Boston City Wins First-Ever U.S. Open Cup Match
Wed, May 10, 2017 10:55 pm

It wasn’t pretty.  In fact, at times, it was downright ugly.  But Boston City survived three red cards, a rash of yellows and extra time playing two men down to reach the Second Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup 5-4 on penalties after a 2-2 draw.

Keeper Vitor Scariot proved the difference between whether the Lions or hosts Western Mass Pioneers would earn the right to take on GPS Omens of the BSSL on Tuesday of next week.  The teenage keeper, who made saving spot kicks a specialty last season, dived low to his right to deny Pioneers captain Maxi Viera with the third kick of the shootout.

That gave substitute Kevin Herrera the opportunity to win the First Round tie from the spot as he sent keeper Carson D’Ambrosio the wrong way for the win.

“We’ve each taken three penalties in practice this week and I’ve scored low in the right corner every time,” said Herrera.  “You don’t look at the keeper, or change your mind, you just have confidence that you’re going to score.”

Boston City twice clawed their way back from the brink of defeat to force the lottery of penalties.  Veteran defender Paulo Henrique, skipper Ronaldo Vieira and striker Kamali Webson were all sent off in a true blood and thunder cup clash that never took its foot off the gas for 120 minutes.  The Pioneers also had Toto Coimbra shown a red card.

Boston City will take on GPS Omens at Malden Catholic High School at 7pm on Tuesday, May 16.  Season ticket holders should use their Special Match A ticket to gain entry.

Jhonata Batista, who has scored in every match this season when he has pulled on a Boston City shirt, equalized the Pioneers’ 50th minute opener after 78 minutes on the end of a superb exchange of passes involving Nana AddaI and Kamali Webson.  The relief was clear in the Lions’ celebration as the game had seemed to be slipping away.

The Pioneers had broken the deadlock after a tense first half when ­­­Evan Burokas fed ike Goncalves beyond the back line just five minutes after the break and he powered a finish past Scariot.

Both sides had chances to steal a winner, but the contest finished 1-1 after 90 minutes.  Only a minute into extra time Viera pulled the ball back for Burokas to slot a neat finish past Scariot and Western Mass again enjoyed the upper hand.

Boston City looked to have a mountain to climb when Henrique was sent to the dressing room for a shove when trying to get the ball back to take a free kick, but they refused to concede defeat.

Kevin Herrera whipped in a ball from wide on the right and Webson applied a perfect finishing touch to draw the Lions level again.

Captain Vieira received a straight red for a foul and Webson followed him off the pitch for picking up a second yellow card, but the eight men dug deep and saw out the entrails of the 120 minutes.

Addai, Batista, Gabriel De Souza and Gilly Desouza all tucked away their penalties and Scariot’s denial of Viera on the third Pioneers kick gave Herrera the chance to send the visiting team and large fan support into raptures with the decisive kick.


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