Report: Western Mass 1- Real Maryland 0
Late goal sinks Monarchs
An 82nd minute header by James Greenslit lifted Western Mass to a 1-0 victory over Real Maryland for the second time in three weeks.
Western Mass put Real Maryland on the back foot right away and created three quality chances in three minutes. The best of the lot came in the ninth minute when the Monarchs squandered possession in midfield. Anthony Augustine put Jeff Deren in on goal, but Emilio Zelaya was quick off his line to stop the initial shot and defender Stephen Basso cleared the rebound off the goal-line.
The Pioneers continued to apply high pressure and Zelaya was forced into action yet again in the 25th minute. Daryl Ferguson conceded possession in midfield and once again Deren found himself in behind the Monarchs’ back-line. The former UMASS standout tired to chip Zelaya, but the USL-2 keeper of the week was equal to the task. Deren got the rebound and shot low, but Zelaya got down well to make an extraordinary sequence of saves.
Three minutes later Western Mass was at it again. Omar McFarlane broke down the wing and put his cross right on the foot of Neil Krause. The forward’s shot looked destined for the net but Ferguson made the crucial block.
Real Maryland’s best chance of the half came in the 31st minute. Nilson Perez slid the ball to William Brindley at the top right corner of the box. Brindley struck the ball toward the near post, but Western Mass keeper Matt Glaeser got over well to make the save.
The half ended nil-nil with only a combination of sensational goalkeeping by Zelaya and some desperate defending keeping Western Mass off the board as the team’s headed for the tunnel.
The Monarchs started the second half brightly and thought they snatched the lead in the 63rd minute. Following a clearance out of the defense, Brindley found himself in a two on one with Perez. Brindley played the ball into the streaking Colombian who calmly placed his shot past Glaeser, but the referee’s assistant had his flag up for what looked to be a dubious decision.
A minute later, things got worse for the Monarchs as Devlin Barnes was shown a red card for his second questionable booking of the night leaving the Monarchs down to ten men for the third straight week.
The match continued to deteriorate for Real Maryland as center-back Philippe Bissohong went down with a leg injury in the 68th minute prompting coach Silvino Gonzalo to bring in Matthew Eby and reshuffle his backline.
Real Maryland’s misery was compounded in the 82rd minute when James Greenslit rose unmarked in the area to head home a Federico Molinari corner to seal all three points.
“In the first half we had a lot of trouble,” Coach Silvino Gonzalo admitted after the match, “but our players continued to fight and to me they are champions. I am very proud of them.”
Real Maryland is back in action Saturday night when it travels to Cleveland for its second road match of the season.
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