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SPORTS

Two Birds with One Stone for NY Greek American v. Lansdowne Yonkers FC 3-0

An impressive away victory that instantly marked qualification for the Eastern Premier Soccer League Metropolitan Conference final was achieved by Greek American over Lansdowne with a score of 3-0.

They will be facing the NY Pancyprian Freedoms away, at St. John’s University Belson Stadium, which is scheduled to start at 7:30 PM, this Saturday, June 10. The winner of the Greek-Cypriot ‘clash of the titans’ will move on for the Final Four to get a chance for the 2022/23 EPSL ‘grand’ Championship.

Playing in a difficult venue, such as Tibbetts Brook Park and playing against a heavyweight team like Lansdowne on their home turf was no simple fate for the visiting team. But the players of Greek American were fully prepared for what it took for the next big step, and they displayed that on the pitch, with a solid 3-0 score.

Their strategy was taken right out of the good old AC Milan playbook, and knocked out their opponents within the first 6 minutes of the game!

From the beginning it was visibly clear the Irish-American team took control and possession of the game, to score quick and put away their opponents and get it over with.

The visitors had a different plan and gave Lansdowne the space they sought to needed for to play their game, but to minimize any scoring opportunities. This worked out brilliantly throughout the first half since Lansdowne only once came close to scoring, at the 35th minute, and this happened with a very strong free kick outside the box, which just missed the goal. Other than that Lansdowne had many problems as far as creating any chances of scoring against a very well organized and patient Greek American defense. Right before the buzzer at half time, the captain of the team, O’Malley, came up big with a great header, taking advantage of Lansdowne goalie’s poor exit. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. It was indeed a shock for the home side, which had to return to the pitch with a one goal deficit in the second half.

Coming back from half time break, Greek Americans proved they were more hungry and determined not to let this game get away from them.  Within 5 minutes, they managed to score once more, at the 50th minute, when Saeed took such a strong  shot from the top of the box that the ball bounced off a defender and right into the net, the keeper off guard. This second goal ‘cut off the home team’s legs’, as they say in Greek (τους κόπηκαν τα πόδια). Lansdowne tried to regroup and make a big come back, since they had another 40 minutes of game time left, but to no avail. Most of their movements were hasty, and nervous. It was obvious they couldn’t focus for the rest of the game. Greek American was in control for most of the second half and got to put away for good their opponents at the 68th minute, when Greco made a powerful run into the box from the left side and despite the defender’s pressure managed to send a ‘lightning bolt’ into the opposite corner of the goal, raising the total to the final score of 3-0.

This Saturday NY Greek American is called upon to rise to the occasion once more, and face another powerful New York area, amateur soccer team, the NY Pancyprian Freedoms. So far this year they haven’t beaten them in regular league games. It was back in November, at St. John’s University when they came up short 2-0 and it wasn’t even two months ago when on home turf, at Hofstra University, they ended up in a tie (1-1), despite the fact Freedoms were one man down for most of the second half.

Source: Denos Vlahos

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