From Jay Mwamba
May 2, 2018
BACK TO WINNING WAYS
U.S. champs Lansdowne Bhoys bounced back from that 2-0 midweek loss to CSL titlists New York Greek Americans to trounce Doxa FC 3-1 on Tibbetts Brook Park last Sunday. Payback was the case for the Yonkers Irish against another Hellenic outfit.
Mamadou Guirassy shot the Bhoys ahead [25th] against a hardworking Doxa side desperate for points.
Pat McCann, Michael Holzer, Craig Purcell and Ovan Oakley had decent chances for Lansdowne but it would be Doxa’s Nick Vonegypt who would tie the game before the interval.
The Bhoys went for the kill on resumption. Purcell pounced on a corner to fire home from point blank while Guirassy added an insurance goal. It was a huge win for Friel & Co. [11-2-2, 35] who trail leaders Cedar Stars Academy by three points with three games remaining in the regular season.
In addition to the U.S. amateur title they hold, Lansdowne are three-time CSL champions and have won six consecutive regular season division titles.
The Lansdowne reserves got off to a whirlwind start – going up 3-0 inside 15 minutes, en route to an 11-1 rout of the Doxa seconds that puts them on the cusp of the division title. There were big performances from Michael Fernandes, Mauricio Mora, Richard Chamorro and Steven Pinski.
Pete Tsioumas got Doxa’s face-saver.
Oliver Papraniku’s Cedar Stars Academy is two wins away from the division title in the top flight after knocking off Zum Schneider 6-0 at Ramapo College. It took the league leaders 43 minutes to breach lowly Zum’s rearguard, with Walter Calderon burying a Chris Katona ball. Then the floodgates opened.
Katona struck twice off assists by Calderon and Michael Olla. Matthew Leroux’s brace was set up by Katona and Olla – while Olla got on the score sheet as well, thanks to Calderon.
“Tough game until [the] 43rd minute,” summed up Papraniku. “I can see why Zum Schneider gives teams a tough time.”
CSA improved to 12-2-1  and because they have a superior goal difference than Lansdowne, can clinch the division title with two victories from their remaining three fixtures. Cedar’s Shpetim Shehu, a 16-year-old high school sophomore, stole the show in the reserve fixture with a hat trick and two assists in a 5-0 rout of Zum ‘B.’
Adam Himeno, Andreas Chronis and Lucas Ostermann scored for third place Pancyprian Freedoms in a 3-0 drubbing of bottom side Manhattan Kickers at St. John’s University.
Taso Polydefkis, who mostly turns out for the Pancyprian Over-30 these days, suited up for the last place reserves and scripted their first win of the season with a brace.
Michael Meletie netted a penalty in the 3-2 result. Gio LoMonaco and Rodolfo Domingues replied for Kickers ‘B.’
Junior Rosero notched both goals in NY Greek Americans’ 2-0 defeat of Central Park Rangers at the Metropolitan Oval.
“The result was harsh,” lamented CPR player-coach Eli Vovsha. “We had periods of dominance in the second half and hit the bar. If not for a goal of the season contender in the first half – a laser shot into the top corner from distance -- it could have been very different.”
At any rate, the win virtually assured defending champs NYGA [9-3-3, 30] the fourth and final playoff [at Shamrocks expense] with three games to play.
CPR’s reserves coughed up a second half lead, on Donje Green’s brilliant individual goal, in a 2-1 loss. “Props to their keeper who made some superb saves,” noted Vovsha.
Dan Giorgi’s second half penalty was the difference in the Shamrocks’ 1-0 squeaker over New York Athletic Club on Randalls Island.
The Shamrocks ‘B’ dropped a 2-0 decision that hurts their chances of beating Lansdowne to the reserve title.
NYAC’s Pat Pierre, who was outstanding, poked home a rebound following a corner kick midway through the first half. Jon Amable put the match away [80th] off a breakaway.
Like Lansdowne in the upper echelon, Hoboken FC roared back from defeat in their previous outing to blow out Beyond FC 6-0 in their Jersey derby at Laurel Hill Park.
Alex Megna [15th], James Reed [50th], Mikhail Attong [66th], Tom Hogue [75th, 89th] and Jeremy Witherspoon [85th] got the Div. Two South leaders [11-2-1, 35] back to winning ways after the shock 3-1 defeat to FC Japan seven days earlier.
Hoboken’s second unit, with the Div. II South Reserve title already in the bag, zoomed to a 9-4 triumph.
Dylan Magarrell [4th], hat trick hero Alex Wallin [23rd, 46th, 90th], Gleb Mironenko [27th], Joe Kelly [35th], Sam Omosuyi [44th, 89th] and Max Stith [66th] tallied.
Three points behind Hoboken ‘A,’ Polonia Gwardia emphatically claimed the Polish bragging rights in Division Two with a 6-1 thrashing of Stal Mielec at Bushwick Inlet.
This after the opener ended 1-1.
Familiar score line -- different perspective. That must have been the feeling high scoring Williamsburg International were left with after a 6-2 shellacking by CD Iberia on Randalls Island.
John Kaddo got both Williamsburg goals.
The Williamsburg reserves prevailed 2-1 with Richard Butterworth canceling out Iberia’s go-ahead goal and Arturo Bello netting the winner on the hour.
Div. II North frontrunners Spring Valley FC battled to a 2-2 draw with Manhattan Celtic at North Rockland Nardi Soccer Complex.
Valley’s Roberto Garcia and Omar Aragon exchanged goals with the Celts’ Jamie Reilly and Marco Charnas.
“We missed a penalty at the end that would have given us three vital points,” rued Celtic coach Matt Kane. “Great fight in terrible conditions.”
Valley [9-1-4, 28] moved two points clear of KidSuper Samba who did not play and now have a game in hand.
At Flushing Meadow, Brishna topped NYPD FC 2-0 in a clash between two sides that once merged a few seasons ago.
Yusef Mashriqi and Khadin Nbiaye connected.
Marcelo scored for the Brishna reserves in a 1-1 tie.
ROBINHO & LUKAKU
Two players nicknamed “Robinho” and “Lukaku” lived up to their famous monikers, netting a combined four goals in Sporting Astoria’s 5-1 thrashing of Malatyaspor on Randalls Island.
Elroy “Robinho” Benedith opened the scoring after 20 minutes. He then set up the next two goals for Kenny “Lukaku” Castillo [35th, 50th].
Lukaku completed his hat trick five minutes from time, thanks to Jerry Castillo’s assist, after Jerson López grabbed Astoria’s fourth goal [60th].
“It was good to finally get our scorer back,” said GM Ed Romero. “He was sidelined with an injury. Our defense put on some good work as well.”
A second straight victory appears to have secured New York Ukrainians’ survival in the Second Division. They beat FC Japan 4-1 on Randalls Island to climb seven points clear of the drop zone.
Akita Suzuki was the Japan scorer. In the reserve fixture, Shunichiro Nakamura scored in Japan’s 7-1 defeat.
Lansdowne edged stunned second place BW Gottschee 1-0 on Randalls Island to make to make it four wins in a row.
Matt Salerno connected late.
Metro Div. One champions-designate FC Ulqini went 13 points clear with a 3-2 result over Shamrock 1960 on Staten Island.
Finally overcome their long winter stupor, Mr. Dennehy’s completed back-to-back wins with a 2-1 decision over Deportivo Sociedade.
Anatoliy Taranenko and Terrence McGovern earned Dennehy’s the points on Staten Island – a week after blanking NYC Metro Stars 5-0.
Metro Stars, meanwhile, were shut out again, 3-0 this time by NYFC Iliria on Randalls Island.
Elton Mone, Bruno Costa and Ergi Janku connected.
In other Metro One action, Ayhan Bekdemir and Emre Tetik lifted Ridgewood Romac 2-0 past Gotham Argo.
The North race is headed to the wire with both leaders Flushing FC and second place Kelmendi chalking up wins. Four points separate them; Kelmendi has a game in hand, and the title could be decided when the two clash on May 13.
Flushing [11-2-2, 35] had a forfeit win over Inter New York SA while Kelmendi [10-1-3, 31] saw off SC Eintracht 3-1 thanks to Valdrin Lekocaj, Robert Gjelaj and Naim Kurtovic.
Eintracht’s Hasan Redzic scored.
At the bottom of the North table, second last Beyond FC swept past Deportivo Sociedade 5-3 on goals by Rodney Lozier [two], Oz al Sahybi [two] and Sam Gozan.
NECK AND NECK
It’s even tighter in the South where Barnstonworth Rovers and Mola are level on 34 points with identical 11-1-3 stats after last Sunday’s action.
Rovers pounded injury-hit New York Galicia 4-1 on Randalls.
“Spring newcomer David Filby had a hat trick and Jorge Espanol added the fourth,” reported Rovers coach Tim Hattori. “Keeper Matt Garcia stopped a loose ball on the goal line, saved a PK, and made a superb full extension one handed save late to preserve the score line.
Carlos Espinosa had Galicia’s lone response.
“With injuries and missing key players, we haven’t been able to keep up the pace as we have all season for the top spot,” said Galicia boss Javier Caamano. “Hopefully, with three games remaining, we can finish strong and place in the top four.”
Mola also scored four times, while conceding two against Gateway FC at the Verrazano Sports Complex.
Pablo Martinez starred with a hat trick with Alahmisi Burhan also on target.
Elsewhere in Metro II, Grenadier and Missile FC tied 1-all; Afghanistan beat Sons of Queens 2-0, Homenetmen defeated New York United 4-1 and Brooklyn Bound walloped Partizani 6-0.
A 5-2 romp over Megas Alexandros on Randalls left undefeated Manhattan Kickers Premier a win away from the Over-30 East title.
It was 1-1 at the break after Megas had canceled out Ardian Hasko’s opener [30th], set up by Seamus Kelly. The duo shared Man of the Match honors.
The Kelly-Hasko partnership hit pay dirt again in the second half with the latter converting a penalty won by the former. Minutes later, Aaron Vennard won and converted his own PK to make it 3-1.
Megas’ fightback saw them pull one back after which it was all Kickers. Hasko completed his trey after finishing a move involving Alex Petrovic and Marko Loncar, before Loncar made it three out of three from the spot for Premier [13-0-1, 40].
The Shamrocks, who trail Kickers by five points with two matches to play, had a brace from Johnny McGeeney [25th, 75th] in a 3-0 shutout of CPR Old Boys.
Mark Finn [70th] was the other scorer.
At Herbert Lehman HS, Greek Americans dispatched Hoboken FC 3-0 to preserve their one-point lead over Manhattan Celtic Legends atop Over-30 West.
Diego Gorosito -- straight from the second half kickoff -- Jonattan Caro and David Panchano tallied for the 9-2-2  Greeks.
Celtic Legends [9-1-4, 28] edged Celtic Bhoys 2-1 in their derby game at Pier 5.
Jesse Vozick’s deuce in a 2-0 defeat of Banatul at Corporal Thompson Park put Manhattan Kickers Legends within grasp of the West title.
Kickers [9-1-4, 28] need just a win from their two outstanding fixtures to clinch the crown ahead of strong finishing Doxa Legends [7-1-5, 22].
Doxa, for their part, overwhelmed SC Gjoa 3-1 courtesy of Dany Martinez, Carlos Paredes and Tiago Gomes.
“Gjoa is a very talented team,” observed Doxa manager John Trantos. “Toughest fought match since [our] historic "blast" win over Cozmoz.”
It was Doxa's first ever win over Gjoa, too.
In other Over-38 action, CPR Legends saw off Eintracht 4-1.
Simon McKeown, Franco Denari, Tim Frazier and Michael Conboy connected. Conboy also had an assist, as did Manuel Casanova, Tim Frazier and Willian D’Andrea.
Vinny Vasconcelos replied for Eintracht.