Boston City FC suffered a heartbreaking 5-4 defeat on penalty kicks following a scoreless stalemate that was interrupted by a three-hour lightning delay. The match ended at 12:45 am.
The Lions looked to be in control of the spot kicks as Darlan Rocha, Valerio Silva, and Marcelo Cunha all converted and keeper Victor Scariot saved twice. But Gabriel De Souza saw his shot come back off the post, adding to Michael Bustamante rattling the cross bar. Legacy 76 scored twice under pressure to send the shootout to sudden death.
Homero Morais scored, but skipper Ronaldo Vieira saw his kick saved and Jacob Weiler stepped up to earn Legacy 76 a place in the next round of the NPSL playoffs.
A close contest that kicked off almost six hours earlier had taken a bizarre turn three minutes into the second half when the officials sat the teams on the sidelines for a minimum of thirty minutes after lightning was spotted in the distance. A storm gradually closed in and the multiplying flashes were joined by thunder and increasing rain, which resulted in a three-hour delay before play could resume at 11:11 pm.
The restarted half of 42 minutes was played at a frantic pace throughout, each team appreciating that a single goal would likely settle the tie as torrential rain poured.
Jermain Reid might have been the home hero three times, first with a free kick that rattled the post, then with a low drive that visiting keeper Victor Scariot tipped around the upright at full stretch with a fine reflex save. Four minutes from time, Reid screwed his shot wide with the goal at his mercy.
Three minutes earlier, Pedro Da Silva had been fouled wide on the right, Michael Bustamante delivered the free kick and a Homero Morais header was deflected agonizingly wide of the post.
During extra time, Egberto Da Silva saw a powerful finish pushed up and over the cross bar by keeper Joseph Ghitis but both sides were tiring, in Boston’s case having been awake for more than 20 hours, meeting at the airport at 5 am to fly south.
Legacy had enjoyed the better of the first half at least in terms of clear chances. Reid should have scored when clean through after 25 minutes but side-footed well wide of the target. Reilly Maw then ran out of room after he rounded two Boston defenders and keeper Scariot and the Lions’ teenage keeper also had to tip an in-swinging corner away to safety.
Boston’s main threats came when Yaw Addow tricked and turned his way past two defenders but fired well over, Morais drilled a low shot at the home keeper and substitute Da Silva, a 31st minute replacement for Addow, created a chance from nothing but failed to muster a troubling shot.