December 6, 2012
CSL: G-A Atlas eliminate rival Pancyprian Freedoms from Manning Cup quarterfinals
By Jay Mwamba
|Chris Megaloudis scored in regulation and converted a penalty kick in the shoot out for Greek-American Atlas.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
New York Greek-American/Atlas broke its Manning Cup jinx against Pancyprian Freedoms with a 4-3 penalty kick victory in the quarterfinals last Sunday that also ended the Greek-Cypriots’ seventh reign as holders.
Knocked out by the Pancyprians in the last two editions, Atlas was staring at another defeat to their Hellenic rivals in the statewide competition on Randalls Island until 15 minutes from the end. That’s when the prolific Chris Megaloudis canceled out a breathtaking 40-yard strike by Christos Zisimatos from early in the second half.
“That’s the character of our team,” G-A Atlas George Mellis said. “We picked it up, tied it and could have won it late.”
Instead, penalties were invoked.
Megaloudis, Tommy Wharf, Arman Osooli and Dominic Sarle converted for Atlas. Stefan Dimitrov, Andreas Chronis and John Koutsounades were on target for the Pancyprians, who blanked United FC 4-0 in last season’s final.
The result put Atlas, which despite four Lamar Hunt/U.S. Open Cup titles and eight Cosmopolitan Soccer League championships in their illustrious history have won only one Manning Cup , in the semifinals.
“It was a good win for us,” said Mellis, whose men eliminate Istria [2-0] and New York Athletic Club [1-0] in the previous rounds.
G-A Atlas' opponents in the final four this spring? Emerging CSL power and 2011 losing finalists United FC.
A brace by Fritson Jean helped United FC steamroll New York Croatia, 4-1, in their quarterfinal tie on Randalls Island. Frank Alesci and Brian Martinez added one apiece.
United evicted College Point, 5-1, and Central Park Rangers, 5-4 in penalties en route to the quarters.
An Irish derby between Lansdowne Bhoys and Manhattan Celtic completed the Manning Cup semifinal line-up after the latter ousted Dubliner Kevin Grogan’s Jersey City Eagles, 4-3, on penalties in the last eight on Randalls Island.
Celtic’s Adam Mitchinson [75th minute] had canceled out Paul Nittoli’s early opener [15th minute] to take the match into penalties. He scored again in the shootout. With Phil James, Austin McCann and Henry Smith also finding the mark, Celtic emerged triumphant.
“It was a tough grind,” coach Ian Woodcock said. “Kevin has a good group of young guys playing for him and they play good football.”
Grogan, a former Manchester United and Irish youth international, was gracious in defeat, saying Celtic “deserved to win.” To reach the semis, Celtic beat Mineola Portuguese, 5-3, on penalties and New York Polet, 5-1.
Lansdowne dispatched Polonia 1-0 after a 7-1 romp over Forest Park in the previous round.
In West New York, N.J., holders Hoboken FC of the CSL continued its defense of the New Jersey State Cup with a 2-0 decision over Conquistadors FC in the round of 16.
Kyle Grato [22nd minute] and Kwadwo "Kojo" Asante [34th minute] had the game wrapped up before the interval.
The CSL is guaranteed at least two quarterfinal berths in the Flamhaft Cup – which is open to second division teams only -- following victories by Manhattan Kickers and New York Ukrainians against Eastern District Soccer League and Long Island Football Soccer League opposition, respectively.
Kickers came away from Columbus Park in Port Chester with a 4-2 win over a youthful CA Tumi. Joe Haycocks [12th and 16th minutes] and Damian Lopez [30th and 70th minutes] each notched a brace.
Undefeated in Division Two [5-0-2, 17], which they lead by two points over Ukrainians, Kickers could meet Flank United, also from the CSL second tier, if the latter get past Morazan in their delayed Round of 16 tie.
Ukrainians, meanwhile, overcame an early goal by LI Juventus to edge the visitors, 2-1, at McCarren Park.
David Alkasim set up both goals for Brazilian Cassio Costa against the Italians who are undefeated in the LISFL [6-0].
The D’Arpino Cup final will be an all-CSL affair after the LISFL’s two remaining envoys, OB Fenerbache and Forest Park, were knocked out in the quarterfinals.
Fenerbache eliminated cup holders Central Park Rangers of the CSL in the previous round but came a cropper to another CSL side, Lansdowne Bhoys, in the last eight.
Mylo Tesker [two goals] and Ruari O’Neill, with a 30-yard cracker, connected for the Bhoys in a 3-1 win in Glen Cove, N.Y.. They meet Polonia, 5-3 penalty victors over Manhattan Celtic, in the semifinals.
At the Aviator Sports Complex, Sergey Avramenko [two goals] and Bogdan Matyushenko fired United FC into the D’Arpino Cup semis at Forest Park’s expense.
Waiting in the wings for United are Barnstonworth Rovers, who pipped New York Athletic Club, 3-2, on penalties at Icahn Stadium after a 1-1 draw.
Rovers’ Alex Weekes and Scott Noble of NYAC exchanged goals in an absorbing match before the home side held its collective nerve in the shootout.
Both goalkeepers were outstanding -- Max Krasilovsky for Rovers and NYAC’s David McKeon -- but the latter could not stop Ajene Green’s winner.
“I think this was like a final as these were the best two teams in the entire draw and in the league,” Rovers boss Stavros Zomopoulos said.
The D’Arpino Cup is open to first and second division reserve teams only.
A 19 year-old bagpiper was the bane of BW G Cosmos in CD Iberia’s 4-2 Division 3 Cup quarterfinal win on Randalls Island
Beni “Bagpipes” Santiago, who plays in the Casa Galicia marching band, had two goals [15th and 60th minutes] and an assist to keep Iberia’s hundred percent record in all competitions this season intact.
He latched onto Diego Monteagudo’s incisive 30-yard pass for the first, cleverly chipped the goalie from 25 yards for number two and then helped Steve “El Caballo” Nyarady [25th and 65th minutes] complete his own brace.
Cosmos went down fighting, battling back from two down to tie the game at one point through new signing Michael Ledesma [46th, 50th].
“It was a competitive match as the Cosmos had a very talented team,” David Lago said.
Iberia, the Metro Division One [East] leaders, meet Metro Division Two Ridgewood Romac in the semis. Romac beat Brishna, 2-1.
Mr. Dennehy’s skipper JP Loize punctuated a 4-0 drubbing of New York Hota with an amazing long range strike in a delayed Round of 16 tie encounter on Long Island.
Lance Pitterson and Gerry Smith [two goals] had Dennehy’s cruising before Loize spotted the Hota keeper off his line and lined up a shot from more than 30 yards. The ball flew over the desperately backtracking keeper and into the net.
“The icing on the cake . . . a wonder goal!” Ronan Gardiner said.
His lads next have a date with Hicksville All Stars.
His work done after netting both goals in the 2-2 regulation time draw with Istria, Errol McFarlane could afford to miss a penalty in the ensuing shootout as Barnstonworth Premier advanced 4-3 in the Over-30 state competition.
Quan Walker, Marlon Johnson, Duane Pena and Aldo Morales picked up the slack in the shootout while Curtis Long made two saves to secure Barnstonworth a quarterfinal date with Nieuw Amsterdam.
The Dutchmen knocked off BW G Cosmos, 3-1, courtesy of Chris Holterhoff, Reza Watts and Darran Cronshaw [penalty kick].
On Long Island, Manhattan Premier crashed out of the Marth Cup, 3-1, at the hands of 10-man former winners Baisley United.
Joe Whiteman [50th minute] had equalized for Kickers when Baisley had a man ejected in the 75th minute. But two Baisley goals in the dying minutes ended the CSL club’s hopes.
There was heartbreak for the Shamrock Over-30s, too.
A dramatic 89th-minute leveler by Mike Bishop forced penalties but the Rocks would succumb, 3-1, in the shootout with Paddy Geraghty the lone scorer.
In a makeup game at McCarren Park, Second Division Stal Mielec thrashed NYPD FC, 6-0, with Jacek Lawniczak on target four times. Kestutis Mykolaitis got the other two.
Stal’s reserves won, 5-0, on goals by Wojtek Kiwak, Jacek Korba, Irving Forbes, David Lis and David Fedorowicz.
Also in Division Two, Shamrock coughed up a two-goal lead in the last 10 minutes in a 2-2 tie with FC Gwardia.
Kyler Scheid -- from Andy Horan’s corner kick [30th minute] -- and Matt Partain [60th minute] had the Rocks comfortably ahead when Poles hit back through Marcin Januszko [penalty kick] and Konrad Sobot.