Lansdowne Bhoys before their 2016 US Open Cup qualifying match against Worcester FC. Photo: Lansdowne Bhoys
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A match that started out evenly-played eventually turned into a demolition as Worcester FC fell 5-0 to Lansdowne Bhoys FC in Saturday’s second qualifying round of the 2016 US Open Cup tournament at Foley Stadium in Worcester, Mass.
Ovan Oakley opened the account in the 27th minute while Sikele Sylvester allowed the guests to go into halftime with a two-goal advantage after he tallied in the 33rd minute. The Bhoys put the game out of reach with second half goals by Karim Russell and Ian Sweeney, and then Gareth McGlynn scribbled his name on the scoresheet in stoppage time to put an exclamation point on the comprehensive victory.
With the win, Lansdowne Bhoys advance to the third qualifying round, which will take place during the weekend of Apr. 2-3, 2016. The loss ended Worcester’s first foray in US Open Cup qualifying only months after they were established.
“We didn’t have our whole team,” Worcester keeper Cam Staples said. “We were missing our (first-choice) right back, and that’s where they decided they wanted to come down and attack.”
Although temperatures dipped into the low-30s at kickoff, the early action kept the hardy spectators on the edge of their seats.
Inside of four minutes, Bhoys midfielder Daryl Kavanagh tested Worcester keeper Cam Staples with a blast from the left flank. Not long after, Worcester made a bid for the opener when Braima Samati slithered through the backline and beat keeper Abdoukarim Danso, who breathed a heavy sigh of relief when the shot veered wide of the woodwork in the 16th minute.
Samati’s miss proved to be the best chance for Worcester to take control of the match before Lansdowne unleashed an offensive that was for too much for the hosts to handle.
On a quick break, Ovan raced onto a through ball from Karl Sjostrom that split the Worcester backline before he froze Staples and sent it through to put Lansdowne ahead in the 27th minute.
The Bhoys wasted little time building upon the Ovan’s goal when Sjostrom crossed it for Sylvester, who coolly headed it through on the doorstep to put Worcester in a deeper ditch going into the 33rd minute.
Frustrated, but far from finished, Worcester entered the second frame hoping to pull one back and make it anyone’s match. Marcus Pizzetti, who scored twice in their first qualifying round victory over Newport FC, entered the match at halftime in a move to strengthen the attack.
But getting stronger up front wasn’t enough to overcome the holes in the rear. Staples was forced to make a trio of heady saves off his line early in the second stanza, but it wasn’t nearly enough to quiet Lansdowne’s lively attack.
Just after the hour, Russell exploited an opening and buried his close range shot to put the game well out of reach.
“We pressed up too high,” Staples said. “They figured it out and they just kept playing through balls and that’s what got us – those through balls.”
Twelve minutes later, Sweeney casually tapped through a cross through from point blank range, and in stoppage time, McGlynn gave his teammates one more reason to celebrate when he bagged the fifth goal of the game.
“Our core group of guys weren’t here,” Staples said, “and that’s what we needed. We fought to the end. We didn’t get the result we wanted, but we didn’t quit until the 90th minute.”