We played two sets of quarterfinal rounds last weekend with the Amateur and National Over-40 Cups. The first match took place on Saturday in the Amateur Cup with Vistula Garfield SC (NJ) defeating Fall River FC (MA) 3:1. Nicolas Kozdron, Andres Gonzalez and Christopher Karcz tallied for Vistula with Kozdron and Gonzalez standing out. Ruben Faria scored the lone goal for Fall River. Their semifinal opponent will be this Saturday’s winner between Newtown Pride FC (CT) and NY Greek Americans (ENY).
In the southern bracket, West Chester United (EPA) shutout Appalachia Steel FC (PAW) 3:0 with goals coming from Jacob Gosselin, Spencer Burkhardt and Dominick Banchstein. That sets up their Amateur semifinal against NOVA FC (MDCVA) who went through after 12 rounds of penalties against the BSC Raiders (WNY). It was a back-and-forth match, the Raiders taking an early lead in the 12th from a rebound by Mo Keita after a Hunter Walsh free kick. JP Ayolmbong took advantage of a loose ball to draw it even in the 24th. Daniel Akinkoye beat Raider keeper Dan Panaro on a one-on-one to put the visitors ahead in the 53rd. In the dying minutes, Keita gave his side a lifeline and the match finishes 2:2. It took 12 rounds of penalties to decide the match with NOVA gaining the edge 10:9 as their keeper Bogdan Svitin saved three penalties and made good on is own when he took the kick.
Our other group of quarterfinals involved the National Over-40 Cup. Region cup holder Fairfield GAC (CT) was eliminated by Safira FC (MA) 3:1. The Massachusetts side’s semifinal opponent will be Den of Lions Legends (NJ) who edged the Manhattan Celtic (ENY) 2:1 with three minutes remaining. Fernando Moreria and Sergio Ulloa lead the way for the Legends. Valentin Cadena with an assist from John Tanios got the only goal for Celtic.
Our southern bracket semifinal will feature a replay from last season the Renegades (MDCVA) took out Radnor Phoenix (EPA) 2:1. Robert Francis gave the Philly side the halftime lead with his goal in the 40th. Renegades pounced back with Saul Montero opening the second half in the 48th and Matthew Delicate getting the game winner a few minutes later. It will be the second Maryland/Virginia battle for Christos FC (MD) who defeated the Screaming Eagles O40 (MDCVA) 3:1. Man of the match Kevin Wise hit a brace and Mark Holmes contributed the other goal. John Schickert deputized the goal for Christos.
This weekend, we have our remaining Amateur Cup quarterfinal match with Newtown Pride FC (CT) hosting NY Greek Americans (ENY). We have all four matches for the Gerhard Mengel Cup (O-30 championship) with the northern bracket pitting Danbury United (CT) against NY Greek Americans (ENY) and the Battery Park Gunners (MA) hosting NY Pancyprian Freedom (ENY). In the southern side, Christos FC (MD) travels to face Sportsfriend Polonia SC (NJ) while Sporting 804 (MDCVA) entertain West Chester United (EPA).