By Jay Mwamba
Ageless veteran Julio Cesar Dos Santos, 40, wound back the clock with a superb hat trick in Pancyprian Freedoms’ 6-1 drubbing of Manhattan Celtic on Randalls Island.
The Brazilian goal poacher was joined on the score sheet by Phil Bannister, Yannick Reyering and Taso Polydefkis as the undefeated Greek-Cypriots improved to 7-0-2  atop the CSL First Division West standings.
Joe Cooper got Celtic’s consolation.
“Despite our shorthanded squad we played well and efficiently,” said manager George Halkidis. “Celtic, despite their energetic play, were simply outmatched.”
Celtic’s young coach Matt Kane concurred. “We were outclassed,” the 23 year-old admitted. “It made the team recognize that despite our good run of form we still have a long way to go to mix with the top teams.”
Pancyprian’s reserves won 1-0 on Kosta Meleties’ strike.
With the mid-season break looming, second place New York Greek Americans scored a vital 1-0 win over stubborn Central Park Rangers at the Metropolitan Oval to stay within distance of Pancyprian.
Kene Eze came off the bench to break CPR hearts [78th].
“CPR fought tooth and nail and were very well organized, defended the small field with numbers and proved very hard to break down,” said Greek coach Stavros Zomopoulos. “Our depth, and the fact that we have options on the bench to change the course of a match, won it for us.”
The Greeks [6-1-1, 19] trail Pancyprian by four points with a game in hand.
Stavros’ second unit prevailed 4-2 in their top-of-the-table clash with the CPR reserves to take a one point lead [4-1-3, 15].
Jimmy Shalom, Pete Touros, Adam Marcu and Mario Gagliano connected for the hosts, with Tyler Webster and Andi Loloci replying for Rangers.
“It was the usual mix of veteran leadership and our strong youthful additions that brought the quality and energy to win it,” Stavros summed up.
In the East, defending champs Lansdowne Bhoys crushed New York Croatia 7-2 at Tibbetts Brook Park to climb into second place.
Skipper Stephen Roche, Kendon Anderson and Karamba Janneh each netted twice, while the influential Daryl Kavannagh added a goal.
The result upped the Bhoys’ record to 5-2-1  three points behind leaders NYAC in what is shaping into a two-horse race for the division title.
Lansdowne’s reserves were equally rampant, thrashing the Croatia reserves 11-0.
Timmy O’Driscoll [three], Rory O’Neill [two], Ciaran Murphy [two], Declan Reilly, Richie Hartnett, Brendan Hannity and first team coach Austin Friel tallied.
East leaders NYAC blanked NYC Rovers 3-0, thanks to Jake Mann and Michael Valencia [two]
Junior Spinks marked his return from a knee injury with both goals for the NYAC reserves in a 2-0 victory.
“It was a huge win, allowing us to reel Rovers back in a bit after their torrid start,” said coach Bill Saporito.
For the second time this fall, United FC won back-to-back games in a 72-hour period to confirm their return to form.
First, Patrick Termens [two], Mohammed Mashriqi [two] and Frank Alesci were on target in a 5-4 squeaker over Clarkstown Eagles 5-4 at the Aviator Sports Complex, a week ago Thursday. Then three days later at the same ground, Paul Nitolli [52nd] got the only goal of a tough match with Hoboken FC.
Said United’s Alex Zaretser: “Hoboken played very well in the back [and] their goalie played an excellent game. But hard work prevailed.”
“The game was fairly even,” echoed Hoboken GM Bill Marth. The reserves tied 0-0.
Bljerdi Bardic scored his 11th and 12th goals of the season for visiting Clarkstown Eagles in a 4-1 trouncing of Stal Mielec at McCarren Park.
Edmir Arucevic got the other two, while Grzegorz Kruk was the Stal scorer.
“Former Clarkstown forward Dritan Sela had a great game for the well-organized Stahl Mielec,” observed winning manager Oliver Papraniku.
His reserves lost 3-2 to goals by Lukasz Olszowka, Krzysztof Daniszewski and Piotr Dublicki.
Division Two joint leaders New York Ukrainians and Shamrock remain neck-to-neck on the standings after both posted emphatic wins. Ukrainians blasted NYPD FC 5-0 while the Rocks blew out Sporting Astoria 6-0.
David Alkasimi [two], Adam Maliniak, Alagie “Alas” Janneh and Alper Yilmaz were on target for Ukrainians at McCarren Park. This after NYPD’s reserves had won 1-0.
Later, under floodlights on Randalls Island, Mohamed Fofana banged in four of Shamrock’s six goals against Astoria to put the Irishmen level on points  with Ukrainains.
Nikle Guzijan and Santiago Rigby were the other Shamrock scorers.
Astoria’s rocky outing came four days after they dropped a 3-2 decision to NYPD in midweek at Evander Childs High School.
Hot reserve scorer Johan Quinde got both Astoria goals.
“…New division, new experience, new beginning,” quipped Astoria boss Ed Romero whose side is now rebuilding.
Jesse Rose notched New Amsterdam United’s face-saver in a 7-1 drubbing by New York Supreme at Laurel Hill Park in New Jersey.
Bobby Akumah, Stephen Oduro [two] Amanfo Assibu, Joe Attakora, Prince Yeboah and Victor Navarro led the goalfest.
Also in Division Two, Manhattan Kickers and Doxa FC tied 0-0 at Van Buren High School, while ailing champions CD Iberia triumphed only for the second time, 2-1 at the expense of Polonia.
Lorenz Seebacher and Ben Annis secured the Kicker reserves a 2-1 result, and the Iberia-
Polonia curtain raiser finished 3-3.
Unbeaten Metro Div. One [East] pace-setters CPR Reds dropped a rare point in a 1-1 tie with New York Ittihad on Randalls Island.
Ittihad needed a penalty off a deflection to cancel out Declan Heffernan’s 55th minute goal and deny the Reds full points.
“A well earned stalemate for both sides,” remarked the Reds’ Blake Berg, whose [7-0-2, 23] lads lead Lansdowne Bhoys metro by seven points.
Lansdowne, with two games in hand to the Reds, hammered Gotham City 4-1 at Tibbetts Park to complete a hat trick of victories by Lansdowne teams at the weekend.
Johnny McGeeney [two], Keith Power and Dessie Beattie connected.
Karimullah Mashriqi and Mohammad Basir Mashriqi led Brishna to a 2-1 win over West frontrunners FC Gwardia at Flushing Meadow.
Mateusz Chlost had Gwardia’s lone response.
At the Greenbelt Recreation Center, Missile FC and Mr. Dennehy’s tied 2-2 tie.
Missiles’ Alexis Lens and Jackson Eugene exchanged goals with Dennehy’s Terrence Ahoua and Shawn Dos Santos.
Elsewhere in Metro One, Albert Ruci scored for NYC Vllaznia in a 4-1 loss to Gotham Argo.
Gotham’s scorers were Ikechi Nwanko, Sam Atwood – from Ryan MacLennan’s assist — Felipe Luz and Mike Lim, who was fed by Huan Hguyen.
Elton Lalaj was the CSL’s top scorer last weekend after bagging half of lowly FC Partizani’s haul in a 10-0 annihilation of Metro City Fury. The rout ended the Metro Div. Two side’s winless run this fall.
Iglir Arapi got four goals and Eni Zejnati one.
“This was the second biggest win in our 10-year history; 11-0 was the biggest in 2007,” noted Zejnati, recalling their destruction of NYC Infinity All Stars seven years ago.
Mola SC knocked off SC Eintracht 2-0 on goals by Kanijah Lucien and Gianluca Palanca to claim second spot.
Mola [6-1-1, 19] trail flawless Spring Valley Huerto United [8-0, 24] by five points after the latter blanked New York Galicia 3-0.
NYC Metro Stars dropped to third place after a 3-2 stunner against New York Bravehearts on Randalls Island.
Jonathan Jacob, Nnamdi Iwu and Guillermo Arbaleaz saw off the Stars, who played with ten men for the first 20 minutes.
Elmar Batres and Irishman Wayne Doyle, who blasted in a 30-yard free kick, replied for Stars.
“A good performance given the fact we had no subs and were down ten men for a good portion of the first half,” said Doyle.
HAT TRICK TILME
Wilson Tilme [three] led Grenadier Zenith’s 5-1 rout of AO Brooklyn at Bushwick Inlet.
Williams Dorelien and Stevens Pierre Gilles also netted, while Nick Cirrincione had the AO consolation.
“Both teams played without their starting keepers and Roland Andre stood tall for us in goals, making several spectacular saves to assure us the win,” said Jacky Felix.
“Good team, Grenadier,” Brooklyn’s Chris Vega commended the winners.
In another dramatic collapse in the CSL, Williamsburg International blew a 3-0 lead in the last ten minutes to tie NYC Illiria 3-3 on Randalls Island.
Williamsburg were cruising until the 80th minute, thanks to an own goal and strikes by Logan Roos, and Andreas Moudatsos, when the unthinkable happened.
“We lost the middle of the field and capitulated, giving up three goals in the final 10 minutes,” lamented Charles von Rosenberg.
Shpendi Agaj and hitman Ergi Janku [two] shot Illiria back into game to salvage an unlikely point for the hosts. For Janku his second goal brought his fall tally to ten.
A depleted Shamrock Over-30 side suffered its first loss in the CSL, crashing 5-0 to champions Manhattan Kickers Premier at East River Park.
Ari Dolegowski [25th], Mark Supple [30th] Stuart Kaiser [60th, 75th] and Nick Bill [85th] tallied for the hosts.
“We had a weakened starting 11 and paid the price for it. I can’t fault the 11 that were there,” said coach Paddy McCarry who was missing more than half his regular side.
Danny Rodriguez’ hat trick provided the biggest shock of the Over-30 division on the day, a 3-2 BW Gottschee win [their first of the season] over former champs Manhattan Celtic Legends at Pier 5.
Over confident Kickers Over-30s left East River Park sighing with relief after nearly undoing hotshot Jack Vivonetto’s handiwork in a 4-3 squeaker against Megas Alexandros.
Vivonetto had struck all four goals in the opening 30 minutes before he was subbed off with his fall account at ten goals in nine matches.
The suddenly cavalier Kickers then proceeded to ship three goals before the final whistle blew.
“Fortunately, we weren’t exactly Arsenal in disguise,” remarked Eddie Yee Woo Guo. “I would have been [peeved] if we gave up our win like Arsenal did!”
Manhattan Celtic Bhoys Over-30s beat Guyana Veterans 2-0 on goals by Youcef Mami – from Chris Spencer’s assist – and Souleymane Diallo [penalty].
DUTCH DRUBBING II
Hoboken FC moved into a three-way atop the Over-3- Div. II table after beating Nieuw Amsterdam 4-1 at Sinatra Park.
Kerry Hall had two goals — one set up by Hans Aponte — while Juan Aponte created for Tom Ahn and later scored off Jason Gayle’s assist.
John Graham was the Amsterdam marksman.
In Over-35 action, Barnstonworth Rovers’ Brent Lyons and Colvin Hutchinson both notched hat tricks in an 8-4 mauling of short-handed SC Eintracht.
Akil Jordan and Richie Purger chipped in with a goal apiece.
Peter Maris, Dan Ceabuca, Jean Paul and Jeff LaRue replied for Eintracht only had ten players.