Richmond County FC poses for a team photo ahead of its Week 7 match against Polonia SC (Credit: Richmond County FC)
Multiple matches could be considered comebacks from last weekend in Division 1. Two games saw early leads erased as momentum swung while another held on as an opponent clawed back from a deficit to tie the game. Besides that, two games ended with goalkeeping clean sheets and Hoboken remains at the top of the table.
Full recap below:
Saturday, October 30
FC Sandžak vs Kelmendi FC NY (2-0)
FC Sandzak won for a second straight week and took down Kelmendi FC NY, 2-0, thanks to goals in each half. Mirza Sabovic scored and assisted for his team on Randalls Island during a rainy outing.
Kelmendi, trying to correct their slow start to the season, played physically to try and catch Sandzak off. However in the home side’s second chance Sabovic, who was one of the best players on the field, played a great through pass to Alem Kolenovic. The forward freed himself from the defensive and slotted the ball into the right corner to go up 1-0. The final blow came in the 62nd minute when Sabovic blasted a shot from 30 yards out into the back of the net.
Sandzak will be home again on Saturday night when they host New York Shamrock SC on Randalls Island. Kelmendi will visit Polonia SC the next morning at McCarren Park.
Sunday, October 31
Polonia SC vs Richmond County FC (2-4)
No goal scorer information provided by Polonia SC
Match Highlights Provided by Game in Frame
Richmond County FC’s two goal lead in the first half crumbled away after a valiant Polonia SC comeback and a red card. Mark Shnadshteyn, one of County’s most productive scorers, was shown a second yellow early in the second half. But his team was still able to come back and score two unanswered to win, 4-2.
“I thought our team showed great resilience to win while having three key starters out and having to play with 10 men for just about the entire second half due to Mark's red card,” Richmond head coach Halid Brkanovic said afterwards. “Polonia played a very attacking game and were able to create quality scoring chances. But a man of the match performance from our goalkeeper Hermes Ademovi and clinical counter attacking football helped us come away with a 4-2 win.”
Two goals in the first twenty minutes from Dardan Gjonbalaj and Ady Gaye, assisted by Alban Zekaj and Dominik Urban respectively, looked as though it would set the tone of the match. But in the 40th minute a Polonia run down the left side allowed a pass into the area with Ademovi completely out of place. A quick tap in by the home side cut the lead in half heading into halftime.
After the break and Shnadshteyn’s second card, Polonia tied the match off a corner kick after an initial chance was deflected back into the crowded box and finished. While momentum was in Polonia’s favor the team seemingly threw it away themselves when an errant clearance gave space to Gjonbalaj for a run in the 82nd. His charge and shot into the lower left corner put the visitors up again. With Polonia pushed up Gaye finished the game up not long after off an assist from Peter Zima.
Richmond will host division leading Hoboken FC 1912 on Staten Island this Sunday night in what could be a huge match for the table. Meanwhile, Polonia will host Kelmendi FC NY on Sunday morning.
Beyond FC vs Hoboken FC 1912 (0-4)
In a New Jersey derby between clubs at opposite ends of the table, Hoboken FC 1912 remained perfect while Beyond FC is still searching for their first points this season. The visitors put up four unanswered goals but also left with multiple injuries on both the first and reserve squads.
Aitor Hernandez, who pulls double duty for both sides but has come into his own as of late, was one of these unfortunate injuries. A muscle strain in the 75th minute ended an MVP performance for the young star who scored his team’s first two goals and assisted on the third. Kevin Bzdek and Evan Reed picked up assists on those goals.
In true team play fashion Aitor’s best moment came five minutes in the second half when he burst down the line, beat his defender, and crossed to James Reed who finished one time to make it 3-0. The final goal came in the 69th minute when Thomas Lozowski’s attempt hit off the crossbar but was headed in off the rebound by Justinian Michaels.
While he’s happy with the result head coach Steve Korfiatis knows his team could have scored more. Heading into Hoboken’s next match against Richmond on Sunday night he knows injuries could play a factor but he has faith in his group.
“We have a deep squad and the guys coming in will provide the quality needed going into the next couple of matches,” Korfiatis said.
Beyond will be back at Laurel Hill Park on Sunday afternoon when they host Zum Schneider FC 03 II.
New York Shamrock SC vs Manhattan Kickers (3-1)
No goal scorer information provided by Manhattan Kickers
After going down in the first half, New York Shamrock SC scored three goals in the final 45 against Manhattan Kickers to leave the match with a much needed three points.
"Very poor first half so the lads deserved a dressing down at the break,” said Rocks’ manager Stuart Colbert in the team’s recap. “Great character to come back and dominate proceedings from start to finish of the second half.”
Midfielder Will Oswin scored his second goal in two games early in the second half to even the score at one each, slotting a right foot effort under the keeper. The momentum swing continued on and soon Rafa Carvalho finished into the bottom right corner to take the lead. The dagger from Chris Kappler off an intercepted pass followed a run past three defenders and a 25 yard shot into the lower corner.
The Rocks will visit FC Sandžak on Saturday night in Week 8 while the Kickers visit Stal Mielec NY on Sunday evening at McCarren Park.
Borgetto FC vs Stal Mielec NY (4-2)
No goal scorer information provided by Stal Mielec NY
Following a poor outing last weekend, Borgetto FC was back in form against Stal Mielec NY on Randalls Island. Last season’s Division 2 champions scored three unanswered goals in the first half and held back a comeback on route to a 4-2 win.
Jesus Patino scored twice and Steven Fernandez knocked in Borgetto’s third before the 45 minute mark, with Fernandez also picking up an assist. Alexis Santa assisted on the second and third goal as well. However, the second half saw Stal become the attacking team as the visitors scored twice to threaten the lead. The saving grace of Lucas Arzan’s goal, assisted again by Santa, gave the home side enough breathing room to see the game out.
Borgetto will visit New York Athletic Club on Sunday this weekend while Stal hosts Hoboken FC 1912 on Saturday night.
Zum Schneider FC 03 II vs New York Athletic Club (4-1)
Zum Schneider FC 03 II took over against New York Athletic Club and turned a 1-1 game into a 4-1 win for the group.
The home side dominated the early possession game and found success on the left side. It eventually allowed Jackson Marianito to find space and beat his man, before passing across the face of the goal to Isaac “Sunny” Epochi for the tap in. NYAC, knowing going down early has been an issue for them this season, began passing around to try and get Zum off pace. It worked and Stephanos Hondrakis fed Matt Swain for the latter’s fifth goal of the season to even the score at one each.
However in the second half coaches from both sides agreed the visitors ran out of gas. Without any subs the tired legs allowed unanswered goals; two from Christian de Abreu and the final one from Conor Pellas. Assists came from Epochi, Adam Wright, and Stephen Ojo.
Zum will visit Beyond FC in New Jersey this Sunday for Week 8 while NYAC hosts Borgetto FC at noon on the same day.