United Holds On, Advances

Mass United faced familiar foe Middlesex FC in the first round of the USASA National Amateur Cup last night, coming away with a 4-3 win and a ticket to the second round. United controlled much of the match in building a 4-1 lead but got a little too comfortable mid-way through the second half and allowed Middlesex to make the end much more interesting than it should have been.
The Riders started the match by looking very sloppy. Goalkeeper Pedro Lima was left alone on a few occasions in the early going, including a tremendous effort to recover after coming out to defend a long ball. Thankfully, only one of those instances turned into a goal. The early deficit didn’t have quite the effect Middlesex may have hoped however, as United began to take control of the tempo and before long, the score as well. After the initial disorganization, the United back line, centered by John Dumbuya and newcomer Tyler Sangster with Rafael Santos and Babacar N’Dour on the wings, became a solid unit and kept Middlesex in their own end much of time by closing off the defensive third. There was no working clock at the game so it’s hard to say exactly how long the Middlesex lead lasted, but it wasn’t long. After successive corners failed to yield a goal, United equalized with a beautiful play started from Sangster in the back. Sangster’s long pass went to midfielder Marc Djessouho who then sent it perfectly into the box for a diving header by fellow-midfielder Denivaldo DaSilva, who also had two assists. Watch the goal here.
United pushed to take the lead but things settled down until midfielder Rigoberto Jiminez took a lovely pass from DaSilva and put it in the top left corner for a 2-1 lead. The Riders nearly took a 2-goal lead moments later when a shot by Alencer “Junior” Ventura on a breakaway hit the post. Ventura would not be denied much longer though as another pass from Deni DaSilva found him and he put United up 3-1, with the half time whistle coming moments later.
The second half started much as it ended, with Ventura making it 4-1 after a pass into the box by Moises Lopes was punched by the keeper right off of Ventura’s back and into the net. The near-domination would continue for a time but Middlesex wasn’t going to go away quietly. After getting a second goal on a penalty, an absolute rocket from 30 yards out pulled them to within one. The comeback would not be completed however as the Boys in Gold&Blue held on and took the night.
Next up for United is state qualifiers for the US Open Cup on November 3rd against 2012 USASA National Amateur Cup champion Battery Park Gunners at Madison Park High School with a 1:30pm kickoff.