TEANECK, NJ – The club’s first team (2-6-4, 10 points) fell to the Cedar Stars Rush (4-3-3, 15 points) by a score of one nil, on Saturday night at Fairleigh Dickinson University. The first team suffered their third consecutive loss, and have dropped all three on the current road trip. For the Cedar Stars Rush, their first match in 10 days, turned out to be a nail-biting victory against FA Euro, where the ice-breaker, turned out to be the difference maker in the contest. The club had been missing two players on the front end in forward Filippo Tamburini and Conor McGlynn due to suspensions. Both will be returning on Sunday evening against the Evergreen Hammers.
Suffering defeat in the previous two road contests against the Long Island Rough Riders and Ocean City Nor’easters respectively, has a team with high hopes on its heels as they look for their first victory in two weeks. Featured in the starting lineup included defender Kalley Muntaha, who made his return in the previous contest in New Jersey, after missing a full month of action due to a lower body injury. Additionally, the most recent signings of former 2000’s player Alan Ponieman, and head of player fitness and star PDL defender, Momodou Sawaneh, for the remainder of the season.
Beginning the contest off just three minutes into the first 45, midfielder Kwadwo Kwashie shoots one high above goalkeeper Sean Murray in the north end of the field at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Nine minutes following, forward Sidney Rivera from Cedar Stars went one-on-one with defender Kalley Muntaha, as his attempt at a goal went directly off the shin-guard of first team keeper Andrew Pereira. The rebound deflected off the NYIT product, into the path of defender John Sabal, Jr. for the clear.
The chance given to NYIT goalkeeper Andrew Pereira turned out to be a difficult choice for the club to make, as starting keeper Babacarr Ceesay was given the evening off. Cedar Stars’ Sebastian Verela put one shot past the diving Pereira to put the home team ahead by one. Chances for the first team, seemed to arrive at every turn. A cross from captain and midfielder Kyle Parish lands in the path of midfielder Alan Ponieman, as he records his first shot of the 2019 campaign. The shot would land directly into Murray’s hands to keep the first team down a goal. Two minutes following the former 2000’s first shot on goal of the season, a turnover from a Rush defender, lands right in front of Ponieman, where his first of two shots in the current sequence went directly off the Australian native, Parish’s shin, and rebounded perfectly in front of the goal but would sail high over the goal. Ensuing action from Cedar Stars in their own offensive end, multiple shots from the teams’ forwards luckily ricochets off of captain Kyle Parish, then lands in front of midfielder Valentino Ambrosio, who then shoots wide to the right. The captain would bail out the poor defensive play in the early part of the second half with just his lower-body.
At the half, head coach Joe Balsamo would make a pair of substitutions on the defensive side of the pitch, where Kalley Muntaha would be replaced by Troy Carrington. Followed by Momodou Sawaneh making his 2019 season debut, and replacing Kwadwo Kwashie. Five minutes into the second 45’, an offensive attack from the first team saw Robi Sillah attempt a bicycle kick in the box, that unfortunately did not go anywhere. Captain Kyle Parish, who seemed to have been everywhere on the field, would come to the veteran forward’s defense, and attempt a shot, that would sail wide left of Murray. Following the unsuccessful bicycle kick from Sillah, the Spaniard would be replaced by forward and NYIT product Philip Atbashyan in the 56’ minute of play.
Yellow cards, were very popular in Teaneck on Saturday evening, where the ensuing free kick for FA Euro, taken by defender Tomasso Davico, was blocked by a slew of defenders in the box. Fast forwarding to the 75’ minute of play, Tomasso Davico would be replaced by midfielder Nermin Buljubasic. The former 2000’s captain would make his return to play in over five matches. Four minutes following the substitution, Cedar Stars would be issued a yellow-card caution, due to a Mikail Radchenko trip. The ensuing free-kick would be taken by Alan Ponieman, that ricocheted off numerous defenders and his own teammates. The rebound would head in the opposite direction towards the defensive zone, with nothing to show for it.
Stoppage time featured the most notable parts of the contest, as tempers began to flare between both clubs. A one-on-one for captain and midfielder Kyle Parish saw him overwhelm the goalkeeper Sean Murray. Following the mini-scrum, offsetting yellow-card cautions were issued to each player, as the respective teammates came to each-others rescue.
The first team fell to the Cedar Stars Rush at Fairleigh Dickinson University in 90 + 3’ of stoppage time. The visiting team led in shots 7-5, with a pair coming from Alan Ponieman and Alexis Santa. For the Rush, Sidney Rivera and Valentino Ambrosio led the way with a pair of shots for the home team. The team also was issued three yellow cards during the match.
The club’s first team closes out their 2019 home schedule on Sunday, July 7, when they welcome the Evergreen Hammers to New Utrecht High School. The match is slated to begin at 5:00 p.m. As always, the match can be seen live on the I-95 Sports and Entertainment Network, and on YouTube.com/FAEuro.