Boston City FC Advances To NPSL Playoffs
Sun, Jul 3, 2016 6:55 pm

Striker Darlan Rocha was again the hero with the game-winning goal to defeat Rhode Island Reds 1-0 and in the process earn Boston City FC a playoff place in the National Premier Soccer League.

The first-year club will head to the postseason with two regular season games in hand having opened a seven-point lead over their closest rivals in the Northeast Atlantic Conference. Rocha, whose late goal sealed a 3-2 win over the Reds last week, struck in the second half, heading home a Michael Bustamante cross after the match had been delayed by a flare being thrown onto the pitch by home fans.

Tempers boiled over at the end and the Reds had Brajan Huyke sent off as time expired.

Goalkeeper Vitor Scariot also performed heroics, saving a Cory Cordeiro header on the goal line late in the match. The Lions (9-3-2) now have 29 points, five points behind division winners elect the New York Cosmos B, but clear of closest rivals Rhode Island (7-6-1, 22 points) and Greater Lowell United (5-4-5 / 20 points) in the race for second place, which comes with a postseason berth. With two matches to play, Boston City can not be caught.

Boston City took the pitch with an unfamiliar back four due to defender Gabriel De Souza, who had played every minute of the season so far, being out through injury, and without striker Jhonata Batista, who suffered a broken ankle in midweek. Captain Ronaldo Vieira returned from suspension, taking on a central defensive role.

A fierce contest played was locked in a stalemate with Homero Morais heading just wide early on for the visitors and Samuel Batista coming close in the first half, while the league’s top scorer Nana Addai threatened the Boston goal.

Rocha’s goal was his second as many starts and is arguably the most significant in Boston’s short history.


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