Boston City FC II exited the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup qualifying stages in a 4-1 defeat in the second round as local rivals Safira FC scored two late goals to condemn the Lions, who were by then down to ten men.
The visitors’ defense, which had been impacted by a knee injury that caused the influential Gabriel De Souza to be carried off, was decimated with the Lions trailing 2-1 when Marcelo Cunha saw a straight red five minutes from time. Safira were ruthless in response as Vander Bellettini and substitute Matt Vidal scored in the 87th and 89th minutes to win the local derby.
A scrappy match between two Boston-based teams with a strong Brazilian influence saw little first half action before Thiago Teixeira scored after 26 minutes. The defender, who played in three matches for Boston City’s NPSL first team in 2016, darted in front of keeper Jacob Wagmeister at Safira’s first corner of the match to head into an empty net. Boston City II had won five corners by comparison but had nothing to show for their efforts when trailing 1-0 at halftime.
Hugo Bomfim might have doubled the home advantage only a minute after the break but opposing keeper Wagmeister stood his ground to deny the striker, who had run clean through after a stray defensive clearance.
Having been forced to reshuffle at the back due to De Souza’s first half injury, Boston City II made two key changes in midfield and looked more threatening, which inspired the equalizer. Striker Jhonata Batista, who has been in prolific scoring form in the Bay State Soccer League Division 3 promotion challenge, got his head onto an inswinging corner from Chris Gilbert to deservedly pull the Lions level after 66 minutes.
Bomfim flashed a finish across the face of the Boston goal after a neat exchange of passes on the right wing had provided a fine scoring opportunity in the 70th minute. Ten minutes later a through ball from Bellettini finally sprung the offside trap that had twice snared Bomfim and the striker fired a low finish underneath Wagmeister to retake the lead.
Five minutes later Cunha picked up the third Boston City II red card in two U.S. Open Cup matches this season, and the sixth in two campaigns for a fifty-fifty tackle at midfield.
Safira took advantage of the extra man and two moments of scrappy defending as Bellettini, who was a threat all night on the left, grabbed a third after 86 minutes and Vidal sparked jubilant celebration on the home sidelines with the fourth goal two minutes later.