A lighter week in Division 1 did not stop Division 2 from being packed with action. A Sunday filled with awful, rainy weather brought with it some shocking results as points flew accross the board. No team is truely safe right now as a few of the bottom table teams picked up three points while some of the top tiers were challenged to the brink.
Here's the full recap:
Saturday, October 19
FC Japan v. Richmond County FC (1-5)
Despite an early one goal deficit, Richmond County FC responded with five unanswered goals through 80 minutes to defeat FC Japan. The team remains perfect through five games through four games (due to a bye week and Week 5’s game vs Stal being called-off - which the team is appealing).
Ken Mochizuki got FC Japan on the board early but as the game progressed the team’s defense was constantly tested leaving little chance for the offense to apply pressure. The County kids dominated the game from that point with great team-play allowing each goal to be scored by a different player. Marcin Fijalkiewicz, John Gurel, Luis Kaba, Philip Szumanski and Peter Zima all reached the back of the net in the win.
Gurel had an MVP performance during the 90 minutes, assisting on two more goals in addition to his own. Mohamed Gabr, Kaba, and Szumanski all picked up single assists as well.
Sunday, October 20
Manhattan Kickers v. NYPD FC (2-0)
After Week 5’s holiday weekend loss, the Manhattan Kickers got back on track with a hard fought win against NYPD FC on Sunday morning. With the win, the Kickers move into third place in the overall D2 standings.
Assistant coach and player Brian Morris scored the game winner in the 65th minute when he drove past the NYPD defense through the middle of the field and onto the left side. Just outside of the box, he found space and slammed a left footed shot into the opposite corner.
Earlier on, both sides battled back and forth for the ball. Both keepers kept a clean sheet heading into the second half. After the goal, NYPD focused more on pushing the ball up but left itself open for counterattacks on several occasions. Kicker Senan Lonergan nearly scored the game sealer in the 74th minute when his point blank shot was impressive saved.
However, the final goal of the game would come from New York’s Finest FC in the 80th minute when Manhattan’s Gonzalo Trovato-Rodriguez sent a corner kick into the box which was accidentally punched in by the goalkeeper.
Beyond FC v. NY Ukrainians (2-2)
No goal scorer information provided by NY Ukrainians
Beyond FC and NY Ukrainians played to a 2-2 draw early on Sunday. Before the weather got too bad at Laurel Hill Park the two teams both reached the back of the net twice and came away with a single point each.
Beyond’s James Cousins picked up his third goal of the season while Patrick Doherty earned his first of the year while Sherief El-Helaifi assisted on one of the goals. Beyond and the Ukrainians are currently separated by one point and sit in sixth and seventh place respectively on the table.
Stal Mielec NY v. Real Olé FC (5-1)
No goal scorer information provided by Stal Mielec NY
A second loss in three games for Real Olé FC has left the team tied for third place in the table while Stal Mielec NY’s win gives the Polish side its first three points of the year.
Real’s sole score came from Nick VonEgypt, assisted by Edison Sanchez, as the team will look to bounce back quickly in Week 7. Stal’s slow start to the year, after finishing last season as one of the top teams in Division 2, goes to show just how much the level of competition has jumped in D2 this year. Different teams are rising to the top while former powers are struggling to secure points.
FC Ulqini v. Manhattan Celtic (1-4)
No goal scorer information provided by FC Ulqini
FC Ulqini became the latest on an ever growing list of teams defeated by Manhattan Celtic this season. Despite holding a lead early on, a rarity against the current D2 leaders, the team was unable to hold it as Marco Charnas scored twice in the four goal win.
Celtic head coach Matthew Kane explained afterwards that the win was bigger than any so far this season. The field, circumstances of going down early, and the oppoent all combined for a big challenge that his group was able to overcome.
“The lads felt sundays win was huge,” Kane said. “We faced real adversity going down 1-0 in the first 10 minutes to a horrible penalty call. The pitch was poor and tiny and the opposition was physical and big.”
Dan Korman equalized the score in the 30th minute and both teams battled to a draw heading into half. After the break, Ulqini only secured one shot on-goal in the final 45 as the visitors took over. Henry Smith fed Charnas for the game winner and his 9th goal of the season. Five minutes later, Marco scored another off a free kick to put his team up by two.
Winger Kwadwo “Kojo” Asante scored the final goal of the game late after taking full advantage of his speed against a struggling defender on the side. Smith secured another assist while Charnas also picked one up during the game as well.
“Boys battled unbelievably,” Kane went on to say afterwards. “We faced real adversity for the first time all season and we showed we can win the ugly games. The whole team deserves the credit.”
Afghan FC NY v. DeSportiva Sociedad NY (0-1)
A goal by Jaytornah Wisseh in the second half gave DeSportiva Sociedad NY its first win in Division 2 over Afghan FC NY on Sunday. After four straight loses the team picks up points for the first time after a hard game against a fellow D2 newcomer.
Wisseh’s chip shot goal over the Afghan keeper wasn’t his only chance in the final 45 as a point blank opportunity nearly landed the forward a second but the ball rolled just wide.
A very technical AFCNY side presented challenges for DSNY throughout the game. Despite early chances from both teams great goalkeeping kept the game scoreless. Sloppy weather didn’t faze Afghan’s ability to transition smoothly nor did it stop Sociedad’s Alec Keyler from making great saves. Two shots by DSNY hit multiple parts of the goal and tracked along the goalline but remained outside causing some frustration to build.
Matt Wagner, whose presence in the midfield all game, slammed one of the best chances of the match off the goalpost and into the keepers hands on a free kick opportunity late in the first half.
Williamsburg International FC v. Hoboken FC 1912 (1-4)
Two of the bigger clubs in Division 2 fought for upper table placement. In the end, Hoboken FC 1912 came away with three points while Williamsburg International FC remains at 6 pts in the middle of the scrum with many other teams.
For the 1912, Kevin Bzdek played a huge role during the match. In the first half the midfielder scored both of his teams early goals and helped set up the offense for more chances during the early stages. The rain on Randalls Island peppered the playing field as Williamsburg struggled to keep pace.
John Kaddo was able to pull the team within one early in the second half after an Ian Goodall corner kick fell to his feet at the far post. The Doylies picked up play from there but couldn’t stop the opposing Hoboken offense enough to earn any sort of points. The 1912’s Bobby Dye and Daniel Fernandez both scored from distance to close the match out with Hoboken picking up three more points on the year.
Central Park Rangers FC v. Polonia Gwardia NY (3-2)
No goal scorer information provided by Polonia Gwardia NY
The final game of Week 6 saw the biggest shock as Polonia Gwardia NY, a finalist last year in Division 2, fell to Central Park Rangers FC for the latter’s first win of the 2019-20 season.
The home sided Central Park, which has access to more players than in previous weeks, broke the Polonia defenses on three successful occasions and kept pressure for a few more attempts. Joseph Beecher, Oliver Clift, and Ioan Delice all scored for CPR while Clint Dunn picked up two assists and Caio Mancaneres got one.
In a season where Division 2 has experienced a shift in both format and team numbers, Polonia has struggled to keep pace. The team has only won once in its first six games and has now lost twice. The team that declined promotion in 2018 after winning the second division has lost its stellar defense and with only an okay offense, the results are showing.
For the Rangers the win is the best result after a difficult start to the new year. Against such a well known group, the team will have ample reason to be excited heading into Week 7.