Monday, June 16, 2008

Rounding out the 1st Round

My apologies for the delay, but I was away most of the weekend. Nonetheless, postponed because of torrid weather, Friday night featured a match between USL-2 Real Maryland and USASA New York Pancyprian-Freedoms. Had Freedom Panagoitis Halkidis not been booked twice in a minute and NY been forced to 10 men, they very well may have won. But, fortune did not smile upon them as Real Maryland scored two late goals to win 3-2 AET.

Julio Cesar DoSantos began the scoring on the day, exploiting Maryland's defender Marcos Chantal mistake and putting NY up 1-0 in the 22nd. The tepid first half would remain in favor of NY, as the amateurs' hoped they too could be apart of a big upset.

Maryland responded however, when Muner Hasssan headed home a Dennis Alas free kick to tie the score at 1-1 in the 56th. NY responded in a timely fashion, when Matia Damiani was left all alone at the back post, and he slotted in a rebound from a free kick in the 69th.

The pendulum of providence suddenly swung against NY when Panagoitis Halkidis was booked in the 82nd and 83rd minute, reducing the squad to 10 men. Just two minutes later, Maryland's Nilson Perez scored from a Alas pass to tie the game. Although NY held on to send the match into extra time, and then almost to penalties, Marcos Chantal redeemed himself in the 117th minute by heading in a rebounded free kick that NY keeper Dilmer Martinez blocked but did not save.

And so the mighty tike's fell 3-2 after being so close to victory. Maryland's Alas, already involved with the two previous goals, had a role to play in the third and is undoubtedly the player of the match. Congrats to the Salvadorian.