In their first matchup since the 2016 season, the FA Euro PDL First team dropped their third game of the season one-nil in controversial fashion to the Long Island Rough Riders.
It was another rainy Tuesday night as the FA Euro PDL first team welcomed the Long Island Rough Riders to Aviator Sports and Events center for a Mid Atlantic Divisional showdown. The contest began like any other with both teams vying to gain momentum early on. The Rough Riders had various opportunities early in the game to take the lead but they couldn’t convert on three consecutive corner kicks in the 15’ minute.
The PDL first team had a chance to score in the 26’ minute after Rough Riders Keeper Dilan Castanheira got a yellow card for picking up the ball after it was passed to him from one of his teammates. The indirect free kick opportunity from just outside the 18-yard line deflected off of the Rough Riders and out of play. FA Euro went into the half with four shots in comparison to six for the Rough Riders. Both teams were unable to capitalize on any of their chances.
Coach de Matthaeis tried to gain the momentum in the second half by subbing returning midfielder Alexis Santa into the game.
As the scoreless game came down to the wire, tempers began to flare for both teams. In the 74’ Minute FA Euro’s Beck Kusanbov and Rough Riders Harry Pearse got tangled up and fell to the turf. While both players were on the ground, Pearse threw a punch at Khusanboev and a mini scuffle ensued. Both players were subsequently given a red card and will be suspended for their next game.
With both team playing down a man, the field opened up, allowing for opportunities for both team to try to take score a goal. In the 87’ minute, FA Euro was called for a controversial foul inside the penalty box. Rough Riders Mathew Sloan capitalized on the penalty shot opportunity scoring the lone goal of the game. FA Euro has now allowed a penalty shot goal in back to back games as they fell to the Rough Riders one nil.
Throughout the contest FA Euro was outshot by the Rough Riders nine to eight but many of the players felt they outperformed the Rough Riders.
“We honestly played really well,” said midfielder Alexis Santa. “Watching from the bench, the boys came out strong… I don’t like the decisions from the referees in this one, it cost us again. I think we played well all the way from the backs to the forwards…Three games, and three times that the referees have not been in our favor. That’s crucial in a game. Three red cards so far is really hard, and to play a man down during the remainder as well.”
As the PDL first team falls to 0-3 on the season, coach Matthaeis was also disappointed with some of the calls in the match.
“Obviously disappointed about the score,” said de Matthaeis. “Disappointed about the referees. I don’t use that an excuse. It was too obvious tonight. They definitely influenced the game. Our boys definitely deserved at least a tie. We ended up with 0 points. A red card that wasn’t supposed to be. It’s time now to pick up the pieces and get ourselves and energy together for Reading. I think the boys are getting closer to each other and getting to know each other. We are still a couple of weeks behind, compared to the start of the season. What I saw tonight, it was something different than I saw in the other games. A lot more unity. A lot more cohesiveness. We are on the right path, and we are still going to make an impact on the league.”
FA Euro will have a chance to change their bad fortune when they travel to south eastern Pennsylvania to take on Reading United AC. The game will be played at Gurski Stadium on Saturday, May 26th at 7 PM.