Lions Suffer Second Round U.S. Open Cup Exit To GPS Omens
Michael Preston | Wed, May 17, 2017 9:24 pm

Boston City suffered a disappointing exit from the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at the hands of amateur qualifier GPS Omens in a 2-1 second round home defeat at Harry Della Russo Stadium in Revere.

The Bay State Soccer League champions, who have now won four matches in the knockout competition to reach the third round, produced superb finishes in each half to take the Lions’ scalp.  The Boston-based club will travel to face the Rochester Rhinos of the USL on May 31.

“We have a group tight-knit of great guys and everyone is all about the team and I think that showed tonight,” said goal scorer Keith Caldwell.  “Boston City was a great side and we were struggling to keep the ball, so in the second half we played a little more direct to put them under pressure.”

Boston City were often devoid of a clinical pass or finish in the final third of the pitch compared with trickery showed during the buildup, but set up a tense final 15 minutes with Jhonata Batista’s goal when trailing 2-0.  The Lions were without skipper Ronaldo Vieira, defender Paulo Henrique and forward Kamali Webson, who were all red-carded in the first round.

Things might have been different after only three minutes had Nana Addai’s first time finish bounced over the goal line as it ricocheted down off the cross bar and captain Gilly Desouza’s opportunistic shot soon after not flown wide early on as the Lions enjoyed the majority of the possession.

Omens responded with a fine strike by top scorer Caldwell, who turned in space on the left-hand edge of the 18-yard box and looped a finish over stranded keeper Vitor Scariot.

“I got a great ball played into me by Harris Smirko,” he explained.  “I typically try to beat the guy down the line, but I saw a player coming in with a full head of steam, so I cut back across him, saw the far post and was fortunate to curl it into the top corner.”

Desouza saw a shot saved at point-blank range by Zach Abdu-Glass and Addai’s strike from the rebound flew millimeters wide of the target and Boston City still trailed 1-0 at halftime.

A quarter of an hour into the second half the Omens tightened their grip on the match with a second and what proved to be the decisive goal.  Caldwell played a ball wide to captain Jake Johnson and he whipped in a cross that was met with a diving bullet header by Scott Prozeller.

Scariot held a shot from Smirko at the second attempt to prevent a third goal soon after, while at the other end there was no menace to the finish by Batista on the end of an Addai supply and Abdu-Glass held easily.

With 15 minutes to play, the Lions were offered hope when Kevin Herrera gave Batista a chance to run at goal and the striker fired home his third goal of the season and second in the U.S. Open Cup.

Eight minutes later, only an inspired reflex save by Scariot denied substitute Tommy Day’s finish that would have put the result beyond doubt.

Two minutes from time, Batista again chased a Herrera supply but came up agonizingly short of connecting for the equalizer.

Boston City return to their usual home venue Malden Catholic High School in National Premier Soccer League action on Saturday, May 27, kickoff 7pm.


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