Lansdowne Bhoys FC beat Junior Lone Stars U-23s to advance to qualify for the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup for the second time in three years. The defending USASA Amateur Cup champions, playing in front of their home fans at Tibbetts Brooke Park in Yonkers, NY, won the game 3-1 to earn a spot in the 105th edition of the tournament next spring.
Irish forward Daryl Kavanagh, who spent time with numerous pro teams in his home country during his career, scored two of the three goals to lead Lansdowne to the win.
At the start, it was a very tense affair with both teams guilty of heavy touches and mishit passes. Lansdowne’s quality eventual shone through as the Bhoys started to grasp control of the game while Junior Lone Star looked dangerous on the counter. After a handful of chances for Lansdowne, Paco Navarro broke the deadlock after being slipped in from Lukas Zagres to give the Bhoys an early lead.
In the second half, the Bhoys tightened their grip on the game, coming close before a beautiful curling, left-footed Daryl Kavanagh effort gave them the second goal they were looking for.
Lansdowne Bhoys pose for a team photo before the club’s 2018 US Open Cup qualifying match against Junior Lone Star U-23s. Photo: Larry Larkin | Lansdowne Bhoys FC
After that goal, it was generally one-way traffic and the Bhoys added a third as Kavanagh deftly flicked in an Andrew Sousa free kick. In the last ten minutes, Junior Lone Star had their best attacking spell of the game and were rewarded for their efforts as Momoh Dolley, a substitute, scored to ruin the shutout. For the Philadelphia-based Junior Lone Star, it would be the end to a rare qualifying run as the club’s senior team was eliminated in the opening round, while the Under-23s advanced all the way to the final round.
For the Bhoys, they qualify for the US Open Cup for the second time in club history. When they made their Open Cup debut in 2016, they made the most of it by defeating the Long Island Rough Riders (PDL) in the opening round before stunning the USL’s Pittsburgh Riverhounds on the road, 2-0. Their inaugural cup run would end with another road game, falling 2-0 at the Rochester Rhinos (USL).
Lansdowne manager Austin Friel was satisfied with the result and is looking ahead to the challenge that awaits his club when the US Open Cup begins next spring.
“I’m very happy to reach the first round,” Friel said with an eye toward the future and a reference to the past. “The next five months now is about preparing a squad to go as far as we can in the competition. We enjoyed our 2016 journey and want to go further this year.”