VFQ: Fighting Back

Mass United ended a 3-game losing streak with a 2-2 draw against Seacoast United Phantoms in Portsmouth, NH on Wednesday night in National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) play. United fought back after falling behind 2-0 in the first half with goals by Denivaldo DaSilva in the 63rd minute and new signing Rigiberto Jiminez ten minutes later. Both sides created chances to claim the full 3 points but neither could find the elusive winner.

United players (L-R) Victor Costa, Ryan Palingo, Babacar Ndour and Denivaldo DaSilva warm up prior to last night's game

United put themselves in a hole for the third straight game when James Petrucelli converted a penalty in the 6th minute. The hole got a little deeper in the 31st minute when a perfect half-volley by Colin Smith was driven hard into the net. United continued to threaten but could not find the back of the net until the second half.

The second half brought immediate pressure from United, eventually forcing a mistake by Seacoast keeper Giovanni Sinclair in the 63rd minute which the Riders took full advantage of. A cross came to Sinclair in a crowded box but it bounced off his chest and landed in front of United’s Denivaldo DaSilva, who back-heeled it into the net. Ten minutes later United’s man-of-the-match Rigiberto Jiminez evened things up by going near-post on Sinclair.

A seemingly flustered Seacoast almost got the lead right back but a terrific save by United keeper Steven Liechti in the 75th minute kept it tied at 2. Seacoast was only able to apply pressure in small increments the rest of the way as United pushed for the game-winner. Which it seemed United was going to get in the 87th minute, but a shot by Jiminez that seemed destined for the back of the net was pushed aside by a fully stretched Sinclair.

As it stands now, United remains one point behind the Phantoms in 4th position. The result of last night’s New York Red Bulls-FC New York match was not in as of the time of writing.

Next up for the Riders is a Sunday evening match up with New York Athletic Club at Manning Field in Lynn. The match kicks off at 7:00 pm and tickets can be purchased in our TICKETS section or at the gate on game day.