Category: Archive

CSL Roundup Rovers roll over Polonia in final of CSL tournament

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Jay Mwamba

Red-hot Irish Rovers brought their scintillating form to the Rex Plex in Elizabeth, N.J., last week where they bagged the Premier title and $1,000 in prize money in the Cosmopolitan Soccer League’s Value Tournament with a 7-1 pasting of Polonia "A".

New York Hungaria "B" completed a sweep by non-CSL sides in the tournament by edging CD Iberia 3-2 in a contentious final for the "A" Division crown. Hungaria received $500 for their win.

Rovers, who started the six-a-side competition shorthanded and paid for it with an 8-1 shellacking by the same Polonia team they met in thefinal, were 5-1 overall as they cut a swath through CSL opposition.

Said Rovers’ Mark Hopper, who shares coaching duties with Kevin Flynn: "I’m delighted with the team’s effort. We played well and got better as we went along. It was a great effort."

Hopper, whose undefeated side leads the Long Island League by four points and are in the semifinals of the State Cup, gave props to the Cosmopolitan League for organizing a superb tournament.

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Drawn in Group F, Rovers began the tournament with only four players as the rest of the team was stuck in traffic. Tony O’Donnell scored in the 8-1 loss to Polonia and was on target again, along with two-goal hero Hopper, as Rovers rebounded with a 3-1 win over Barnstonworth Rovers "A".

They completed group play with a local derby of sorts against Irish rivals Shamrock. Ben Hickey, on loan from New York Pancyprians, netted a brace, while O’Donnell, connected for the third time in a 3-2 victory.

Eugene Smyth and Aidan Walsh replied for Shamrock.

In the knockout round, Dave Petitte, Mark Reeves and Jesse Samsaum saw off CSL Indoor champs New York Albanians 3-2 to power Rovers into the semifinals against Hungaria "A".

But not even the former Indoor titleholders could halt Rovers’ march to the final. Hungaria succumbed 4-2 to strikes by O’Donnell (two), Reeves and Stuart Duffin.

In the championship match, Rovers atoned for their earlier defeat by Polonia in emphatic style. Samsaum (two), Dave Quigley (two), Duffin, Anton Diver and the much-traveled Hickey knocked off the Poles, whose Mirek Sielczak got a consolation goal.

Hooper singled out Petitte, a one-time defender with English side Bristol City, as Rovers’ Player of the Tournament.

Pole position

Polonia’s collective spirit was hardly dampened by their cup failure.

"It was a good tournament and a really nice to play," said their boss, Michael Siwiec.

Siwiec’s men were unbeaten going into the final, posting victories over Group F foes Shamrock (3-2), and Barnstonworth Rovers (3-0), after Marcin Pachowicz and Mario Kulesza had scripted the romp over Irish Rovers in the openers.

Pachowicz, Kulesza and Zibkowski swept Polonia past Barnstonworth again in the semis, before the collapse against the Irishmen in the money game.

Polonia’s reward for second place was $300.

Par performance

"I’m not disappointed. It was a warm-up and we never do well indoors." So said Shamrock player-coach Eugene Smyth after the Rocks went 0-3 in the preliminary round.

The Queens outfit lost 4-0 to Barnstonworth Rovers, got two goals from Darren Thunder in a close 3-2 loss to Polonia "A" and dropped another close one, 3-2, to Irish Rovers.

Shamrock expect to be in better shape when the outdoor season resumes next month. They train on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at Maurice Park in Queens.

Iberia peeved

CD Iberia coach Raf’l SanMartin felt his side got a raw deal in the "A" Division final, won 3-2 by Hungaria "B" on a disputed goal. "The game was not finished. They were two or three minutes left," he charged.

But he was equally peeved at the angry reaction by some of his players.

"What hurt me the most is that we acted like losers and we are not losers," SanMartin said.

Tempers flared when Hungaria’s Kristian Nemet broke a 2-2 deadlock in the waning minutes with a shot that hit the crossbar and, depending on which side you speak to, may or may not have crossed the goalline.

"I believe it crossed the line," said Hungaria coach Mike Jambrik.

Iberia thought otherwise and in the ensuing drama, the referee decided to end the game, to Iberia’s obvious chagrin.

Cup run

Their win in the final was their second over Iberia on the day. Earlier, Hungaria had shut out SanMartin’s lads 3-0 in the preliminary round’s Group "A". The former CSL side, now playing in the New Jersey-based Champions League, also crushed Gotham FC 5-1 and Bergen Kickers 4-1, before dispatching Roosevelt Island International 6-0 and Jersey City FC 5-2 in the knockout stage.

Darvas Csaba and Szakallas Gabor were the other Hungaria scorers in the final.

"I’m proud of the team. I can’t single out anyone. They all put their hearts in it. We deserved to win," said coach Jambrik.

Iberian express

Jose SanMartin (Raf’l’s brother), scored two, while Bernando Rama, Rodrigo Gamboa, Domingo Formoso and Juan Lago had a goal apiece as Iberia got off to a flying start in Group A with a 6-0 destruction of Bergen Kickers.

Iberia rebounded from the first loss to Hungaria with a 3-1 decision over Gotham, courtesy of Jose again and Rama, before edging Clarkstown 6-5 on penalties in the knockout round. Jose and Michael Torres had tallied in the 2-2 regulation-time tie.

In the semis, Gamboa’s brace shrugged off BW Gottschee, while Rama and Lago twice had Iberia ahead in the final against Hungaria before the controversial ending.

Jersey blue

Jersey City FC failed to reproduce their sparkling form, which won them the CSL Indoor Championships’ "A" Division title in January. Jersey "A" lost 5-2 to Hungaria "B" in the semis, while their "B" team faltered in the prelims.

"We should have reached the final and challenged for the title. I mismanaged our depth and we ran out of gas against Hungaria," said Jersey’s Chris Levendos.

He was nonetheless pleased with the performance, adding, "we played really well on the day."

Jersey "A" started hot in Group B before flaming out. They annihilated Astoria Rudar 8-3, thrashed Barnstonworth Rovers "B" 7-1 and Manhattan Kickers "B" 4-0.

Among the Jersey standouts were Fernando J’ger who scored a remarkable 12 goals in five matches, including a tournament record six against Astoria, and Michele Guzzinati with eight strikes, three of them in the 4-3 result over Eintracht "A" in the quarterfinals.

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