First Team // First Team pick up three points with a 2-1 win over NY Ukrainians
First Team came to McCarren Park feeling very confident after their 3-1 win over F.C. Japan the week before.
The possession was even throughout the match, but NY Ukrainians were able to strike early in the first half. First Team have been in this position many times this season and they knew exactly what they had to do. Kick it in gear and come back. They would find an equalizer through Sherief El-Helaifi when a long ball on the right side found Andre Gayraud, who switched the play over to Sherief and with plenty of time and space he slotted the ball home with his left foot. A perfectly worked counter attack. That was your score at half time, even at 1-1.
Beyond were rather fortunate in the second half, even with the possession game going back and forth there came a turning point midway through the half. Paco Navarro Gonzalez took a free kick, but NY Ukrainians let Andre Gayraud have the freedom of McCarren Park. With a solid technique, Andre got his head to the ball and his name on the score sheet. First Team had turned it around 2-1 and they wouldn't look back.
So with this win what's the biggest positive to take away? I asked goal scorer Sherief El-Helaifi his thoughts. "I think everyone fought, everyone ran for his teammates. We came back again again after being down 1-0, that shows the morale of the team. Defensively we were solid, Sonny Henderson and Ryan McPherson organized the defense really well. All in all it was a great team effort and everything worked well."
This was also a new experience for Karl Verna, who usually plays with Reserves, "It took me a few minutes to find my feet but I think I held my own. The intensity for the First Team was a little bit harder. There was a little bit more determination and a little bit more fight so that was interesting to see." said Karl Verna but with his performance we could certainly see him with the First Team more often! Congrats Karl!
This is the second straight win for First Team, they to make it nine points in three games this coming Sunday when they play NY Ittihad FC in the final game of the season.
Reserves // Reserves 1-0 to NY Ukrainians, only their second loss all season
In the beginning of the game it seemed to be like a script Reserves and written and starred in - lots of possession and plenty of chances on goal. It was encouraging and given their form throughout the season there wasn't any doubt they had the potential to go on and win. The score at half time was 0-0, there for the taking.
In the second half however, Reserves seemed to have lost their focus as more gaps in the midfield started to appear. A few miss placed passes and finishing off great chances showed that the team weren't quiet up to the standards they had set for themselves this season. With about 20 minutes remaining in the half a ball crossed by NY Ukraininas was not cleared first time, which was turned in on a second attempt. This was the only goal of the game as Reserves went home empty handed for the second time this season.
It certainly has been a wild ride for Reserves and Karl Verna sees nothing but positives. "From a growing perspective we're definitely getting there. If you look at the table you'll see we have a lot of draws, but that's always better than a loss." he said after the game.
With only one game left in the season, Patrick Fox gave us his thoughts on the day and heading into next week. "Overall it wasn't a bad performance. We had some good passing, but lacked the finishing. We need to come into the game with a little bit more composure up front. We're usually a team that comes from behind but need to capitalize on more chances."
Reserves will look to end on a high note this Sunday as they take on NY Ittihad FC.
Metro // Metro demonstrate their offensive power in 4-0 win over SC Eintracht
Metro team came into the game against SC Eintracht looking for a little revenge from their last meeting, which ended in a draw. In that encounter SC Eintracht clearly out played Metro, who were fortunate enough to come away with a point. That would not be the case this time around though.
With a free kick 20 yards from the half line, Glen Mitas put the ball into the box hoping to give someone else a chance at bringing it home. Instead the keeper gifted Glen the goal as the ball slipped through his hands and into the net. By no means pretty, but a goal is a goal and Metro found themselves up 1-0. Andre Rosas then followed up with a goal of his own right into the bottom corner after a pass from Navrun Jacob. The score at half time was 2-0 and the message was clear - "Keep it up."
That's exactly what Metro did throughout the rest of the game. It was Rahul Bhagavan's turn to score with a goal right into the top corner making it 3-0. Just to make sure they had won it, Navrun Jacob got the ball on the left wing, passed it to Andre, who passed it to Osama Naji for an easy tap in finish. 4-0 the final score for Metro.
So how can a team that wins 4-0 improve? Navrun thinks it's actually down to scoring more. "We played really well, but we could have scored a lot more. I myself missed a lot of easy chances." he said after the game. "I am very confident we are going to win our last two games. I think we are the best team in the league right now." he added very confidently.
I have also been told that Navrun has issued a challenge to First Team player and coach Jeremy Rampon about an off season game between Metro and First Team. "We're gonna kill them." said Navrun jokingly. This would certainly make for a great summer classic, but first Metro have to finish up. They'll look to make it four straight wins when they play Gotham City FC on Sunday.