NEW JERSEY COPA FC ADVANCES IN NORTHEAST REGION PLAYOFFS

The contest between New Jersey Copa FC and Fredericksburg FC took nearly six hours to complete, with a venue change and ended with NJ advancing 9-8 after nine rounds of penalty kicks.

After the fifth round of penalty kicks it didn’t seem like either side would miss. It took nine long rounds as each taker calmly took each kick and buried each chance. The ninth round proved to be the difference as FFC missed its penalty off the post to give NJ Copa FC the win.

In the 24th minute FFC’s Juan Monge sent a perfect cross into the NJ Copa box that found the feet of Uriah Bentick. The midfielder wasted little time and struck the ball far post to give the hosts a 1-0 lead.

NJ Copa equalized in the 44th minute when Andres Berriel beat the keeper in a 1-on-1 situation.

Fredericksburg regained the lead in the 48th minute when Romena Bowie took a chance 35 yards away from goal. The delivery was perfect and the ball tucked just beneath the crossbar to give FFC the 2-1 lead.

Once again, FFC’s lead didn’t last long as Berriel played a ball in to Emerson Lawrence, who slotted the ball inside the far post, evening the score at 1-1 in the 68th minute.

Then things got wild, with 84:57 on the game clock the game entered a lighting delay for 90 minutes. Once each team returned to the field there would only be 30 minutes of light. With that in mind the teams finished regulation and ten minutes of extra time before moving the game to the nearby Fredericksburg Field House.

The move resulted in another 90 minute delay, with the game picking back up at 10 pm.

Each team showed signs of exhaustion in the extra time periods. The only major scoring chance in extra time came in second period stoppage. FFC’s Uriah Bentick lined up a free kick just outside of the box and struck a perfect ball in to the far post, but New Jersey’s Matthew Perrella made an outstretched save to keep things even.

In penalty kicks 17 players converted their attempt with the 18th deflecting off the post to give NJ Copa FC the win.

NJ Copa FC advance to the Northeast Region semifinals at the New York Cosmos B on Wednesday.

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