Contenders for Helge Boes Cup Start to Emerge; 1st Division Kicks off Saturday
Week 3 of the Fall 2015 Premier division season saw a handful of contenders for the Helge Boes Cup emerge from the pack, with all teams still in striking distance. Capital City tops the field with 9 pts out of 3 matches and only 1 goal against. ASA Reds sit in second with 7 points, and Fighting BOBs lurks in 3rd place with maximum points out of their matches and a game in hand.
Finito FC – 2 vs Fighting BOBs – 6
6:30 PM KO @ Fairfax High School
Fighting BOBs continued their torrid start to the Fall 2015 campaign, scoring 3 goals in each half to dispatch WPL Premier division newcomers Finito FC by a score of 6-2. Hilaire Babou and Eric Cava scored a brace each for the BOBs, with Daniel Ankrah and Lucas Szabo notching solo efforts. The Fighting BOBs, finalists for the last two seasons in the WPL Premier, are continuing a good run of form and now look like a team that has depth within the squad to finally hoist the Helge Boes Cup. Finito FC has found the Premier division a difficult place to grab points, but have also shown they can compete.
Kamikaze Crew – 0 vs Capital City FC – 3
7:00 PM KO @ Long Bridge Park #1
Longtime opponents Capital City FC and Kamikaze Crew, who battled many times in the WPL Saturday 1st division before each team gained promotion to the Premier division, met yet again at the top division level on Sunday night. The first half hour saw close but fruitless attempts from both sides until the 35th minute when Cap City’s new winger, Fredo Kemal, was able to break through the defense and slip a pass to Sam Post inside the eighteen. Post hammered a left-footer to the far post; a “ding” later, the score was 1-0 in favor of Capital City through halftime.
Both City and the Crew came out with fire power and high pressure in the second stanza. Capital City extended their lead in the 60th minute with Rajan Moonesinghe penetrated the the right flank and laid a ball back to Elvis Hedji, who hit a one timer top shelf that doubled the score. At 2-nil, Cap City was able to set the tempo of the match and enjoy the counter-attack. The Crew came close on a low cross that was tapped just wide right and a corner that was cleared off the line by Cap City midfielder Ben Denhez. But the final goal of the match belonged to City in the 80th min on a counter through the center by MF Arthur Olinga ,who flashed by a couple Crew defenders and slid perfectly weighted thru ball to striker Evan Chate, who finished cleanly to erase any doubt about the outcome.
ASA Reds – 2 vs Yinz United – 1
8:00 PM KO @ Witter Field
In a rematch of Spring 2015 semi-final in the Helge Boes cup, Yinz United withstood a couple early chances from Reds United and grew into the match to go ahead on a 25th minute goal by Saad Merzouk, assisted by last week’s 5-goal wonder and strike partner, Andy Coulson. Following the opening goal the game was a high quality back and forth tilt with both teams creating chances. Fifteen minutes into the second half ASA Reds CM Jordan Cyrus was fouled 25 yards out. His teammate Peja Ilic buried a beautiful set piece into the top left corner to equalize. Then with ten minutes left in the game high pressure from Cyrus yielded a 1 vs 1 with the Yinz keeper who made a tremendous save, but the rebound found the foot of Reds striker Allen Flott who slotted it home for the game winning goal. Final result 2-1 in Reds favor.
Washington Elite – 1 vs Soccerdome/ICC – 4
8:10 PM KO @ Fairfax High School
The late game on match day 3 saw Washington Elite take on the ICC at Fairfax High School. The game started quickly as the ICC conceded possession against an athletic Washington Elite and setup for the counter. The strategy seemed to be sound as the ICC were able to come up with a couple clear cut chances that they were unable to convert. About 15 minutes into the first half Washington Elite struck first. After a long build up sequence Harold Tchameni whipped in a perfect cross to the far post that was headed home by Lamar Hyde to give Washington Elite the 1-0 lead. The rest of the half would be back and forth with no team able to put another goal into the back of the net.
The second half started the same way the first half went with Washington Elite enjoying the majority of the possession and the ICC looking to be swift on the counter. The ICC would equalize through leading scorer Kyle Hendricks who would turn provider to Alex Lee for a quick finish inside the Elite 18 yard box. Just minutes later, Kyle Hendricks was again able to find strike partner Alex Lee on a through ball that Lee was able to calmly finish. ICC was not done with their counter attacks, as a long ball clearance from Chris Czerwinski would once again find Alex Lee in behind the defense allowing him to complete his hat trick. Alex Lee capped his monster night with his 4th and final goal minutes later as a W.E. foul resulted in a penalty kick he smoothly finished. At 4-1 W.E. pushed to try to get back into the game, but a late elbow would see one of their players get red-carded and the game would be out of reach. The ref would blow the whistle for full time 15 minutes later and the ICC walked away with 3 points.
Dulles Sportsplex Aegean Hawks FC – 3 vs Fados Irish Pub Conquistadors – 1
8:45 PM KO @ Long Bridge Park #1
In the last WPL match of the weekend, the Dulles Sportsplex Aegean Hawks FC took on longtime rivals Fados Irish Pub Conquistadores with both teams looking to rebound from tough Week 2 losses and grab 3 points. The Hawks started the game with good passages of possession and were rewarded with a goal 12 minutes in. Julio Arjona played a ball diagonally over the top, beating the Fados outside back and putting it right on Scott Larrabee’s foot who tucked it away to the far post. After the initial goal, Fados pressed much higher up the field and the Hawks started giving up possession in the middle third and eventually gave away a foul about 30 yards from goal, wide of the 18. A service into traffic and lax marking made it 1-1 after 35 minutes as Hawks net minder Robbie Batchelder was beaten by Fados' Tom Davison after an unmarked run and finish in the box. The equalizing goal breathed life back into the Hawks offense and they were able to notch the game winner 2 minutes before the break. Again, Julio Arjona played a great ball over the top to Blake Miller, who turned and placed a half volley over the keeper’s head for a 2-1 lead at the break. The second half started slowly with most of the play in the middle third. Fados created some chances early on, but the Hawks make-shift back line held together with some goal line clearances to preserve the lead. With about 20 minutes left, the Hawks put the game away with Julio Arjona notching his 3rd assist of the match sliding a through ball to Scott Larrabee who finished neatly into the corner for a 3-1 lead which stood until the final whistle.
Some critical matchups next weekend will see more concrete contenders for a top 4 seeding form as the field nears the halfway point of the season. Good luck to all!