Category: Archive

CSL Roundup Barnabas can’t hold back Koha

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Jay Mwamba

Koha 3, Barnabas 2

St. Barnabas went down fighting in the only Cosmopolitan Soccer League fixture played over the Memorial Day weekend, succumbing 3-2 to Koha after leading twice at SUNY-Purchase.

Mick Hennessy had a brace in the thriller, which ended in disappointment for the Saints after forward Larry Carolan’s rasping shot came off the upright three minutes from time.

"Nothing could go right for me," Carolan later lamented, albeit it was his cross that led to St. Barnabas’ second goal.

The Saints got off to a good start in the seesaw match when Hennessy shook the net with a powerful shot from 30 yards (15th). Ten minutes later, a Koha defender handled Carolan’s cross in the box. Hennessy slammed in the resultant penalty.

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But Koha remained undaunted. Ace forward Qazim Hakramaj pulled one back on the half hour following a brilliant three-touch movement inspired by former Albanian youth international Herolind Hajedri.

The 22-year-old Hajedri was also involved in Hakramaj’s second goal that tied the game in the 75th minute.

St. Barnabas were then hurt by a moment of indecision by the referee after Dennis Fawley was pulled down in the box. The ref, after first pointing to the penalty spot, decided to consult his assistant and then to the ire of the Saints, changed the call to a free kick instead.

"It was a blatant penalty," Carolan said.

To add insult to injury, second half substitute Ali Pepaj, making his return for Koha from injury, broke through on the left side in the 82nd minute, beat two defenders and unleashed a shot that took a deflection on its way into the net.

The Saints staged a final rally but were denied an equalizer when Carolan’s shot ricocheted off the post in the 87th minute.

"They play really hard," Koha boss Omer Hakramaj complimented his Irish opponents. "They had a chance in the [final] minutes to tie the game, but in the end, the best team won."

The result had little bearing on the standings in the First Division. St. Barnabas (5-5-3, 18 points) remain sixth, while Koha (8-5-4, 28) stayed in fourth


Old rivals Shamrock, whose game with CD Iberia was postponed last Sunday, are up next for Koha at Downing Stadium this weekend. The tussle will be a replay of their 2000 League Cup final meeting, which Shamrock won 2-0.

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