By Boston City FC
Boston City FC turned the North Atlantic Conference form book completely on its head with a stunning 4-2 win to disrupt Kingston Stockade’s playoff aspirations.
Riding an 11-match unbeaten streak, including a 3-0 win over the Lions last week, Kingston expected to keep their postseason dream alive against a Boston City side without a home win from a disappointing 2019 season. But the hosts had other ideas and extended a streak of their own, ensuring that Stockade have still never won in Boston, losing on every one of three attempts, by stunning the New York team.
A 2-0 halftime lead was wiped out by the relentless visitors, but two late goals from the penalty spot secured a famous Boston City victory.
To cap the three points, the Lions scored more goals in a single match than they have all season with a makeshift side without a recognized forward, missing all four players who have scored the team’s goals this year.
Boston City close the 2019 NPSL season at home to bottom club New York Athletic Club on Saturday, July 6 at 7:00pm with expectations of a second straight win high after Sunday’s success.
Jason Katz returned to the side in goal, with a new-look back four protecting him. Right back Jeremy Pachter and central defender Ralph Angrand put in gritty shifts to frustrate the Stockade, alongside Leonardo Carvalho and Jadson Leite making their first starts of the year. Avner Alves and Pedro Silva anchored a midfield flanked by William Balanta, Willian Bonoro, and Francisco Neto, who usually operate at full back. Midfielder Samuel Deossa took on the forward responsibilities before giving way to Jonathan Argueta in the second half.
Despite the Stockade’s early pressure, it was the Lions who struck first. A great move down the left saw Francisco Neto feed Willian Bonora, who beat his marker to the end line to cross high into the path of William Balanta, who controlled and buried a low shot inside the far-left post beyond the grasp of keeper Jared Mazzola.
Unbelievably, it was 2-0 nine minutes later when a through ball was deflected by a Kingston defender, allowing Bonora to break the offside trap 40 yards from goal, coolly control the pass and place a composed finish past Mazzola.
When Katz and his determined defenders weren’t denying the visitors, the woodwork came to Boston City’s rescue on three occasions and the Lions led 2-0 at halftime.
Only four minutes after the break, the Stockade won a penalty and Afonso Pinheiro stepped up to send Katz the wrong way from the spot and halve the deficit.
Six minutes after coming on as a substitute, Argueta should have made it 3-1 with the goal at his mercy from a pass across the area by Neto as Kingston were caught pressing high, but he screwed his finish agonizingly wide.
Inevitably Stockade drew level when a string of corners paid off and Pinheiro drove home the equalizer with his second goal after 76 minutes. The visitors looked the more likely to steal three points and with ten minutes remaining, Katz made two game-saving stops to deny Matt Koziol, first with a reflex parry and then a hold from the rebound.
Two minutes later, Neto weaved his way through four defenders into the penalty area where the fourth tripped him just inside the box. Neto picked himself up to tuck away the spot kick and earn a fragile 3-2 lead.
Kingston threw everything at the home goal, but in the dying seconds of four minutes of added time, Pedro Silva was upended and Avner Alves put the result beyond doubt with the final kick of a pulsating match.
Photo Credit: Chris Aduama