Williamsburg International FC Reserves defeated CD Iberia Reserves 3-2 on penalty kicks after drawing 2-2 in regular time this Sunday in the Eastern New York State Soccer Association’s D’Arpino State Cup opening round.
It was a crisp fall morning at Bushwick Inlet Park on the East River in Brooklyn, where CD Iberia and Williamsburg International, met in their D’Arpino Cup opener.
The Iberian side sparkled throughout the day in the middle of the field. Their technically talented midfield trio controlled the ball and zipped passes out wide to the wing or up through the middle of the Williamsburg defense. The Doylies didn’t help themselves as they frequently got stuck in possession, if they got that far, and were forced to hoof the ball out of danger and start over again. The significant pressure turned into opportunities for Iberia. A cross found the head of their center forward who was denied only by a finger-tip save from goal keeper Daniel Reid Smyth. A long range effort clanged off the inside of the post and bounced across the width of the goal without being turned in.
Against the run of play, it was Williamsburg who scored first. Arturo Bello did well to win a corner from an isolated run on the left flank. His perfect delivery on the corner found Augustus Esgro who nodded the ball in near post, beating the CD Iberia keeper.
The lead wouldn’t last for long as the Spaniards quickly found their way back into the match. Another long distance effort forced a parry from Smyth. The rebound came back in and Smyth could only watch as a deflection took the ball in the opposite direction and into the goal. While the Doylies weren’t happy to concede the goal, a 1-1 halftime score was more than generous given their first-half performance.
In the second half, Williamsburg brought reinforcements into the center, focusing on winning the ball and springing attacks off turnovers. The strategy very nearly brought early dividends when Arturo Bello received a pass on top of the six-yard box. With two defenders and a sliding goalkeeper blocking anything low, Bello lifted a cheeky ball high above the fray. His touch was off however, and the shot fell harmlessly over the crossbar.
CD Iberia took advantage of a miscue on the Williamsburg back line, when defender Rab Brownell struggled to control a back pass from Augustus Esgro. The ball spun over Brownell’s head and turned him around as it fell to the feet of an Iberian attacker who hit a low hard shot first time to the opposite post beating Smyth cleanly for a 2-1 lead.
Late in the match Williamsburg began to open things up in search of an equalizer. Esgro barely missed Danny Rivas with a square ball that was instead cleared away. Gaurav Hingorani nearly had it when a free kick fell to him at the back post, but the Iberian keeper smothered his effort. Finally, in the 85′, center back Will Woods intercepted a ball near the midfield line, took two touches, and found Hingorani for a quick give and go into the penalty area where he smashed home the tying goal to make it 2-2. Five minutes later the referee blew for full-time, and in accordance with state cup rules, the match went straight to penalty kicks.
In the shootout, Iberia took an early lead off a solid save from their goalkeeper, but it was Dnaiel Reid Smyth, the Doylies keeper who got hot late, saving two of the last four and watching one sail high as Danny Rivas, Rich Clements, and Rafe Lopresti-Oakes each knocked in their spot kicks to send Williamsburg into the Round of 16.
The Doylies will have their work cut out for them when they get there as they will face Division 1 Reserve side, New York Greek American, who dispatched KidSuper Samba 5-1 at Metropolitan Oval. But for now, the side is reveling in a promising early start in which they’ve taken four victories from five matches, with one draw, for an undefeated first month.