Week 18 saw Shamrock SC face off with their final Top 3 team of the season as they inch closer to securing the Division 1 title. Meanwhile, two other teams fighting to not get relegated played one-another while Sunday finished up with one of the biggest wins of the season for Zum Schneider II. As the league season winds down and John Kilby League Cup games resume this week some D1 teams will have a lot on their plate this month.
Additionally, the CSL would like to congradulate New York International FC on clinching the CSL Division 3 North title last weekend and earning promotion to the second tier.
Full Division 1 recap below:
Saturday, May 1
Manhattan Celtic vs Stal Mielec NY (7-0)
Manhattan Celtic opened up Week 18 with a complete game against Stal Mielec NY. Seven unanswered goals against a team battling in the middle of the divisional table was a stark comeback following last week’s disappointing draw against New York Shamrock SC.
Celtic head coach Matthew Kane explained afterwards that as his team tries to catch up to first place he’s challenged his team for their final few games.
“I challenged the team to win every game until the end of the season and by a considerable margin,” said Kane in an email. “I'm happy we started it correctly.”
Before halftime the home side already controlled the pace of the match. Cesar Serna assisted on both goals in the first half aiding Conor Coleman on the first before setting up top goalscorer Marco Charnas for the second just before halftime. The streak continued soon into the second half as well as he helped Charnas on his second goal of the match.
Meanwhile on the backline the game centered around Sean Doran, who with the rest of his defenders kept Stal back for nearly the entirety of the match. At most, the visitors had a handful of clear chances at net and couldn’t capitalize on any.
Daniel Arvidsson continued his spring surge scoring twice during the match as well, assisted by Charnas on first goal. His slow creep up the top goalscorers list has been monumental especially with Marco’s injury keeping him off the pitch for most of April.
“Dani Arvidsson has been a revelation in spring and has deputized brilliantly in Marco's absence,” Kane said.
The final goals for Celtic were scored by Doran, assisted by Curtis Oberg, and Charnas who capped off a hat trick with an assist from Coleman. His 18 goals scored this season through 18 games puts him clear in the lead for 2020-21 golden boot.
Celtic will have another Saturday match in Week 19 when they host Polonia SC on Randalls Island. Stal will host Zum Schneider FC 03 II at McCarren Park the following afternoon.
Sunday, May 2
Hoboken FC 1912 vs New York Shamrock SC (1-4)
No goal scorer information provided by New York Shamrock SC
First place New York Shamrock SC remain undefeated this season after a tough battle against Hoboken FC 1912. A strong final 30 minutes pushed the Rocks past the final hurdles and gave them the three points, 4-1.
“We came into the match with the right preparation to try to stop Shamrock's transition game, dominate possession and limit Shamrock's chances through their quick breaks and dangerous set pieces,” said Hoboken head coach Steve Korfiatis. “Unfortunately we conceded in the opening stages of the match (8th minute) through one of their quick transitions.”
A cross into the box deflected off one of the Hoboken defenders and into the net for an own-goal. Despite the tough luck the home team rebound nearly effortlessly. Starting right back up the team held a majority of the possession and opportunities for the rest of the first half. The patience in carving out lanes paid off when Kevin Halliday found Louis Mobbs on the back post who set up Teddy Sisco for the tying goal.
In the second half, Shamrock once again found the back of the net in the early stages through a nice cross that found a free man on the back post. Hoboken searched for the equalizer and nearly had it when Mobbs volleyed a shot from six yards out only to have it saved by the keeper.
However not long after things got chippy. The referee sent off both Sisco and a Rocks player after a scuffle before Timor Tcherniavski received a second yellow two minutes later leaving Hoboken to finish the match with 9 men to New York’s 10. Korfiatis believes the referee’s actions decided the match at that point as his team struggled to rebound.
“(The referee’s) first yellow for Timor was in the first few minutes of the game on TImor's fist tackle which again should have been handled with a warning,” the coach said. “The referee had forgotten that he booked Timor early in the match and admitted to one of our players that he would not have shown him another yellow had he realized it was the same player. That sort of says it all and sums up our frustration with the refereeing that afternoon.”
The Rocks scored two more goals in the final twenty minutes to leave Laurel Hill Park with the win. Despite the loss Korfitais was proud of the way his team handled themselves.
“Truthfully I am proud of the team for the way they played. Barring the last 20 minutes which was not really football, we looked comfortable in possession and created enough chances to draw and win the match. Without the ball we worked hard and largely nullified Shamrock's threat but credit to Shamrock for being able to take their chances and find a way to get a result.”
Hoboken has had a heavy slate of games. Including the league’s cup match tonight against Manhattan Celtic and this weekend’s game against Manhattan Kickers the group will have played around six matches played in three weeks. Shamrocks also have a league cup match tonight against Second Division Borgetto FC before they take on Real Olé FC this Saturday night.
Kelmendi FC NY vs Beyond FC (0-1)
Beyond FC won for the third time in four games last Sunday by defeating fourth place Kelmendi FC NY, 1-0. The loss drops Kelmendi out of the top four and puts Beyond at 20 points this season (11 points clear of the now heated relegation race). Beyond's winning goal was scored by Sherief El-Helaifi, his second of the year.
Following the Week 15 win over New York Greek Americans II, this is Beyond’s second recent win by one goal as their defense continues to improve in the spring season. Meanwhile five of Kelmendi’s last six games have been decided by one goal. It’s close margins for a team that may not be in the hunt for a title but is still looking to prove itself against the best of the CSL.
Kelmendi will host New York Greek Americans II this Sunday at Randalls Island. Beyond will visit Richmond County FC later that night at Owl Hollow Field (Staten Island).
Manhattan Kickers vs Polonia SC (1-3)
No goal scorer information provided by Polonia SC
Both Manhattan Kickers and Polonia SC are locked in a battle to escape relegation. Coming into Week 18 Polonia held a one point advantage over Manhattan with the latter currently sitting in the bottom two with only a few weeks to go in the season. The match between the two sides last weekend was just as closely contested but the visitors earned a 3-1 over the Kickers at Randalls Island to put some space between themselves and Division 2.
Manhattan’s head coach Bryan Baracaldo said after the match that while Polonia played well in the first half his team squandered plenty of opportunities in the final 45 minutes even while they were down to 10 men.
“It’s really our story of the season,” said Baracaldo in an email. “Start off slow, get scored on, wake up, dominate possession, fail to capitalize and other team score on the counter. We did make adjustments defensively to cover the long ball that most teams play on the weak side, however their keeper made some great saves.”
His team’s lone goal was a repeat of last week. Brian Morris fed a pass to Mahamadou “Remi” Diaby who knocked it in for a second straight game.
The Kickers last four games include matches against the top three of Division 1. This Sunday the team will take on Hoboken FC 1912 in New Jersey before closing out the season against Beyond FC, New York Shamrock SC, and Manhattan Celtic. Baracaldo knows that if his team wants to stick around they’ll need to earn points during this gauntlet.
“Next few weeks will be a tough schedule, Hoboken, Beyond, Shamrock and Celtic, if we really think we deserve to be here, we have our chance to prove it.”
Polonia will visit Celtic this Saturday night.
Real Olé FC vs Zum Schneider FC 03 II (0-10)
An undermanned Real Olé FC fell victim to Zum Schneider FC 03 II in Week 18’s main event. With only seven players available Real quickly became overwhelmed by Zum who now sit in fourth place on the Division 1 table. After 45 minutes, one of Olé FC’s players could not continue and the match was called.
Four players scored for Zum II in the biggest win by a team this season in only one half. Andrew Berstingl opened up scoring early and closed out the first half with a second goal, assisted by Richard Bastien and Yanki Hancioglu respectively. Stephen Ojo scored four times for his team and pushed his season total to 12 goals, leaving him in third place in the top goalscorers list.
He was assisted by Sunny Ephochi (first and third goals) and Hancioglu (second goal).
Jawhar Ahannach and Ephochi both scored two goals as well with Ryan Horch, Ojo, and Birstingl all picking up assists as well. In the end Ojo finished the short match taking part in half of his team’s goals while Ephochi took part in four separate scores.
If there are any additional updates on this story from the league it will be put here.
Real is scheduled to take on New York Shamrock SC this Saturday night. Zum II will take on Stal Mielec NY on Sunday afternoon.