From Jay Mwamba
May 10, 2018
The Chris Katona-inspired Cedar Stars Academy continued to zero-in on its first CSL division title under current ownership with a hard fought 5-2 win over 10-man Doxa FC at Joseph F. Fosina Field.
Katona, the top flight’s top scorers , was the architect once again, with a goal and four assists in the come-from-behind victory by the league leaders.
He netted a penalty and set up two goals each for Mike Olla and Paulie Nittoli.
“Tough game,” noted owner-coach Oliver Papraniku. “We were down within five minutes and tied in the 30th minute on a PK.”
Doxa went down to 10 men in conceding the penalty but refused to roll over. They won two penalties at the end of each half only for Cedar goalie Bryan Lopez to deny them on both occasions.
“Doxa played for their lives and the result was misleading,” said Papraniku.
His once-beaten side [13-2-1, 41] stayed three points ahead of U.S. amateur champions Lansdowne Bhoys with two games to play in the regular season.
Given their superior goal difference over the Bhoys, Cedar could virtually clinch the division title this Sunday [9 a.m., Ramapo College] if victorious against New York Greek Americans.
“We’ve never won a CSL title under my control. We will work hard to win it!” declared Papraniku.
Cedar’s reserves triumphed 6-1 on goals by Josue, Bledar Marashi [three] and Mustafa Alobeidy [two]. Marashi and Alobeidy had two assists each and player-coach Bujar Gjata one.
Three nights before defeating Brooklyn Knights in the U.S. Open Cup first round, Lansdowne had ran riot against New York Athletic Club in the league. They thrashed the seven-time CSL champs 6-0 at Tibbetts Brook Park.
Sean Kelly, Mike Holzer, Pat McCann, Andrew Sousa [two] and Ovan Oakley tallied for the second place Bhoys.
Lansdowne’s second unit moved a step closer to the Reserve division title despite coughing up a two-goal lead in a 3-3 tie with NYAC ‘B.’
NYAC’s Peter Ceesay pegged back Richie Chamorro’s opener and after the Bhoys had gone up 3-1 scored again before Chris Greenfield snatched a point. Jeb was the other Lansdowne marksman.
MLS veteran and former U.S. international Alecko Eskandarian hit a hat trick in Pancyprian Freedoms’ 6-1 rout of Central Park Rangers on Randalls Island.
Adam Himeno [two] and Luis Estevez accounted for the other goals for the third place Greek-Cypriots.
James Greco had CPR’s consolation goal [60th].
Rangers’ seconds triumphed 9-0, courtesy of Fabricio Lima [three], Faissal Sanfo [two], Tim Michiels, Sjors van Eck, Baba Anne and Ronniel Mendez.
At the Metropolitan Oval, defending CSL champs New York Greek Americans nailed a playoff berth with a 3-2 defeat of the Shamrocks.
Two-goal hero Dan Massey and Andrew Weiner, who’s 17, connected for the Greeks. Fullback Dan Giorgi pulled one back for the Irishmen.
Shamrocks’ reserved allowed NYGA ‘B’ back from two down to draw 2-all in the curtain raiser. Brendan Lane and Gil Christenberry scored for the Rocks.
Omar Aragon [two] and Roberto Garcia were on target as FC Spring Valley went five points clear with a 3-1 decision over KidSuper Samba in their Div. II North top-of-the-table tussle on Randalls Island.
Ebrima Jallow -- from Dylan Cope -- was the Samba scorer.
In the South, Polonia Gwardia hammered FC Japan 8-1 on Randalls Island to join Hoboken FC, who did not play, atop the standings.
Akito Suzuki had Japan’s face-saver.
It was 7-1 for Polonia in the opener with Shunichiro Nakamura netting for Japan.
The rest of the fixtures in the second tier were reserve matches.
The Stal Mielec and New York Ukrainian second units tied 2-2.
Krystian Boguski and David Arumala struck for Stal while the Ukrainians had an own goal and Dmitri Jacobs to thank for the point.
It was a drop off in scoring for Steve Kovalenko’s men who’d hammered FC Japan ‘B’ 8-1 the previous week.
Uriah Cunha [two], Kassem Alkasimi [two], Nazar Zarichnyy [two], Jaroslaw Maliniak and Takeshi Sumiya scored in that encounter.
First team scorers against Japan, in a game Ukrainians won 4-1, were Yousef Alrobay [three] and Andres Munoz.
Yann Micuta’s double and a goal apiece by Augustus Esgro and Seth Graves powered the Williamsburg International reserves to a 4-1 romp over Panatha.
The Williamsburg and Ukrainian first teams met in the Flamhaft State Cup semi-finals at Bushwick Inlet with the former prevailing
John Kaddo’s put Williamsburg in the final. Andres Munoz replied for Ukrainians.
In the other last four encounter, Brishna’s Mohammad Yusuf Mashriqi had the solitary goal in a 1-0 decision over CPR Reds at Flushing Meadow.
Back in the league, Sporting Astoria ‘B’ beat Brishna’s reserves 4-2 in their Division Two tussle at Soundview Park.
It was 1-1 at the half with Mauricio Lopez on target for Sporting. He turned provider on resumption with two assistants on Wally Stewart’s hat trick.
“All we had to do was get the ball to Wally,” said GM Ed Romero. “When we did that it all changed and he recorded a hat trick.”
Sporting went into the game on a high after reaching the semis of the Saunders Cup with a 5-4 penalty victory over NYC Metro Stars in the continuation of their weather disrupted tie from April 15.
“My keeper Carlos Hernandez [dived] the right way three times, and got a hand on the ball each time,” said Romero. “They missed a shot and we hit all five. It was a great win for the team. We hope to keep this run going.”
Sporting meets CPR Reds ‘B’ in the last four, while Ukrainians ‘B’ and Kelmendi lock horns in the other decider.
Ten-man CD Iberia ‘B’ came away from Laurel Hill Park with a point from 3-3 draw with Beyond FC.
Player-coach Chiki Vázquez struck twice. Javi Beiro was the other scorer.
Iberia arrived in Secaucus with just 10 players and had to forfeit the second game.
“Our season has been a tough one to say the least,” conceded Vázquez. “We had moments in which we were really good and looked like a team that could compete for a playoff spot, but our irregularity has left us mid-table. We hope to bounce back next year and make a run for it.”
Man of the Match Seamus McDaid produced a sublime hat trick in Lansdowne’s 8-0 mauling of NYC Metro Stars at Tibbetts Brook Park.
It was Lansdowne’s seventh straight victory in all competitions.
Olti Vela scored for NYFC Iliria in a 3-1 loss to Gotham Argo at College Point. Gotham’s Italian duo, Federico Testi and Matteo Catania, scripted the win, with the latter assisting on the former’s hat trick.
Also in Metro One, Shamrocks 1960 lost 2-1 to Mr. Dennehy’s, while the Shamrocks Legends defeated Manhattan Celtic Masters 3-1 in an Over-38 fixture.
Goals by Gianluca Palanca [two] and Burhan Alamisi lifted Mola 3-0 past NYC Afghanistan at Flushing Meadow and into joint first with Barnstonworth Rovers in the South.
The two leaders have identical 12-1-3 records with 37 points and two games to play.
Missile FC and Eintracht tied 2-2 at St. Thomas Aquinas College. Missile’s Jeff Louisme and Marcus Dorce exchanged goals with the visitors’ Juan Zaiter and Hasan Redzic.
Marcin Fijalkewicz hit a trey at Corporal Thompson Park where Richmond County bounced Brooklyn Bound 7-1.
Gariece McPherson had a goal and an assist for Richmond who have 25 points in their last nine games [8-0-1].
In other results, Adrian Alexandru netted in Beyond FC’s 3-1 defeat to Homenetmen on Randalls Island.
The first CSL club to win the Fritz Marth Cup two seasons ago, Paddy McCarry’s Shamrocks are back in the final of the Over-30 State competition after defeating Long Island Gaels 3-2 on penalties at Greis Park in Lynbrook.
It was goalless in regulation.
“The game was a real physical battle and Gaels played to their strengths on probably the worst soccer field I have ever played or coached on in my life,” said coach McCarry. “But we stood up and withstood everything they threw at us.”
He had kudos for goalie Sean McMullan’s heroics on the night, saving four of Gaels’ six penalties.
On the other end, Bingo O’Driscoll, Johnny McGeeney and Aidan Morton were on target for the Rocks. Three penalties went awry, one hit the post and two were stopped by the Gaels’ minder.
“To say I am proud of these lads is an understatement,” declared McCarry. “They deserve to be in the final on June 3. We beat some of the best teams in the Over-30 to reach the final.”
To reach the semi-finals against Gaels, the Queens Irish knocked off Port Jefferson in the quarterfinals, New York Greek Americans in the Round of 16, Manhattan Kickers Premier in the Round of 32 and Brooklyn Gunners in the preliminary round.
“It’s a privilege to be their manager looking forward to facing Germania in the final – the team that beat us last year in the semi-final and then went on to win the cup,” said McCarry.
The Rocks became the first CSL club ever to win the Marth Cup when they defeated 10-time holders Baisley United 4-2 in June 2016.
There was more good news for the Shamrocks, whose hopes of a league and cup double were revived by Over-30 East leaders Manhattan Kickers Premier’s surprise 1-0 loss to Manhattan Celtic Legends at Pier 5.
John Tanios consigned Mike Fitzgerald & Co. [13-1-1, 40] to their first defeat of the season. That puts Shamrocks [11-2-1, 35] within five points of Kickers ahead of their top-of-the-table clash on Randalls Island [8 a.m.] this Sunday.
It will be the Rocks’ penultimate fixture and Kickers’ last game.
Pancyprian legend Taso Polydefkis pumped in six goals in his Over-30 side’s 9-2 destruction of Brooklyn Gunners. Chris Zizimatos and Billy Antoniou [two] added to the rout.
Taso has now scored more than 20 goals the last two seasons with more games to play this campaign. “We are getting into crunch time where all the goals will count,” he said.
The Greek-Cypriots, who are third in Over-30 West [9-2-2, 29] with a game in had to leaders NYGA [10-2-2, 32], have a rescheduled U.S. Open cup game against Danbury at St. John’s University on May 20.
Elsewhere in Over-30 play, Larry Rice, Boris Kapelnik and Gareth Hasson lifted Celtic Bhoys 3-2 past Megas Alexandros.
Manhattan Kickers Legends edged Barnstonworth Old Boys 2-1, thanks to Scott Conti and Christian Huguenot, to clinch the West lead going into playoffs.
Bachir Zeroual had Celtic Masters’ goal in a 3-1 Irish derby defeat to Shamrock Legends.
Vinny Vasconcelos bagged both goals for Eintracht, beaten 4-2 by Cozmoz.
And Tim Frazier claimed the face-saver in CPR Legends’ 7-1 shellacking by America FC.