Cedar Stars Academy players and staff [Andreas Chronis is the player over the ball]. Cedar Stars Academy Images
May 16, 2017
It was one of those things that just don’t happen in the soccer world. Three years and seven months, 46 matches, Lansdowne Bhoys hadn’t lost a game in the Cosmopolitan Soccer League. Until Cedar Stars Academy captain Andreas Chronis’ 30-yard screamer.
Chronis netted a 75th minute goal to give Cedar a 2-1 victory over the unbeatable Bhoys on April 29th.
Prior to their win over Lansdowne, CSA lost their previous seven matches against them. Chronis was delighted with the victory after the long wait.
“After the referee blew that final whistle I couldn't help but feel a sense of relief and satisfaction at the same time,” the ex-pro player in Greece said. “We have gone head to head with Lansdowne many times over the years and have been up in the score for many of those encounters.
"Somehow Lansdowne always managed to equalize or beat us and I was very happy that my team endured all the hardships of the game to manage to finally win. Their 46-game unbeaten streak in the CSL was very impressive, but it just goes to show you how competitive the CSL is now becoming.”
After a scoreless first half, in which Lansdowne captain Sean Kelly and Sikele Sylvester were subbed out in due to injury, the Stars took the lead early in the second half when Paul Nittoli hit a loose ball in the net beyond Lansdowne keeper Abdoukarim Danso.
Shortly after CSA’s opener, the Bhoys were rewarded a penalty kick for a foul in the box. Cedar keeper Andrew Tartara made an outstanding save on the PK to keep his side on top.
Cedar conceded another spot kick in the 53rd minute—for a handball in the box this time. Tartara couldn’t prevent Lansdowne from scoring again as Karim Russell hit a neat strike away from him from the spot.
Cedar Stars reinforced their lead in the 75th minute as Chronis controlled a clearance from a Lansdowne defender before whipping a left footed shot from 30 yards out in the side-netting.
“I was ecstatic to score a game winning goal for my team, especially against a team like Lansdowne,” the left back said about his winner. “After we were tied 1-1 I knew it would take something special for our team to score, and I happened to be left alone outside the box on an offensive corner kick. I have scored in that position many times before and when the ball came bouncing out to me after it was cleared I was given just enough space to make that something special happen.
“I took a touch to my left, looked up to see where the goalie was and hit it as hard as I could. I didn't even see the ball go in the net because of all the players in the way, but I knew it went in after I saw my teammates celebrating.”
Lansdowne looked for an equalizer in the remaining of the game but in vain as CSA’s defense stayed compact.
Chronis expressed that their defense and their dissatisfaction with a tie were vital in the victory.
“I think our persistence to score and not be satisfied with a tie and defending as a unit after we were up in the score ultimately were the reasons we won,” he said.
“We knew Lansdowne would start putting balls in the box at the end of the game to try to equalize so we stayed compact and made sure we were focused and ready to defend. Not giving them an opportunity to score in the last 10, 15 minutes was key to our success that day.”
The Bhoys lost their following game in the league to NY Pancyprian Freedoms 1-0. But it was Cedar Stars that broke their non-losing run.
“Beating them and ending their unbeaten streak is definitely something we as a team are happy about but I never thought it was out of our reach,” Chronis said. “Now we look forward to clinching the playoffs and winning the CSL title.”