By Ralph Chery, Contributor |
The Beavers suffered their first conference loss of the season, falling to Hunter College 2-1 at Randall’s Island on Saturday.
After CCNY’s top scorer Kenny Redzematovic and Hunter’s Jesus Muniz exchanged goals in the first-half, the Hawks jumped ahead the controversial, game-winning goal in the 57th minute.
City keeper Maxwell Berkow appeared to have saved Mostafa Mosaab’s header in front of the line, but the assistant referee waved his flag for a goal. The Beavers fought for an equalizer for the remainder of the game, but were unable to put one past opposing keeper Paul Tenfoug.
“A loss is always very painful,” senior captain Abdul Abdulai said after the game. “We know what we’re made of, we know that’s a team we could have beaten, should definitely have beaten. But the ref made a very bad call, giving them the second goal. We didn’t react positively enough in the first 10 minutes after they got that second goal, and we paid for it by losing the game.”
This game snapped the defending champions’ 10-game unbeaten run against CUNYAC opponents.
The Beavers also dropped from first to third place, with 10 points, after their first loss in the conference. Meanwhile, Hunter moved to first place with 12 points.
The two sides exchanged attacks evenly in the first half hour of the game, both recording three shots on target. CCNY had a chance to take the lead after the official granting them a penalty kick in the 31st minute.
Redzematovic was left one-on-one with keeper Tanfoug after intercepting John Sampedro’s bad pass back to his goalie. Tanfoug fouled Redzematovic as he tried to go around him, conceding a penalty kick.
City missed their previous two penalty kicks, but Redzematovic made no mistake from the spot as he roofed the ball on top of the net a minute after being fouled.
“It feels good to score,” the Beavers top scorer said. “My teammate [Anthony] Scarallo usually takes them and he’s been automatic for them. But he ran into a little bit of a rough patch, but he’ll be back as our primary penalty kick taker. But it felt good to score.”
The Hawks took advantage of a giveaway in City’s defensive third to level the score.
In the 41st minute, Adam Pine intercepted Scarallo’s header intended for Francisco Ochoa before laying the ball to an open Muniz in the box. Muniz shot the ball to the right corner of the net, Berkow was at full stretch but was unable to get a hand on it.
Hunter scored the go-ahead goal three minutes before the half hour mark. Mosaab headed Muniz’s corner kick down. It looked as if Berkow saved the ball in front of the line and indeed the referee didn’t signal for a goal but the assistant referee waved his flag.
After consulting his assistant, the referee overruled his initial decision and whistled for a goal.
Berkow disagreed with the referee’s call.
“Hunter’s second counted goal was not a goal,” the keeper said. “There was a scramble in the box, I caught the ball, brought it down, did not move it outside the line. The line referee called the play as a goal despite three, four kids being in between him and the ball. There was no movement and he called it five seconds afterwards.”
The Beavers hadn’t been down in a conference game for 987 minutes before then.
CCNY had two glorious opportunities to equalize when Lanfia Diaby shot the ball just inches wide in the box in the 83rd minute, and when Ochoa’s long range effort whistled past the post just one minute from time.
City will look to bounce back from this loss when they take on Eastern University on October 3rd at 4 p.m. in Philadelphia. Eastern University is the No. 8 team in the Mid-Atlantic Regional Poll.
*Cover photo by Fiifi Ghanney / CCNY Beavers Soccer