By Breann McKeon/New York Shockers
After a hard-fought semifinals playoff match, Kingston Stockade FC earned the victory over the New York Shockers in penalty kicks on Wednesday night.
Because of the rivalry built up between the Shockers and Kingston in the regular season, players and spectators alike knew to expect a competitive matchup. This was the third time the two squads faced off this year. The Shockers played their inaugural NPSL matchup at Kingston, where they accepted the 2-0 loss.
But the Shockers avenged this loss last weekend with a 2-0 win over Kingston. The goals came late in the second half, starting with Hakeem Rabiu’s penalty kick goal in the 81st minute. Adetayo Adefioye put another behind the net just minutes later to seal the victory.
Shockers and Kingston fans packed the bleachers at Afrim’s Sports park, and along with high energy brought drums, sparklers and flags. Additionally, over 2000 viewers have watched the match online.
Both teams came out on fire beyond kickoff. Possession was split fairly evenly between the Shockers and Kingston, and both sides had many close scoring opportunities that were unsuccessful.
In what appeared to be a clearing attempt to the sideline in the 29th minute, Ryan Henning trapped a ball from the Shockers defense then picked it up with his hands which was ruled as a pass back to the keeper by the referee, giving Kingston a direct kick inside the box. The kick was blocked by the wall of Shockers defenders, and the rebound blasted from a Kingston forward went wide.
But less than ten minutes later, Kingston found some success in the box as their forward dove to head a deep cross from their midfield to put the ball behind the back of the net. This put Kingston up 1-0, and the score remained the same at the end of the first half.
However, the Shockers proved early in the second half that they weren’t giving up just yet. In the 62nd minute, midfielder James Beeston slid a perfect cross from the right wing to find forward Kevin Winglosky who one-touched the ball past the keeper to score the equalizer.
With less than half an hour left of play, it was anyone’s game. But despite many close attempts from both sides, fulltime was reached with the score still tied.
The Shockers controlled possession in the first 10 minutes of overtime, and had several goal opportunities that either went just high or wide of the Kingston net.
After 30 minutes of overtime, the score remained tied which sent the squads into penalty kicks.
Kingston Stockade scored four of five penalty kicks to seal the win. While Adefioye and Ryan Kim scored from the penalty line, Hakeem Rabiu’s shot was saved and Beeston’s was just high over the crossbar.
Kingston Stockade FC will proceed in playoffs, and the New York Shockers’ inaugural season concluded after the heartbreaking loss.
Photo Credit: Amber Yarter/New York Shockers