Jackson Lions FC needed extra time to defeat Newtown Pride, 1-0, in the First Round of the 2019 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup qualifying tournament.
Ryan Bailey scored the game’s only goal from the penalty spot in the third minute of stoppage time in the first half of overtime.
Lions head coach Brad Fraley applauded his players for getting the shutout win over 120 minutes.
“It’s early in the year,” Fraley said. “But, it’s nice to get a shutout on top of the win.”
The lone goal of the match was scored on a penalty kick that the Newtown players were visibly upset with after the match had ended. Filipe Dutra made a sliding challenge on Jackson’s Ryan Bailey late in the first half of stoppage time and the referee did not hesitate to point to the spot. There was a stoppage of about two or so minutes after the call was made with the visiting team wholeheartedly arguing with the referee. There is no doubt that Dutra made contact with the player, but he also got a big chunk of the ball and Newtown may have a case. Nonetheless, their qualifying campaign ended early.
Overall, it was a fairly even match with both teams struggling to attack consistently. It was no surprise that they needed extra time to decide the game. The Lions and Pride both went through spells where they had control, but the two struggled to create chances. The little moments of magic came from the wing. Jackson’s Walter Calderon was one move away from cutting through the visiting defense on a handful of occasions. Newtown’s Sylla Salifou was the biggest threat and looked like he was going to be the difference maker, but it was not meant to be for the Connecticut-based club.
Jackson Lions FC will advance to the next round of qualifying where they will face off with the three-time US Open Cup champions New York Pancyprian Freedoms on Oct. 20.