We have three of our Region finals set as we played five semifinal matches over the weekend. Of those contests, only one was decided in regulation while the other had to be decided from the penalty mark.
It started Saturday evening as Providence City FC (MA) hosted the Jackson Lions FC (NJ). The match ended nil-nil with the Jersey side advancing on penalties 4:2. Their opponent in the final will be West Chester United (EPA). The match is scheduled for 19 June at the Ukrainian American Sports Center in Horsham, Pennsylvania.
Newtown Pride FC (CT) were the lone victor over the weekend in their visit against Vistula Garfield SC (NJ). After a scoreless first half, Gabriel Ganzer opened the match with his goal in the 54th. Newtown’s lead doubled in the 65th when Keita Ibrahima fed Ronaldinho Diniz only to see Vistula cut the lead 5 minutes later on a goal from Paul Kondratowicz. Mo Ndiaye sealed the match in 87th to send Newtown to the Amateur Cup final. The Pride won the Region and National title in 2019.
The other Amateur finalist will be NOVA FC (MDCVA) who edged West Chester United (EPA) 5:4 in penalties. West Chester got off to an early start with when Spencer Burkhardt set up Lyam MacKinnon in the 8th minute. NOVA drew it even on the 28th as Brandon Williamson converted his penalty. The match ended 1:1 and keeper Chris Palacios took his club through with his save on the second kick. The final will take place on 18 June at the Ukrainian American Sports Center.
The Renegades (MDCVA) return to the National Over-40 Cup final after a 1:1 draw against Christos FC (MD). The Maryland side took the lead just before the half when Pat Crawford assisted Kenny Suter. The Renegades tied in in the 88th on a penalty kick and then went on to outlast Christos 4:2 in the penalty rounds. They will meet Safira FC (MA) who edged Den of Lions Legends (NJ) 5:4 in penalties after a 0:0 draw. Player/coach Andre Ferreira hit the winner in the penalty rounds. The title match will precede the Amateur final on 18 June.
We are down to our last set of semifinals this weekend with the Gerhard Mengel Cup, the Over-30 championship. Christos FC (MD) will host Sporting 804 (MDCVA) while Danbury United (CT) travel to NY Pancyprian Freedom (ENY).
The last Amateur Cup quarterfinal match was played Saturday evening with 2019 National Champion Newtown Pride FC (CT) defeating NY Greek Americans (ENY), a side with several Open and Amateur trophies on their shelves, 3:2. Newtown went down a player 17 minutes into the match with the half ending in a scoreless stalemate. Gabriel Ganzer put the Pride in the lead by converting from the penalty spot. The Greeks saw one of their players sent off in the 81st but were able to draw it even a few minutes later pouncing on a rebound after a saved penalty. In the 89th, it appeared that Nelson Savaria hit the game winner with his 35-yard blast for the Americans. Ganzer added his second a few minutes into stoppage time and then an own goal gave Newtown the final tally to send them to the semifinals. They will travel to New Jersey to take on Vistula Garfield SC.
We finished the quarterfinal rounds of the Gerhard Mengel Cup, the Over-30 Championship, on Sunday with Region cup holder Christos FC (MD) picking up where they left off last season in a 3:1 defeat of Sportsfriend Polonia SC (NJ). After a scoreless first half, Tommy Quaranta gave the Maryland side the lead in the 56th followed by a goal from Danny Baxter five minutes later. Marco Mangione made it 3 in the 87th while Konrad Plewa raised one for the Polonia flag in the 89th. Christos will meet Sporting 804 (MDCVA) who drew West Chester United (EPA) 2:2 but advanced on penalties 6:5. Joshua Labik started West Chester with a 3rd minute goal but Jacob Van Yahres tied it in the 39th. The match appeared to go to penalty rounds but Michael Lodge gave the visitors a brief lead in the 89th. A minute later, Mike Crosse tied it for Sporting.
In the northern bracket Danbury United (CT) outlasted the NY Greek Americans (ENY) in a goal fest in a 5:3 victory. The Battery Park Gunners (MA) were gracious hosts as they got shut out by the NY Pancyprian Freedom (ENY) 5:0.
We have sole match this weekend with West Chester United (EPA) hosting Amherst Shooters (WNY) at Kildares Field in West Chester, Pennsylvania, in their semifinal contest for the Werner Fricker Cup. The other semifinal featuring Providence City FC (MA) and Jackson Lions FC (NJ) will be played on 14 May.