9/20/15: Parity, Competitive Spirit Highlight Opening Week Matches
Dulles Sportsplex Aegean Hawks FC – 2 vs Yinz United – 1
6:15 PM KO @ Long Bridge Park #1
It was a matchup of perennial league heavyweights to kick off the Fall 2015 season when two-time defending WPL champions Yinz United squared off against 9-time league champions Dulles Sportsplex Aegean Hawks FC at Long Bridge Park in Arlington. In a tightly contested match, the Hawks pulled in front at the 15 minute mark off a William “Titou” Fierro corner kick that was headed home by Dan Fogarty for the 1-0 lead. The lead would not hold for long as Murat Kayali was able to beautifully control a diagonal long ball behind the Hawks defense and chip keeper Robbie Batchelder for the equalizer at the 25 minute mark. 65 minutes into the match, Dan Fogarty snagged his brace and the lead for the Hawks off a nice left-footed finish, collecting a long ball served up nicely by Hawks center back Pat Selwood. Yinz piled on the pressure but the Hawks were able to preserve the lead as the final whistle blew to take all 3 points.
Washington Elite – 4 vs Kamikaze Crew – 3
6:25 PM KO @ Fairfax High School
In a fast and furious opening game at Fairfax High School, Washington Elite's famous pace was lethal on the counter-attack in the opening stanza. At the 15 minute mark, Elite left back Eduardo Flores slotted a through-ball to Yannick Ebah who finished his break-away chance and put Elite up 1-0. Ten minutes later Harold Tchameni was able to collect a diagonal long ball sent off the foot of Samuel Edoung-Biyo and evade the on-rushing Crew netminder to slot home for a 2-0 margin. Elite were not done, and 5 minutes before the halftime whistle, Elite made it a 3 goal cushion when Barnabas Adekanye converted on another break-away feed by Jinmi Ismail. The Crew’s Phil Goodwin pulled a goal back off an Alex Rivera assist to make it 3-1 at the half. Elite made it 4-1 shortly after the break off a nice comination play resulting in Yannick Ebah's claim to a brace off a pass by Jinmi Ismail. The Crew refused to let their heads drop and rallied to 4-3 off a brace by Andy Reimer (Bobby Coffey & Phil Goodwin with the assists). Kamikaze pushed hard to round out what would have been an epic comeback, but Washington Elite was able to hold on to claim victory. A fantastic and often frantic game, played in a great spirit that was enjoyable for both teams.
ASA Reds – 4 vs Finito FC – 1
8:00 PM KO @ Witter Field
It was experience vs the debutantes as last season’s top-ranked regular season squad and 3-time WPL champions, ASA Reds, took on newly promoted Finito FC at Witter Park in Alexandria. The match did not take long to produce some fireworks, as ASA Reds scored in the first ten minutes with a goal from Scott Dillie, but Finito FC was able to equalize only a minute later to keep things level. Patrick Rose scored for the Reds just before halftime to make it 2-1. Reds began to assert themselves in the second half, dominating the possession game, and adding two more goals from Tommy Park and Ryan Alexander. The transition to the WPL premier division is not easy, but Finito showed well with a few outstanding individual performances and are a welcome addition to the WPL's top division.
Capital City FC – 2 vs Soccerdome/ICC – 1
8:05 PM KO @ Fairfax High School
In a hard fought, hotly contested second tie at Fairfax High School, Soccerdome went up 1-0 about 35 minutes in with a searing, full volley blast off a cleared corner by new signing Chris Czerwinski that rang the far post. Capital City equalized in the 65th minute when center-mid Bash Bangura earned a PK after getting taken down in the box. Evan Chate coolly converted into the right corner for the equalizer. In see-saw action for the remaining 25 minutes, City was able to breakthrough in the 78th minute, this time with Evan Chate turning provider on a ball behind the defense to send Bash Bangura streaking toward goal with a classy finish to put City ahead. Capital City withstood a flurry of chances in the final minute by Soccerdome, including a controversial no-call in the box, to secure their points in the first game of the fall season.
Good luck to all the teams next weekend and congratulations on a great opening weekend of play!