Boston City FC remain winless at home this season after a 4-0 loss to the Rhode Island Reds, who claimed the home and away series between the rivals for the first time.
The Lions take on league leaders, the unbeaten New York Cosmos, at Hormel Stadium in Medford next Saturday, June 15 at 7pm.
The win was the Reds’ highest victory of margin in club history and began as early as the fourth minute when the Lions conceded early and never recovered. A defense-splitting pass found John Lash unmarked on the left-hand side of the 18-yard box and he had time to control the ball before firing home.
Boston City lined up without four-goal joint top scorers John Dumbuya and Jhonata Batista due to injury, but welcomed Avner Alves into a back three and Samuel Deossa to midfield having both served suspensions. Santi Cardona brought his trickery to the midfield, but was replaced after only half an hour in favor of full back William Balanta to enable the Lions to revert to a flat back four.
The change did not have the desired effect as five minutes later Lach raced in behind Balanta and became the provider for Mawolo Gisse to stoop and head home his cross for a two-goal lead.
It should have been 3-0 to the Reds a minute later but Jason Katz got down low to deny Friday’s hat-trick scorer Fabrice Dogbey after a lone Lions defender Ben Manoogian had defiantly broken up the clear chance.
Down 2-0, Boston City made two halftime changes as Jeremy Pachter came in at left back, allowing Francisco Neto to add some spice to the midfield, while Mateus Araujo moved up front with Jonathan Argueta taking his spot in the middle. Samuel Deossa and Rigoberto Jimenez were sacrificed for the tactical change.
Gisse curled a clear chance for the Reds just wide after 58 minutes, then three minutes later came scoring opportunities at each end. Pedro Silva split the Reds defense with a pass off the outside of his boot, but Hugo Bomfim’s first touch was poor when bearing down on goal and Peter Gross smothered. Then Gisse drilled a shot low across the face of goal and Fabrice Dogbey couldn’t quite connect at the far post and he ended up in the net instead of the ball.
With 20 minutes remaining, Gisse did get his second goal and Rhode Island’s third as he charged down the middle from his own half, skipped past Avner Alves, rode a tackle from Ben Manoogian, and drew Jason Katz from his goal to slot home.
The Lions would have been on the scoreboard after 77 minutes but for Reds keeper Gross, who was quick off his line to parry away a close-range finish from Balanta as he tried to capitalize on a defensive mix up.
Five minutes from time it was 4-0 as sub Jeremy Pachter bundled Maxwell Kolombo over inside the penalty area and the felled player stepped up to send Katz the wrong way from the spot.