Matt Costelloe popped up in the box to score his second goal in as many games to earn CPR a vital victory over second placed Pancyprians. The goal sent the CPR players, bench and management into rapturous celebration. The win extends CPR’s lead over the Pancyprians at the top of the table to five points.
The victory was made all the sweeter by the fact that CPR played most of the game with 10 men, after Bo Nyberg harshly received his marching orders on the 35th minute, following two yellow cards in quick succession.
In extremely difficult conditions with 35mph winds and driving rain, it was the Pancyprian’s who started brighter. They dominated possession in the opening stages but never threatened Dan Mejias’ goal. CPR had a new look 4-4-2 formation, which wing backs Joe Allen and Vicente Valdes took full advantage of making overlapping runs whenever the opportunity arose.
As the first half progressed CPR took more of a hold, and although Pancyprians had most of the possession, it was CPR who looked the more dangerous. Vitaliy Firsov had the first shot on goal from 30 yards, the ‘keeper spilled it and Justin Rifis did his best to get the rebound but arrived a tad late. Just before half-time Paul Clarke pulled up with a hamstring injury, and Dragon Blagojevic stepped in to partner Bruce in the heart of the defense.
After Nyberg’s dismissal, CPR manager Morse moved Palacios deeper into the middle and a combination of Elior Talmasov and substitute Peter Chodacki had to work hard up front on their own. As you’d expect, in the second half the Pancyprians had the majority of the ball but the CPR players worked tirelessly to get behind the ball when not in possession. The meanest defense in the league – one goal conceded in seven games – were in the right place at the right time to step in and win the ball.
Incredibly, being a man down, CPR began to take the game to the Pancyprians and a goal for the Red Army looked on the cards. On several occasions Peter Chodacki made good runs down the channels and a tried to find Palacios and Costelloe with crosses. A perfectly weighted through ball from Palacios found Costelloe who tried to place the ball in the top corner but the keeper got a hand to it. Then a Lee Weinstein ball put Sekou Cox away but he was cynically pulled back by what seemed to be the last defender. The defender was extremely lucky to just receive a yellow card.
The goal came with 10 minutes remaining. Chodacki got the ball near the sideline and squared up the defender before drilling a ball across the goal between defender and ‘keeper, to meet Costelloe’s outstretched foot. There was one heart in mouth moment when a Pancyprian striker flicked a cross just over the bar, but apart from that the CPR defense wasn’t too troubled.
It felt like an important victory and the type of game in previous seasons that CPR were not winning.
MotM: Matt Costelloe
Sunday Oct 27th:
CPR White @ Rovers PPD – No Show Ref
CPR 1sts and Reserves had a BYE
CPR 3rds beat SC Eintracht 3-2. Goals: Lou Williams (2) and Rory Quigley
CPR Old Boys beat NY Pancyprian Freedoms Over-30 1-0’ Goal: Matt Costelloe
CPR Orange lost 0-4 @ Manhattan Celtic Bhoys
CPR Legends drew 2-2 with Cozmoz FC. Goals: Mark Ciolli (2)
Sunday Oct 27th:
CPR White @ Rovers, 11am East 6th St.
CPR 1sts and Reserves have a BYE
CPR 3rds vs. SC Eintracht, 4pm Randall’s #82
CPR Old Boys vs. NY Pancyprian Freedoms Over-30, 10am Randall’s #74
CPR Orange @ Manhattan Celtic Bhoys, 9pm Randall’s #75
CPR Legends @ Cozmoz FC, 12noon Bush Terminal Piers Park
Good Luck All!!!!
As expected, it was a tight affair on Randall’s between these two old foes. There was little to separate the teams at half time and the second half continued in a similar vein until Matt Costelloe popped up in the box to fire CPR in the lead. It looked like one would be enough, but with ten minutes remaining Shamrocks’ caught CPR on the break, their attacker hit a fine strike that hit off one post and seemed to go across the line and hit of the other post before coming back out. The CPR players protested but the goal stood.
The goal “defied science,” according to defender Paul Clarke speaking afterwards, but regardless of the veracity of the goal, CPR had enough chances to win the game. In the first have some excellent one-touch play by Bo, Duffy and Palacios in the middle worked the ball to Cornwall on the right. He beat his man for pace, got to the by-line and whipped in a great cross. A stretching Vitali could only get enough contact to see the ball go over the bar.
At the other end the toughest defense in the league had their hands full with the skillful and big attackers of Shamrocks. However the slightly rejigged formation of Clarke and Bruce at the center, and a combination of Allen, Valdes, and Hatcher at full back coped well.
Costelloe came on in the second half, and in his first game back since the start of the season, the Limerick man changed the game, getting in behind the Shamrocks defense. With his first bit of action he nearly got through on goal, only a last ditch tackle stopped his great run.
The goal came after a bout of pinball in the box. On a number of occasions it seemed like the opportunity had gone, a deflected Bo shot hit the crossbar and everyone seemed to stop, before it fell kindly for Costelloe to make no mistake.
It was a hard match for the Old Boys, one in which they conceded their first goal of the season, but they will focus on the many positives from the game. In the end a draw might be a fair reflection.
Yellow cards: J. Allen & S. Palacios
Red cards: None
The Legends embarrassment of squad riches continued this week with Ciolli generously stepping down to allow the game day squad to reach the maximum of 18. Even with 2 late no shows in Jones and Nizam the squad was a healthy 16. Sawyer strode around with purpose describing his 4-2-4 (in reality a 4-2-3-1) and giving each squad member a detailed breakdown of his role. The debut of the new kit with the number randomizer was beneficial to the fitter members of the club, not so flattering for the…older gentlemen.
CPR were playing a new league team Astoria United SC, who appeared capable of scoring a lot of goals but also shipping them. The Legends started off purposefully and used their mobility versus their stouter opposition to pin them back. However, despite having a strong defence CPR were showing some definite miscommunication as they were exposed a couple of times on the break, forcing Arrocha off his line for some last minute clearances. Relatively early the Legends struck, a hopeful dribbler from distance from Sawyer could only be lamely pushed away by the keeper right into the path of the grateful Subah. A second and what should have been decisive goal came from a deep corner by Phillips that Sawyer converted much more assertively. The Legends composure seemed to desert them at this point as simple passes were being botched up and Astoria were winning the physical battle. Rather than fold, they kept coming and earned a way back into the game, a corner to the top of the box resulting in an accurate shot that was deflected enough to wrong foot Arrocha and pull the game back to 2-1.
At half time the Legends knew they needed to stretch the lead as the opposition were not going away quietly. Right on cue, a scramble in the box had Sawyer blocked in the act of shooting for an obvious penalty. As Astoria surrounded the referee Sawyer waited calmly for his opportunity. A little too calmly as it turned out, as his shot lobbed over and wide past the gaping right side of the goal. With barely time to digest this misfortune, the Legends gave away a free kick in the middle of the field resulting in a booking for Belizan. Perhaps still discombulated, Astoria launched a long ball that their striker somehow corralled and scored from, the type of mistake that would not have been expected from a defence of the caliber of the Legends. From 3-1 to 2-2 in a matter of a minute was certainly a gut punch, with the bright side that there was a full 40+ minutes still to play. Most of the match followed a similar pattern, the Legends left hand side wide open for whichever left side midfielder was deployed. The ball was then brought up only to meet an unyielding low block, with few clear cut chances created. On occasion Astoria would clear the ball and immediately be on the counter attack. Indeed, the clearest chances of the game were presented to them only for their finishing and Arrocha’s goalkeeping to save them.
In the end there was much huffing and puffing but no more than half chances for the Legends to seal what should have been a routine victory. Astoria proved to be a stout opponent in more ways than one, but hopefully CPR learn from this and make sure they take better advantage next time.
Competition: Astoria United SC, League Opposition
Location: Randall’s Island #73, Randall’s Island
Conditions: Brisk Autumn morning
Fans: 3, Brindley (managing the subs), Resnik, Ciolli
Result: 2:2 HT: 2-1
Goals: 1:0 Subah Assist Sawyer
2:0 Sawyer Assist Phillips
Yellow Cards: Stower, Belizan
Red Cards: None
Mike D’s aka No Shows: Despite the abundance of strikers forcing Vale and Ciolli to drop out, Nizam was an incommunicado no show. Not the best way to endear yourself to a ruthless management team. Jones shenanigans in the last few weeks got to him, but he had been in close communication with management about a potential drop out.
Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: Ciolli was the only one of the fans who was capable of playing, but based on the mooted attendance did not bring his kit with him. Given Nizam’s no show, he could well have provided added heft in the box for the last few frantic minutes.
”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: Given the maximum number of substitutes few people were out long enough to get injured. However, some of this was also due to some dainty footwork as there were a few agricultural challenges that could well have caused problems had they connected.
Old Man of the Match: Pablo Arrocha made several key saves on the counter attacks to keep the Legends still in it. Jeremy Phillips gets an honorable mention for several trademark winding runs that gained the Legends some dangerous free kicks.
Old Man of the Bar: With a long overdue award, Morse and his cooler deservedly win Old Man of the Bar/Pitch
El Presidente (Old Men who don’t make it to game but come to the bar): None, as the players made it to the game to watch and stayed on the sidelines for refreshments.
Statistic of the week: Legends first consecutive league 2-2 draw in their history saw them give up the lead in both games, in different forms of brutality. One last minute, one giving up a dominating two goal lead and with a missed penalty.
Team Bar Showing: 12 out of 16 (75%)
Team Bar Night: 3.5 out of 5. Morse’s cooler proved the main attraction once again as it ended up keeping most of the team around for a fair amount of time.
Team (No new profiles this week): Pablo Arrocha (GK), Manohar Venkataraman, Neil Stower, Gavin Moore (DF), Danny Azzo, Charles Linehan (DF), Luciano Belizan (DF), Manuel Casanova, Eduardo Mazzi (DF), Mark Edmunds (DF), Chris Impey, Ernest Subah, David Sawyer, Jeremy Phillips, Steve Morse, Takeshi Tsujita
Friday Oct 18th:
Old Boys fell 1-2 @ NY Greek American’s in the Gerhard Wengel Over 30′s Cup (USASA). Goal: Elior Talmasov
Sunday Oct 20th:
CPR White beat Shamrocks White 2-0. Goals: Lindsay Guice (2)
CPR 1sts beat Polonia Gwardia NY 3-2. Goals: Jonah Beecher, Oliver Clift and Ioan Delice.
CPR Reserves beat Polonia Gwardia NY 9-0. Goals: Trip Burke (4), Freddy Garcia, Greg Yuryev, Tomaso Rock, Alex Hula and David Jacobs
CPR 3rds lost 1-3 to Molamerica. Goal: Charles Iwobi
CPR Old Boys drew 1-1 with NY Shamrock SC Over-30. Goal: Matt Costelloe
CPR Orange lost 0-4 to NY Pancyprian Freedoms Over-30.
CPR Legends drew 2-2 with Astoria United. Goals: Ernest Subah and David Sawyer
Friday Oct 18th:
Old Boys @ NY Greek American’s, 9pm Met Oval in the Gerhard Wengel Over 30′s Cup (USASA)
Sunday Oct 20th:
CPR White vs. Shamrocks White, 11am East 6th St.
CPR 1sts vs. Polonia Gwardia NY, 8pm Randall’s #74
CPR Reserves vs. Polonia Gwardia NY, 6pm Randall’s #74
CPR 3rds @ Molamerica, 12noon Verrazano Complex #2
CPR Old Boys vs. NY Shamrock SC Over-30, 2pm Randall’s #91
CPR Orange vs. NY Pancyprian Freedoms Over-30, 12noon Randall’s #85
CPR Legends # Astoria United, 10am Randall’s #73
Good Luck All!!
CPR White beat NY Magic Reserves 3-0, and only played with 10! Goals: Kalie Bartholomew, Beth Kenworthy and Jess Tsao
CPR 1sts lost 0-2 Hoboken
CPR Reserves drew 1-1 with Hoboken. Goal: Maxwell Stith
CPR 3rds lost 2-4 to Shamrock. Goals: Miguel Salazar and Rudi Alibegu
O30s DERBY: CPR Old Boys beat CPR Orange 11-0. Goals: Elior Talmasov (4), Peter Chodacki (2), Sebastian Palacio (2), Anderson Cornwall, Sebastian Sobczak and Sekou Cox
vs SC Eintracht (POSTPONED)
After administering the usual thrashing of Banatul a few weeks ago, management appeared unusually cautious for this week’s cup game. A number of Banatul players that had not been used in the first match were expected to play, and the sting of losing 7-0 was supposed to light a fire under them. Quite how this match would be different given a 7 year history of domination was unclear, but it seems Legends management took it seriously. For the first time in Legends history, more players showed up than could be accommodated by the maximum 18 game day roster. Banatul themselves had a few substitutes, but the squad comparison clearly favored the Legends.
The game quickly set itself in a predictable pattern, with the Legends attacking and counterattacking with verve. Although Banatul’s roster reinforcements were clearly of a higher quality, their traditional “strategy” of having multiple players attack but not come back to defend was still in effect. Playing only 1 up front in a rare departure from the 4-4-2, the Legends were having difficulty penetrating into the penalty area with enough attackers. A lot of sound and fury was signifying not a whole lot, while Banatul started to grow into the game on the attacking side. Eventually the Legends broke through, a rampaging fullback run by Shobowale crossing in for Ciolli to finish. The Legends knew they would need a 2 goal lead to break Banatul’s spirit but defensive mishaps at the back led to an equalizer. With a few minutes to go until half time the Legends were able to take the lead, some nice interplay leading to Ciolli finishing well.
At half time CPR was confident that they could outwork and outlast Banatul, and with the large number of substitutes they had quicker rotations and started taking advantage of the spaces that were opening up, particularly down the left hand flank. Both Impey and Hahn continually made hay down the left hand side and one such foray set up the cushion the Legends were looking for. A pass into Ciolli resulted in beating the keeper but the ball going agonizingly wide. However Linehan was swift enough to retrieve and return the ball to Ciolli who this time finished at the second time of asking. The fact the Legends looked the favorites to score was more impressive given that they had been reduced to 10 men with the slightly harsh second yellow for Shobowale on contact that was greatly exaggerated by ex Legend Santiago Morales. The game continued to be somewhat chippy with plenty of hard tackles on both sides producing several bookings.
|Anatomy of a dirty foul and opponent’s booking, in 4 steps. No Venkataramans were harmed (much) in the making of this collage|
Now CPR started creating an abundance of dangerous opportunities, however few of them turned into clear opportunities. Perhaps the best was Hahn to Venkataraman, whose sliding finish was a few years too late in many respects. Finally Linehan received yet another opportunity and was able to convert it on target giving the Legends a comfortable final edge. With the welcome change to a purely Over 40 cup, the Legends should start having more chances at victories in cup competitions.
Competition: Banatul SC, League Opposition
Location: Randall’s Island #74, Randall’s Island
Conditions: Warm morning
Fans: 4, Arrocha (not eligible), Carlsen, Subah (over the 18 game day maximum), El Presidente (Emergency keeper, team photographer)
Result: 4:1 HT: 2-1
1-0: Ciolli Assist Shobowale
2-1: Ciolli Assist Azzo
3-1: Ciolli Assist Linehan
4-1: Linehan Assist Ciolli
Goals: 1:1 Subah Assist Stower
2:1 Sawyer Assist Ciolli
Yellow Cards: Hahn, Linehan
Red Cards: Shobowale for 2 bookings, the second of which was harsh
Mike D’s aka No Shows: None
Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: A record number of extras showed up, especially odd considering the ease with which SportEasy displays the team members showing up for the game. Arrocha wasn’t aware of the cup age limitation. Carlsen suffered from some miscommunication over need, while Casanova and Subah both signed up a few hours before game time when the available numbers were already clearly high. Although high interest is obviously a positive problem to have, the process will have to be properly defined given people arrange their weekends around the games so they shouldn’t have playing time penalized due to the last minute whims of other players.
”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: Given the maximum number of substitutes few people were out long enough to get injured.
Old Man of the Match: Although lots of people played well, a hattrick and an assist did not make this decision for Ciolli particularly hard. Given his impact and versatility over the first few games this could well be the first of many.
Old Man of the Bar: None.
El Presidente (Old Men who don’t make it to game but come to the bar): Morse, and more importantly Morse’s cooler made it just after the game to give people some well needed sustenance.
Statistic of the week: Now that the Legends will be playing against teams in the Cup near enough their own age, the hope is they can significantly improve their cup record from its current paltry 3 wins out of 16.
Team Bar Showing: 9 out of 18 (50%)
Team Bar Night: 3.5 out of 5. Several players stayed by the field watching Wolves glorious victory over City, then Faherty, Venkataraman, Pattinson and Subah made it to Blooms to watch Newcastle’s equally glorious victory over United.
Team (No new profiles this week): Scott Brindley (GK), Manohar Venkataraman, Neil Stower, Gavin Moore (DF), Danny Azzo, Charles Linehan (DF), Olatokumbo “Tokes” Shobowale (DF), Mark Dean (DF), Mark Ciolli, Pete Hahn (DF), Luciano Belizan (DF), Manuel Casanova, Willian D’Andrea, Tom Pattinson, Eduardo Mazzi (DF), Steve Teesdale, Mark Edmunds (DF), Chris Impey