NY Greeks down the Freedoms 2-0 to win the CSL

By Ralph Chery

NY Greek Americans celebrating the 2016-17 CSL title.

 

June 14th, 2017

 

NY Greek Americans were crowned CSL champions on Friday night after blanking NY Pancyprian Freedoms 2-0 in the league's final at St. John's University Belson Stadium.

NYGA player Harri Hawkins acknowledged that NY Pancyprian was a tough opponent but noted that his side was the better team.

"The Pancyprians are a great team but I think our quality all over the field showed today," Hawkins said. "[Head coach] Richie [Nutall] got the tactics spot on which gave the players a platform to perform and get the win."

Hawkins netted the opener for the Greeks with a 25th-minute penalty kick drawn by Thomas Germano.

“To score a goal in the final means a lot to me,” the 24-year-old said about his goal. “But anyone could’ve taken the penalty. It’s just important that we scored it, which helped the team get the win.”

Nino Alfonso made it two for NYGA in the 88th minute.

The Greeks extend their record of the active team with most CSL titles to nine after Friday's win. NY Pancyprian on the other hand owns the second most CSL titles, seven.

However the Freedoms lost in three finals in the last four seasons, in 2013-14 and 2014-15 to Lansdowne Bhoys and this past season to NY Greeks.

NYGA was in eighth place after the first half of the season. After the acquisition of a plethora of players, including eight players who returned to the team after winning the league in 2011-12, the Greeks went undefeated in the second half of the season and eventually won the title.

“To win the CSL is a special achievement for any team in this league,” Hawkins said, “but for us to come from being in eighth at Christmas shows what a fantastic group of players we have at the club as well as the amazing team we have off the field, who supports us incredibly well.”

NY Greeks midfielder Stephen Roche won five CSL titles in the past six seasons, bagging three trophies with his former team Lansdowne and two with NYGA.

 

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