Junior Lone Star FC / Local

EPSA Open Cup Final Report: West Chester United 4-3 Junior Lone Star

It was a tale of two halves as three-time defending EPSA Open Cup champions West Chester United SC came from 1-3 down in the first half to defeat first time finalists Junior Lone Star FC 4-3 in a pulsating 2014-2015 EPSA Open Cup Final on Sunday.

First Half

Both teams came into yesterday’s final with mixed results in their respective leagues but the Stars started the match well and it didn’t take too long for them to get on the score sheet. In the 20th minute, n easy pass from Mohamed Camara saw United’s goalkeeper and defender clashing together, which allowed Aba Zoegar to put the Stars ahead.

Five minutes later, the Stars doubled their lead when a combination of passes between Thomas George and Yaya Fane saw the latter releasing a through pass to Jerome Pour on the right who unleashed a powerful shot at the back of the net. This was Pour’s fourth goal of the competition after scoring in each round.

After that Stars second goal, United begun to exert some pressure and it paid off in the 35th minute when Matt Poole was allowed enough space on the right to send in a cross which evaded the entire Stars’ defense to allow Justin McCall a simple tap-in.

With that goal, United started pushing for the equalizer before the half but they were punished by a Stars’ counterattack which saw Ebere Goodluck releasing a cross from the left which United’s goalie fumbled for Jerome Pour to put the Stars 3-1 ahead in the 40th minute.

Ebere Goodluck also had a chance to make it 4-1 to the Stars at the stroke of halftime but he hit the post with the empty goal at his mercy.

Second Half

Buoyed by the half-time team talk from their coach Blaise Santangelo, United came into the second half with more purpose as they started to put pressure on the Stars. In the 60th minute, a forced substitution for the Stars allowed United to take control of the game after the Stars’ defensive midfielder Yaya Fane had to be replaced by Ansu Corneh due to injury.

With that forced substitution, it didn’t take too long for United to pull one back in the 65th. Aba Zoegar made a cynical foul 25 yards out and a free kick was given to United. Billydee Scantleberry stood over the ball and sent a spectacular free kick that left Prince Monyan rooted on his goal line as the ball hit the back of the net.

Sensing a shift in the game, United continued to pile more pressure and that paid off in the 75th through another set piece. This time around, Scantleberry was the provider as his free kick was met at the near post by Bill Brown for a free header to tie the game at 3-3.

After the equalizer, it was an end-to-end stuff as both teams were looking for the winner. The Stars had three chances in the space of 10 minutes but Mohamed Camara, Jerome Pour, and Ebere Goodluck all missed.

A quick counterattack by United saw Scantleberry releasing Kevin Glenn to score the winner in the 90th minute. It was United’s fourth successive EPSA Open Cup title, equaling the record set by the United German Hungarians from the 1996-1997 season to the 1999-2000 season.

After the match, Junior Lone Star FC assistant coach Kara Smith said, “This is our first ever Open Cup final and I’m proud of the run my boys have had in this competition this season. I think losing Fane in midfield was a blow to us in the second half and United capitalized on that. We had more chances than them but they were more clinical in front of goal. That shows you how good United are and we wish them all the best at Regionals.”

West Chester’s Blaise Santangelo said, “We knew that JLS had talented group of young players who would pressure us all over the field as they did for most part of the game. They were all over us in the first half. They used their flanks well to score those three goals in the first half. Our back line and goalie were just trying to weather the storm!”

He continued,”We came off at the half feeling that we could score two or three goals in the second half. I told the boys that with the wind to our back we had JLS right where we wanted them and so it proved correctly with our three goals to win the match. We are so happy for this title despite the difficulties we have been going through getting players to play in the league. Playing the last three years in spring regional Open Cup competition really gives our winter training a purpose and we are all looking forward to it.”

West Chester United will now represent EPSA at the 2014-2015 USASA Region I Competition which is expected to start in early April. This will be United’s fourth successive appearance at Regionals where they have yet to progress from the first round.

Scoring Summary
JLS: Aba Zoegar (Mohamed Camara) 20’
JLS: Jerome Pour (Yaya Fane) 25’
WCU: Justin McCall (Matt Poole) 35’
JLS: Jerome Pour (Ebere Goodluck) 40′
WCU: Billydee Scantleberry 65’
WCU: Bill Brown (Billydee Scantleberry) 75’
WCU: Kevin Glenn (Billydee Scantleberry) 90’

2 Comments

  1. maybe they can actually win at regionals for once…

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