The Manhattan Kickers first team played the late game Sunday night vs. NY Greek Americans at Met Oval. The Kickers fielded a mixed lineup of new and old players, and managed not only to stay with the Greeks, but keep them on their heels and defending for much of the first half. A lack of execution in the final third kept the Kickers off the board, and the game was there to take away. Early in the second half, the Greeks scored back to back goals on weak shots that were deflected into the net by defending Kickers, and first team would eventually lose 4-0 to open the Spring portion of the season.
In a game of two Almirs, Manhattan Kickers FC Reserves came from 2-0 down to grab a dramatic 2-2 tie against NY Greeks, on a brisk and clear Sunday evening at the Metropolitan Dome. The opening stages unfolded with the Greeks on the front foot. With five at the Back, The Kickers seemed like a team negotiating a promising but complicated formation. Despite several excellent opportunities for the Kickers, the Greeks capitalized on some exceptional build-up play of their own, and scored two quick goals. With the game firmly in hand, the Greeks took their foot off of the gas, killing the game off slowly without creating any clear chances. Meanwhile, the Kickers kept up a high energy counter attack but simply could not find the finishing touch. By halftime, the Kickers reasonably felt like the score did not reflect the balance of chances. Starting the second half by switching to 4-4-2, the Kickers attacking prowess began to pay off. Early in the second half, Almir had an guilt-edged chance to put the Kickers within touching distance, but he fluffed his lines and sent the ball just over the bar. But, with the unwavering confidence of Harry Kane, Almir just a few minutes later managed to exploit a high press; in the center of the pitch, he intercepted a truly awful pass across the back line. With the keeper in the soccer equivalent of No Man's Land, Almir effortlessly curled the ball into the bottom right-hand corner. The Greeks, who had been pretty confident up until this point, began to implode. Simple passes started going out of bounds; tackles missed entirely; the coach's blood pressure entered into the red zone. With one wave of pressure after the next and little support from the midfield, the Kickers created one chance after another. Eventually, their left back made a crucial error, losing his marker at the decisive moment. In an attempt to recover, he sprinted back towards his goal, only to be nutmegged by a pass from the right mid to the overlapping Jared Hirschowitz. Out of frustration and impulsiveness, he bumbled into the player, right inside the box. The referee did not hesitate before pointing directly to the spot. Almir, having just scored, marched to the spot, as the opposition bench howled and cursed at the official. In a matter of steps, the score was tied, Almir completed his heroic pathway to redemption. The ensuing ten minutes led to a series of opportunities that could have easily sealed the game for the Kickers. It's a shame that there wasn't just a bit more time, because the Greeks seemed much more likely to boot the ball into their own net than they did to score a winner. All said, 2-2 felt like a fair result, with both teams walking away with lots to build upon.
Marko opened the scoring in the 12th minute after a nice build up from Seamus and Alex Petrovic. Ardian followed 3 minutes later from some nifty give and go with Marko. In the 25th minute, Anton earned the PK and Khouri converted to make it 3-nil. David Reischfield would make it four just before half-time on some nice build up play from Anton and Khouri. Hoboken would see a little daylight but with some good defense, strong hands by FitzGerald and some poor execution from Hoboken the opponent was kept off the score sheet. Hoboken pressed in the second half, the Kickers held strong and added one more for good measure when Mike Zabroski took the ball down the line and squared it too Seamus Kelly for the tap-in for the 5th and final goal.