The weather played a huge role in games across the board in Week 17. Multiple top teams fell, one of the final playoff spots was clinched, two games were not played, and Manhattan Kicker's kept their playoff dreams alive as they hope for a huge upset in the final week of regular season games.
Here's the full Division 2 recap:
Thursday, May 9
Panatha USA v. NY Ukrainians (0-3)
Panatha USA remains winless after the team fell to NY Ukrainians, 3-0, as the latter breaks a three games losing streak.
Marko Petkovic and reserve player Dmitri Jacobs both scored in the first half while Rafael Santos put in the third goal during the last 45. Neither team couldn rest too much after the game since both were schedualed for games the following weekend.
Saturday, May 11
Sporting SC v. CD Iberia (8-0)
With the chance to clinch the second playoff spot in Division 2 North, Sporting SC came out of Saturday night with a huge win over a depleted CD Iberia squad, 8-0. Sporting, following its final regular season match next week against NYPD FC, will take on the second place team from D2 South in the first round of the promotion playoffs.
Sporting team captain and top scorer, Abdoulaye "The Lion" Ibrahima scored four goals in the game, two in each half including the opening shot in the 10th minute. He now sits at 23 goals on the year.
The four other goals came from Kendon “PimPim” Anderson and Marc Vilson in the first half before Tom Yorston and Ricardo Chamorro both scored within 15 minutes of one-another to close out the game.
While the team’s offense surged, the defense also made valiant efforts late in the game as Iberia looked to rally back a goal or two. Keeper Laurence Girard helped Sporting earn only its second clean sheet of the game which say him save a handful of one of one opportunities to keep his team perfect on the day.
Club manager Ed Romero made it clear while his team is going to focus on next week’s game against NYPD FC, they will also take full advantage of the opportunity.
“With the second spot secured, now we can focus on state cup next week,” Romero said in an email after the game. “In our last game with NYPD FC, we plan on calling up our reserve players and have them get a shot at First Team play.”
Manhattan Celtic v. Brishna (3-1)
In their final game of the regular season Brishna fell for the ninth time this year, 3-1, against a Manhattan Celtic team fighting to possibly make the playoffs. While they did win, Sporting SC’s win on the same night officially eliminates Celtic from postseason contention.
Celtic dominated a large portion of the game which was highlighted by two goals from Marco Charnas. Raul Zuninga scored the third goal for Manhattan as the game sealer. For Brishna they had chances in sporadic bursts with Mohammad Yusuf Mashriqi capitalizing on one and getting a goal back for his team.
Celtic head coach Matthew Kane said after the game his team played a solid 90 minutes with only a handful of slips.
“Lads dominated majority of game and only 20 minutes Brishna showed real quality and scored a great goal,” Kane said in a postgame email. “However we were superior.”
FC Japan v. FC Ulqini (4-2)
No goal scorer information given by FC Ulqini
On a soggy Saturday night, FC Japan came away with a win over FC Ulqini, 4-2, thanks to a great effort by its offense against in difficult conditions.
Ken Mochizuki scored twice for his team, his second game with a goal in as many weeks, while Issei Mitsui and reserve player Dai Kageyama both scored a goal each for the team. Japan lead leading into halftime and added on multiple goals in the second half to end the game.
While the team cannot finish in the top half of D2 South, it will be looking for a strong end to the season as it tries to spoil Stal Mielec NY’s playoff party next week.
Sunday, May 12
NYPD FC v. FC Spring Valley (3-0 FT)
The game between playoff hopefuls NYPD FC and FC Spring Valley never took place as the latter never showed up to the field.
NYPD team manager Ronald Mejia reported that no contact was made between the two teams. No official result from this game has been reported though even if NYPD is awarded a win their playoff hunt is over due to Sporting SC’s win last Wednesday.
UPDATE: NYPD FC has been awarded a win, 3-0, due to forfeit
Panatha USA v. Beyond FC (0-3 FT)
The match between Panatha USA and Beyond FC did not occur on Sunday afternoon.
According to both teams the referees did not appear for the reserves game. The reports split following this and no official word has been given by the league.
UPDATE: Beyond FC has been awarded a win, 3-0, due to forfeit
NY Ukrainians v. Polonia Gwardia NY (4-2)
No goal scorer information given by Polonia Gwardia NY
The D2 South leaders Polonia Gwardia NY studdered in their penultimate regular season game and gave up a two goal lead on route to a loss, 4-2, against the NY Ukrainians, 4-2.
Polonia entered the game hot on a seven game win streak dating back to last year and the first seed in the south region locked down. The play on the field was excellent as well as the Polish squad scored twice before the half hour mark on a wet, rainy day.
But the Ukrainians play never let up and right before the half ended Maged Alkasimi slipped the ball to Jesse Alexander for the team’s first goal and cut the deficit in half. Right after the restart Adnan Zaganjor, level up the score following a corner kick and made a whole new game. One more corner not long after that completed the comeback as Lukasz Prawdzik headed in the third goal for his team to put them ahead.
The second best team, in terms of points, tried desperatly to level the score once again and pushed up to pressure the NYU backline. But in the process, the team left to much space open and allowed Vasyl Yaremchuk, who assisted on the three previous goals, to seal the game with one minute to go on a counter attack.
Manhattan Kickers v. Williamsburg International FC (1-0)
The Manhattan Kickers came up with a huge win, 1-0, to keep their season alive as Brian Morris scored early against Williamsburg International FC for what would be the winning goal.
On a very wet playing field, Gerson Lima found Morris with a fantastic left footed pass from the left side of the field. Morris put the ball over the advancing WIFC goalie’s head at the 18 yard line. This would be the team’s first chance on goal of only three on the day.
Williamsburg club president John Erganian praised Kicker’s keeper Ryan Vyskocil for his excellent play in non-ideal conditions.
“We had many shots and attacking opportunities, their keeper didn’t spill anything in difficult conditions, and when we did put dangerous balls across the box we couldn’t get lucky on any of them,” Erganian said in an email after the game.
Kickers head coach Bryan Baracaldo agreed and named Vyskocil the game MVP for his side while also praising the defensive duo of Tommy Fitzpatrick with Khriswayne Wallace.
Williamsburg takes on Polonia Gwardia NY this Sunday in both team’s final regular season game. With his team out of games to play, Coach Baracaldo now knows his group’s fate relies on an upset win next week by FC Japan over current third place team Stal Mielec NY.
“Now we wait for a miracle by Japan,” Baracaldo said in an email.
KidSuper Samba AC v. Real Olé FC (5-1)
KidSuper Samba AC heads into the final regular season game this weekend with a win, 5-1, over the struggling Real Olé FC. The team will head into the postseason following next week’s game against Manhattan Celtic while Real ends its year on a three game losing streak.
Real got on the board early in the game against the second division’s top team after Oscar Rodriguez setup Nick VonEgypt to slot in the first goal of the day. But it would be the team’s only one as soon after KidSuper took control.
Yankuba Janneh played a massive role for his team after the slow start and started off by assisting on the tying goal from Ebrima Jallow. He followed that up by scoring three of his team’s next four including two in the first half and the game sealer late in the game. Jallow returned the favor by assisting on the first one while Alhoussain Bah and Karamba Janneh aided the next two.
Down heading into the second half, Real struggled to keep possession and could only watch as Khadim Kane, assisted by Jallow putting the game out of reach early in the second half as the other team cruised to victory.