A light breeze filled the air at Aviator Sports and Events Center as the PDL first team welcomed the number one east coast team Reading United AC for another Mid Atlantic divisional showdown. The last time these two teams played one another, Reading United took home the win in shutout fashion defeating FA Euro 2-0 at Gurski Stadium. Both Reading United players Zach Zandi and Kieran Roberts, who scored the two goals against FA Euro last time around, were both not at Wednesdays match.
Looking for their first goal since May 15th, FA Euro got out to a quick pace getting a few chances to score on United Keeper Benjamin Lundt, but FA Euro couldn’t finish. In the 10’ minute, forwards Cheick Karembega and Alexis Santa couldn’t connect on the give and go. The pass from Karembega to Santa had too much steam and was ultimately scooped up by United’s Lundt who ran out of the box to prevent the shot.
Playing on the counter attack, Reading United was able to capitalize on their lone shot of the first half, taking the lead early. In the 13’ minute, United forward Nico Solabarrieta made a run down the left side of the pitch, receiving a perfect through ball from his teammates before he finessed the shot past a diving Oliver Foss Hansen. Foss Hansen had to leave the game after the play with a hip injury and was replaced by backup and Loyola University keeper Matt Dabrowski.
After conceding the first goal, the first team came storming back with a couple of chances to tie the game up. In the 18’ minute, Sunnatillo Khusanov’s shot from outside the 18-yard line rattled the left goal post and out of play. Not even a minute later, midfielder Morten Wennas found Karembega in front of the net but United’s Ben Lundt made a leaping save to tip the ball over the cross bar.
Late first half opportunities for United to add to their lead never led to a goal for the Philadelphia Union affiliate. Although United was outshot by the first team six to one, they held a one goal lead into the break.
The first team came out of halftime maintaining possession and trying to break through but United defense stayed composed and FA Euro never capitalized.
As the scoring drought for FA Euro continued, Coach de Matthaeis tried all he could to find the right combination of players to score a goal. In addition to forward Dominique Marvens, who got the night off as a starter, the first team also subbed newcomer forward Daniel Velez into the game. Velez, a friend of former captain Christian Camacho, didn’t get any chances as he quickly left the game with a concussion after colliding with a United player trying to gain possession of the ball.
Again, playing on the counter attack, United’s Solabarrieta scored his second goal of the game to add the United’s lead. In the 75’ minute, Solabarrieta was on the receiving end of another great through pass that led to a clear path from the midfield to the 18-yard line before Solabarrieta finished past the charging Dabrowski. Reading United finished the contest with two goals on three shots.
“You know we all motivated ourselves from the beginning, we came out with the motivation to win,” said forward Alexis Santa. We kept it going, we pressed high we all pressed at the same time that’s what were supposed to do and unfortunately they just scored.”
Ultimately, FA Euro couldn’t break through as they dropped another close contest to Reading United by a score of 2-0. It was another disappointing loss for FA Euro as they outshot United 11-3 in the game.
“I think we gave a really strong effort today,” said longtime FA Euro forward Adam Marcu. “I thought our performance was good I thought we were missing just luck and cutting edge, but I thought we had most of the game, we played well it’s a good sign.”
The first team is back in action on Saturday, June 9th when they head to J. Birney Crum Stadium in Allentown, Pennsylvania to take on Lehigh Valley United. The game is scheduled to begin at 7 PM EDT. For updates, follow FA Euro on Facebook and Twitter.