June 26, 2016 PLAYOFF SHOWDOWN Boston City bounces Rhode Island Reds
MALDEN, Mass. -- Substitute striker Darlan Rochaís 87th-minute goal gave Boston City FC a 3-2 win over the Rhode Island Reds at Brother Gilbert Stadium Sunday night.
BCFC (7-3-2, 23 points) improved its unbeaten streak to six games and took an edge on the Reds (6-3-3, 21 points) for second place in the NPSL Northeast Atlantic Division, which will have two teams qualify for the post-season playoffs.
The teams meet again in Rhode Island next Sunday.
Rocha, who entered as a second-half substitute in his second game for BCFC, bounced his shot in off the far post past a diving Joseph Cipicchio.
Rocha's strike climaxed an end-to-end battle that included several cautions, two Rhode Island red cards and Boston City twice surrendering a lead.
After Michael Bustamante gave BCFC the lead, the Redsí Liberian striker, Isaac Nana Addai, tied the score.
The first half was played in a frantic style typical of a local derby. Morais fired over the bar in the opening minute, then Rhode Islandís Tanor Jobe was denied by a Gabriel De Souza tackle and save by Victor Scariot, who earned man of the match honors.
Bustamante had a low shot roll wide after a surge through midfield, then Addai sprung the offside trap and Scariot saved with his legs.
The tempo altered after Raniel Isaac was ejected for a reckless challenge in the 28th minute. Three minutes later, Boston City took advantage, Bustamante scoring his sixth goal of the season between Cipicchio and the near post.
Two minutes before halftime, Morais hit the foot of the post after a combination from the Jhonata and Samuel Batista.
Lions coach Palhinha made a switch after halftime, pushing attacking left back Egberto Da Silva into midfield, with Jean Carreiro coming into the back four for Guilherme Desousa and Daniel Souza moving to right back.
Two minutes into the second half, Souza was adjudged to have tripped Addai, who slotted home the equalizing penalty kick.
Scariot again saved in the 70th minute, denying Jobe off a curling Addai cross.
Three minutes later, the Lions went ahead when Morais drilled a low finish through a crowded goalmouth off a Valerio Silva cross.
Three minutes later, Addai curled a free kick to equalize, then nearly had a hat trick as he hit the post with another set piece attempt.
Seven minutes from time, Da Silva forced a diving save from Cipicchio.