NY Pancyprian Freedoms playmaker Andreas Iosifidis.
By Ralph 'Onz' Chery |@onz_11
Dec. 10th, 2018
Andreas Iosifidis led NY Pancyprian Freedoms to a 1-0 victory against NY Greek Americans in the Hellenic Derby, striking the ball off a NY Greek defender and into the net in the 55th minute on Sunday evening home at St. John's University Belson Stadium.
A win over their Greek rivals always comes with an extra bit of ecstasy even when it's from a deflected shot. You could hear that extra bit of ecstasy from the Freedoms' locker room after the match.
"It's always good to beat the Greeks so everyone is buzzing," Iosifidis said.
He later added: “We were a bit lucky to get that goal, we were lucky with the deflection but we’ll take it every day.”
Last time the two sides met, the Freedoms were on the losing end, bowing down to NY Greeks 3-0 in the Fricker Cup opener.
The Freedoms were the dominant side from the get-go but were mainly troubling the Greeks' organized defense with long range shots.
Jeff Matteo started the long-shot riot in the 13th minute when he struck the ball from outside the 18 just wide of Bradley Johnson's net.
Eight minutes later, NY Pancyprians winger Adam Himeno blew past Patrick Guier in midfield and after taking a couple more touches hit a shot from outside the box past the left goalpost.
NY Greeks attempted to score the opener from outside the penalty area as well. Guier elegantly twisted past a couple NYPF players but the former Germany U-17 midfielder couldn't cap off his run with the shot he wanted, caressing a weak shot low toward the goaol to give Hector Guerrero a rather easy first save.
The Freedoms opened the scoring 10 minutes after the restart and it wasn’t from a long-range hit. The man with the pony tail on the Cypriot club’s left wing, Andreas Chronis, switched the ball to Iosifidis on the right flank with a well-measured pass.
NY Pancyprian Freedoms left winger Andreas Chronis assisted Andreas Iosifidis' goal. Picture by Dinos Avlonitis
The 26-year-old danced his way inside the Greeks’ box past a couple of defenders before unleashing a shot with his right foot. The ball struck a NYGA defender then made its way in the net.
“The movement was good I think I dribbled one or two guys but then I got the deflection. The shot wasn’t great to be honest. I’m still happy that I got the goal,” Iosifidis said.
The playmaker almost put the home team up by two later in the 77th minute. It started with Himeno and Lukas Ostermann’s initial chance.
After bolting down the right wing, Himeno squared the ball to Ostermann. Since he was marked, Ostermann touched the ball away from the net then squared the ball back to Himeno, who had made a run in the middle of the box. Ostermann’s pass didn’t reach Himeno as it was cleared away by a Greek defender.
The clearance rolled straight to Iosifidis, who paced toward NY Greeks' goal, faked a shot to juke a defender but when he actually released a shot the ball strolled away from the net inches past the left goalpost.
It's safe to say the game was quiet after this play. The closest a player went from putting his name on the scoresheet following the former Hofstra University player’s effort was when his teammate Chronis curled a shot just over the crossbar after making one of his usual run down the left flank.
The Freedoms will end the first half of the season in first place. After getting knocked out of the Fritz Marth Amateur Cup, the Werner Fricker Cup and not qualifying for the U.S. Open Cup, Iosifidis longs to win the league this season with NYPF.
“Unfortunately we lost in the Open Cup [qualifiers] and in the Amateur Cup but I think this year we can win it all in the league. That’s what we’re going for.”
Last time the Cypriot club won the CSL was in 2011 but have clinched the final three times in the past five seasons.
NY Pancyprian Freedoms
Shots (on target): 9 (2)
Saves: 1—keeper Hector Guerrero
Yellow cards: 1 (Jonathan Borrajo)
Red cards: 0
Corner kicks: 1
NY Greek Americans
Shots (on target): 4 (1)
Saves: 1—keeper Bradley Johnson
Yellow cards: 1 (Fabian Bastidas)
Red cards: 0
Corner kicks: 3