Lansdowne Yonkers 2 – 2 NY Pancyprian Freedoms
May 20, 2021 By William McGrory
Lansdowne Yonkers clinched the Metropolitan Championship in an epic final day encounter against Pancyprians last Sunday.
Only goal difference was separating the teams coming into the clash as the regular season title was on the line at St John’s Belson Stadium in Jamaica, Queens.
“The Bhoys” led by four in the goals difference tally and manager Sean Kelly knew that a draw would seal the deal for his Yonkers-based side.
And with TV legend Tommy Smith on commentary duties fans could sense that it was going to be a cracking contest – and they weren’t disappointed.
It was a pulsating game right from the off. Pancyprians started the game with the majority of possession but it was Lansdowne that had the first real attempt on goal with former Finn harps player Paddy McCann’s close range effort saved by the Pancyprian goal keeper.
In the first incident of what was a night full of big refereeing calls, former Macclesfield Town player Shamir Mullings was put through into the box by Kyle Parish who was then taken down by the keeper for a penalty kick – only for the move to be controversially ruled off side.
On the 30th minute mark the Pancyprians scored the opener courtesy of ex New York Cosmos player Charlie Ledula.
The boys in blue then kept up the pressure and – in the second controversial call if the night – were awarded a penalty after the ball stuck another Ex Finn harps Sean Reilly’s arm.
Pancyprians duly dispatched the resulting penalty and took a 2-0 lead into the break.
After the half time whistle Lansdowne came out a different side and immediately dominated possession but found a very experienced Pancyprians team extremely difficult to break down.
For all of Lansdowne’s possession it was the Pancyprians who had an opportunity to make it 3-0 only for Landsdowne legend keeper Kabo Danso to do what he has done throughout his seven year career with the club and make a wonder save to stop the ball nestling in the top corner.
Just as it seemed the game – and title – was slipping away from Lansdowne, they were awarded a free kick 22 yards out from goal on the 75 minute mark.
Joey Devivo stepped up and he curled a wonderful right footer over the wall and into the top corner to give Lansdowne a lifeline.
The game became a real nail biter as Lansdowne kept pressing for their second goal but it looked like it wasn’t going to be their day and Pancyprians would hold on to claim the trophy.
Then, in the dying seconds of the game Lansdowne were awarded a penalty after Former St Patrick’s Athletic player Daryl Kavanagh was ajudged to have been fouled in the box.
After fierce protests from the home side it was that man Joey Devivo who would keep his calm and slot away the penalty to crown the Bhoys metropolitan championship winners. Wild celebrtions ensued with plenty of tri-colors in full sight.
The dramatic victory means Kelly’s charges will now move into their first ever EPSL Championship semi final which will be held in New Jersey in July. Kelly is a former Arsenal youth and Lansdowne Yonkers player.
But the clubs busy schedule doesn’t stop there.
On top of running 26 youth teams and their second team competing in the CSL, the first team are still in contention for both national cups and will play Brockton from Boston on Sunday, May 23 in the first of two semi final games.
They will also compete in the NISA Independent Cup in July where they will come up against professional sides.
Highlights from the game can be viewed below.
The full game can be viewed by clicking here.
A special mention to the sponsors and partners of Lansdowne Yonkers:
Lansdowne cleaning services
Emerald tile and marble