Doxa SC's Enrique Hidalgo controlling the ball next to Zum Schneider FC 03 midfielder Wilson Pedroso. Photo by Dinos Avlonitis
Promoted sides Zum Schneider FC 03 and Doxa SC played a 2-2 draw Sunday afternoon at Randall’s Island Field 75.
Wilson Pedroso bagged a brace for Zum while Kareem Joachim netted for Doxa in the 32nd minute and Kevin Quintero in the 56th minute.
Zum Schneider missed a scoring opportunity 10 minutes into the game as Bryan Dia skied the ball from inside the box after Pedroso sent him a cross from the left wing.
Doxa almost made the German-based team pay for their miss 10 minutes later. Nicholas Vonegypt collected a pass from Patrick Alvarez before hitting a low shot on target when keeper Jorge Munoz was off his line. The ball was on its way in the keeperless net but was cleared away by an Zum defender Ryan Horch.
Zum Schneider FC 03 defender Ryan Horch clearing the ball off the line to prevent Doxa SC from taking the lead. Photo by Dinos Avlonitis.
The Greek-based club did make Zum Schneider pay for their early miss in the 32nd minute. Alvarez hit a pinpoint ball over the top to Joachim. Joachim took a couple of touches past Zum’s empty defense before rolling the ball around keeper Munoz—who came off his line again—and into the net.
Kareem Joachim scored Doxa SC's first goal. Photo by Dinos Avlonitis
ZSFC drew themselves back on level term three minutes later as Pedroso curved a wonder strike to the right corner of the net from the left wing.
Munoz made an outstanding save at the stroke of halftime to keep the game even. The keeper leapt on his left to stop Vonegypt’s robust shot from entering the net.
Zum Schneider was rewarded a penalty kick eight minutes inside the second half as Reindolf Osei Amoako slide tackled Ifiok Akpandak in the box. Pedroso netted from the spot the same minute to put his side on top.
It didn’t take too long for coach Paul Grafas’ men to reestablish the draw. Three minutes after Pedroso’s PK, substitute Quintero controlled another sublime pass from Alvarez before charging inside the box to unleash a low shot past Munoz.
This tie keeps Zum in sixth place. The draw also retains Doxa in the same position they were at last week, in the dropzone in ninth place.
Players and coaches' thoughts
The losing draw
Doxa SC midfielder Patrick Alvarez and Zum Schneider FC 03 head coach Alexander Berscheid are disappointed with the draw and views it as a loss.
Patrick Alvarez: “For me a draw is a loss.You can always expect better from yourself and also your team so for me a tie is not a win so I’m not satisfied at all.”
Coach Alexander Berscheid: “It feels a little bit like we lost today even though it’s a 2-2 tie. We needed three points to say the least.”
Doxa and Zum are both fighting to stay in the top flight
Doxa and Zum Schneider are both in danger of getting relegated. Zum is two points away from the dropzone in sixth place and Doxa is in the relegation zone in ninth place.
Zum coach Berscheid is hoping that his side will rack at least four points in their last three games of the season to remain in Division 1—their last three games are against NY Athletic Club, NY Greek Americans and Polonia Gwardia NY SC.
“I feel like if we pick up four points within the last three games we will be safe, that’s my feeling. I think right now we have 14 points if we get to 18 points, I say we can plan for next year.”
Berscheid also noted that his players will need the motivation to stay in the elite division in those last three games.
Doxa midfielder Patrick Alvarez talked about his side’s fight out of the relegation.
“It’s going to take a lot of heart. At the end of the season, it’s a marathon, not a race. We just have to figure it out as a team and just fight through it.”
He later added: “But I think we’re definitely going to pull through, we got the heart in the team, I believe in us.”
Doxa SC: Midfielder Patrick Alvarez ( 2 assists)
Doxa SC midfielder Patrick Alvarez. Photo by Dinos Avlonitis
Patrick Alvarez assisted both of Doxa’s goals. Alvarez spoke on his performance:
“I assisted my teammates good but I should’ve done better on my part of finishing their assists," he said.
"I had three opportunities that should’ve been in the back of the goal and I didn’t capitalize on them so those are in the back of the mind. I did good on my passing but I got to do better on my finishing.”
Zum Schneider FC 03: Wilson Pedroso-- 2 goals
Wilson Pedroso netted Zum Schneider’s two goals, which were an exquisite strike in the 35th minute and a 53rd minute penalty kick.
Two key notes
1. Captain was out: Doxa played without their star striker and captain Kurt Cameron, who missed the game after picking up a red card against Shamrock the week before.
2. Playing better in losses: Zum Schneider FC 03 snapped a four-game losing run, in which they fell to the top four teams in the league in close games. Coach Berscheid mentioned that his side played better in the previous four games.
Zum Schneider FC 03
Shots (on target): 10 (4)
Yellow cards: 2 (Bryan Dia, Wilson Pedroso)
Red cards: 0
Shots: 12 (7)
Yellow cards: 3 (George Najm, James Zaidan, Reindolf Osei Amoako)
Red cards: 0