Two red cards and a rash of spurned goal scoring opportunities led to Boston City FC coming up empty in a 2-0 home defeat to New York Athletic Club in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL).
Substitute Richard Marquetty struck in the 88th and 90th minutes to finally break the resolve of a Lions team reduced first to ten men four minutes into the second half and then to nine men just six minutes later. Despite the lopsided disadvantage, Boston City poured forward in attack, but just as had been the case in a first half littered with chances, a goal for the home side simply would not materialize.
The contest might have been over after only two minutes when a Jadilson Vieira free kick provided Yaw Addow, Jhonata Batista and Gabriel De Souza with clear chances in front of goal, but visiting keeper Marco Luna made an improbable and impressive triple save. Addow came close to breaking through in the 4th, 12th, 27th and 38th minutes and when he did find the net the effort was ruled out for offside. Batista and Marcelo Cunha might also have broken the deadlock, as the hosts should have led comfortably at the interval.
The drama truly began when Boston City coach Palhinha brought on Christian Fernandes after halftime as a third forward and implemented a bold 3-4-3 formation, such was the urgency to bolster an attack that had faltered before the break and to find a goal that seemed on the cards. Within five minutes Fernandes was booked for a foul and when he waved an arm at the resulting free kick, a second caution for deliberate handball followed and his cameo from the subs bench proved to be all too brief.
Michael Bustamante, whose tenacity lit up the midfield, buzzed a shot just over in response to being a man down in the 54th minute, but sixty seconds later the assistant referee saw Caique Margarido elbow an opponent and a straight red card dramatically reduced the hosts to nine men with more than a third of the match still to play.
Addow found his way into the referee’s notebook as tempers frayed and the signs looked ominous as first a post was clipped, then Peter Ceesay saw a shot on the turn fire wide and New York earned a 67th minute penalty as Gabriel De Souza tripped Daniel Alvarado inside the 18-yard box to concede a penalty.
Home defender Thiago Teixeira went down while waiting for the spot kick to be taken, the apparent recipient of an unseen punch, and after a delay that saw heated exchanges from both sides, Robert Cabrera’s penalty was saved by keeper Wanderson Macedo, making his full debut for the Lions.
“I watch a player’s eyes when he takes a penalty and first he looked low to the left, so I started to move that way, but then I saw him look at the right corner, so dived there instead,” said Macedo, who palmed the ball clear.
The penalty kick let off spurred on the nine men as Bustamante skinned two defenders but fired across the face of goal and Jhonata Batista saw a header well saved, but ultimately the extra legs of the visitors had the final say. Two minutes from time, Cabrera made room for Marquetty, whose shot squeezed inside the far post, and then Jevaughn Vance supplied Marquetty who fired under Macedo with the decisive 90th minute strike.
Boston City FC face the New England Revolution Under 23s in a friendly match to benefit the Greater Boston Food Bank on Friday, June 3 at Malden Catholic High School, kickoff 6.30pm, before embarking on a three-match NPSL road trip.