In the opening match of the day, the Western Mass Pioneers needed extra time and a pair of penalty kicks to overcome the upset bid of the USASA’s Danbury United.
After playing a scoreless first half, former Pioneer Tony Fernandes was called for a foul on Everson Maciel, who appeared to exaggerate the contact to draw a penalty kick. Maciel converted the kick to give the USL-2 side a 1-0 lead. Danbury dramatically drew the game level in the 86th minute, when Mauro Costa headed in a free kick from Mauro Santos.
Both teams nearly won the game in added time. Danbury goalkeeper Renildo Oliveira mishandled the ball, and Jeff Deren took a shot on an open net, but a Danbury defender slid in across the goal mouth to clear the ball away. Three minutes into added time, Tony Fernandes was awarded a penalty kick after a foul from Anthony Augustine, but Pioneers’ goalkeeper Kevin Trapp guessed correctly and made the save, sending the game to extra time.
In extra time, Santos quickly gave Danbury their first lead of the match, with a header in the 92nd minute that caught Trapp off his line. Western Mass bounced back when they were awarded another penalty in the 104th minute, when Alex Paulichi was called for a foul on Augustine in the area. Danbury goalkeeper Oliveira nearly saved Deren’s penalty kick, getting a glove on the ball, but was unable to fully stop it. Easton Wilson scored the eventual game winner off a rebound of a 20-yard shot shot from Maciel, which he slid into an empty net.
Western Mass will travel to face Rochester in the Second Round on June 26.
(WMP) Everson Maciel 59’ (PK)
(DAN) Mauro Costa 86’
(DAN) Mauro Santos 92’
(WMP) Jeff Deren 105’ (PK)
(WMP) Easton Wilson 109’