CPR clinch Manning Cup semis through a 2-1 win over the Kickers

By Ralph 'Onz' Chery

Central Park Rangers striker Akeem Brooks netted his side's second goal. Central Park Rangers Images/ Andrew Faherty

 

Nov. 13th, 2017

 

It was a battle between the two promoted sides that determined who was going to be the second team to reach the Manning State Cup semifinals after NY Pancyprian Freedoms.

Central Park Rangers got the best out of their fellow promoted team Manhattan Kickers, edging them 2-1 at Randall’s Island Icahn Stadium on Sunday night.

Jacob Joseph broke the ice for CPR in the 28th minute. After a swift one-two with Akeem Brooks, Joseph’s initial attempt was blocked by opposing keeper Bernard Sheary. The rebound fell straight at the 25-year-old, who tucked the ball to the bottom left corner of the net beyond a static Sheary.

The Rangers secured a 2-0 lead five minutes later when Brooks snatched the ball from a Kickers defender before pacing in the box to stroll the ball away from keeper Sheary and into the net.

Manhattan pulled one goal back in the 33rd minute as an unmarked Toric Robinson rose in the heart of the 18 to head Bryan Baracaldo’s free kick down to the low left corner.

Manhattan fought for an equalizer, CPR tried to put the game away on the counter in the second half but both sides were unable to score after the restart.

The Rangers march to the Manning Cup semis where they will face either the reigning champions Lansdowne Bhoys or LISFL side PDB Irish Rovers.

 

Three key notes

1. CPR win their last three matches against Manhattan: Central Park downed the Kickers 2-0 in the league a week before their Manning Cup encounter and 3-0 in last season’s Division 2 final.

2. The keepers weren’t cold: The Rangers' keeper Abooukarim Sultanov tallied six saves while his opposing number Bernard Sheary racked five.

3. Joining the CSL giants in the semis: CPR’s fellow CSL State Cup semifinalists will be NY Pancyprian Freedoms, possibly Lansdowne Bhoys, who play PDB Irish Rovers in the quarters and NY Greek Americans or NY Shamrock SC as they're set to verse each other in the quarters.

 

Players’ voice: Akeem Brooks (1 goal)

Central Park Rangers forward Akeem Brooks. Central Park Rangers Images/ Andrew Faherty

 

Goal scorer Akeem Brooks, who missed one month due to a knee injury, was happy his side advanced to the Manning Cup semifinals.

“It’s a great feeling man, you know,” Brooks said after the game. “It was a cold night. We tried to play together for most of the game and thankfully we came out with the win. It’s a great feeling we’re really excited to move on to the next round.”

He later added: “For most of the game yes, it was even but in the first half we applied a lot of pressure and with that we got two quick goals back-to-back. It was an evenly matched game, I guess we just wanted it a little bit more, you know to stay [in the Manning Cup].”

The Jamaican striker netted his first goal of the season against Manhattan.

“Aw man, I’m pretty excited, pretty happy,” he said. “I’ve been working all season just haven’t been able to find the net so just finally getting one off it feels good.”

 

Statistics

Central Park Rangers Whites

Shots (on target): 12 (8)

Saves: 6 (keeper Abooukarim Sultanov)

Fouls: 9

Yellow cards: 1 (Devin Roche)

Red cards: 0

Corners:  4

Offsides: 1

 

Manhattan Kickers

Shots (on target): 14 (8)

Saves: 5 (keeper Bernard Sheary)

Fouls: 4

Yellow cards: 0

Red cards: 0

Corners:  2

Offsides: 2

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