Friday, July 29, 2011

NPSL Finalist Set; NPSL All-star Game; RCU's Sabio's Phillipines Out of World Cup

NPSL Finals Set:  Hollywood United v Jacksonville United
The 2011 NPSL Final will be a battle of Uniteds as Hollywood United will take on Jacksonville United on Saturday at 7:30PM at the Madison City Schools Stadium.

Semifinal 1:  NPSL newcomer and West Region champion Hollywood United scored three second half goals on their way to defeating Midwest Region champion Milwaukee Bavarians.  The teams ended the first half scoreless despite several good chance from Hollywood.  The second half would see Hollywood continue the pressure and a golazo from Emmanuel Bentil two minutes after the break opened up the match.  Bentil roped a drive into the top corner of the goal from outside the area.  Shortly after, second half sub Brent Whitfield made the most of his fresh legs as he paced the Hitmen with a brace of goals on their way into Saturday nights final.

Semifinal 2:  The second semifinal was a wild affair.  Twice the Erie Admirals took 1 goal leads and twice Jacksonville United battled back to equalize before adding two late goals to take seal JUFC's place in the final.  Erie started the scoring in the 22nd minute with a headed goal from Gavin Falconer off a nice cross from Shane Howard.  Jacksonville United got the equalizer before the break when Tyler Williams scored on the second effort after his first shot was knocked down.  Erie then benefited from a deflected cross from Michael Kennedy that found the net for the 2:1 lead in the 58th.  JUFC only took 3 minutes to respond with a blast from Tommy Krizanovic.  Just 10 minutes later, JUFC took the lead for good with a Akinwale Leyimu tally followed two minutes later by a Nick Salafrio's effort that just crossed the line before the Erie defense could clear.  The wild game wasn't over yet as JUFC keeper Stuart McCrory turned away an Erie PK attempt in the waning minutes to keep the score 4:2 in favor of JUFC.

The third place match between the Erie Admirals and the Milwaukee Bavarians will take place Friday night at 5:30PM at the Madison City Schools Stadium.

NPSL All-stars take on RCU
Rocket City United will suit up one more time this season, as they take on the NPSL All-stars Friday night at 8 PM.  RCU will have their work cut out for them as a strong NPSL side has been selected from over 60 recommended all-star players from around the league.  RCU defender Joseph Omondi will have the rare privilege of suiting up against his current club as he was selected for the All-stars.  When asked about which team he'd play for in Friday's match Omondi broke out in his trademark smile, "I've been asked that a couple of times now. Being selected [to the all-star team], it' s a big honor for me.  So, I think I'll be playing against Rocket City, and it's just going to be a fun game for me."  NPSL Technical Director and All-star head coach claims this year's all-stars a much more talented side than the one that beat RCU 2:0 in last year's exhibition match.

RCU's Jason Sabio and the Phillipino National Team fall to Kuwait in World Cup Qualifying
Rocket City United defender Jason Sabio and his Phillipino National Team fell to Kuwait 5:1 on aggregate in the second round of the Asian Football Confederation's World Cup Qualifying.  The Askals needed a miracle win by 4 goals in the return leg in Manilla after losing in Kuwait 3:0 in the first leg.  Sabio did not appear in the second leg as the team fielded an attacking line-up in an effort to maximize its goal scoring capability.  The miracle looked possible after the Azkals took an 1:0 halftime lead, but as they pressed for goals, Kuwait struck twice and eliminated the Phillipines' and Sabio's World Cup dreams.

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