

“It’s a very sweet feeling,” the 24-year-old said.

He later added: “We’re four points clear from relegation so we should be picking up more points and stay in the league for the next season.”

The former City College of New York striker was confident he would find the net when his head coach Eli Vovsha subbed him in the game.

“That was my job [to score] so yeah I was expecting it.”

Hondrakis also complimented his teammate James Greco. Greco scored a brace.

“He’s an excellent addition to the team,” he said. “He scored, I think, three goals so far. He’s obviously very talented so hopefully he’ll be doing more and we expect more from him ‘cause clearly he has a gift and the talent for it.”

 

Statistics

Central Park Rangers Whites

Shots (on target): 17 (9)

Saves: 3 

Fouls: 15

Yellow cards: 0

Red cards: 0

Corners: 6

Offsides: 1

 

Doxa SC

Shots (on target): 14 (4)

Saves: 8 

Fouls: 15

Yellow cards: 2

Red cards: 0

Corners: 4

Offsides: 2

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