Flames draw 2-2 With AC Connecticut
Forward James Thristino celebrates scoring the Flames second goal
5/28/16 - A back and forth battle between the Westchester Flames and AC Connecticut ended in a 2-2 draw in Westchester. Moments after the whistle blew to start the game, AC Connecticut stormed down the field and took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Louis Greenway-Tambini, a forward from Southern Connecticut State University. It was Greenway-Tambini's third goal of the season for AC Connecticut.
The Flames were a bit shaken after the goal and worked hard to get back into the game. AC Connecticut continued to apply pressure and had the better of the play, with some good scoring chances. Neither side was able to get a goal and the half ended with AC Connecticut leading 1-0.
At the start of the second half, Flames Head Coach and General Manager Gus Skoufis brought on Albany forward Ivan Martinez and Iona midfielder Brendan Reardon for Iona's Matias Correa and Edward Uy. Skoufis changed the formation to a 4-4-2 and moved Adelphi forward James Thristino into the center forward position alongside Lucas Pereira.
The changes proved to be a key for the Flames as they started the second half very strong. The Flames had a lot of possession and created several scoring chances. After a free kick was defended by AC Connecticut, Flames defender Dante Spinelli was in the right place at the right time and scored his first goal of the season to tie the game at 1-1 in the 49th minute.
The Flames continued to apply pressure and created several scoring chances in search of a second goal. AC Connecticut had to work hard to defend, but were also able to challenge the Flames and create some scoring chances of their own. Eventually, Flames left back John Pappas from Marshall University was able to put a nice cross into the box and Thristino was there to score his first goal of the season and give the Flames a 2-1 lead in the 65th minute.
Both teams continued to attack and created several good scoring chances. Flames goalkeeper Rashid Nuhu and Connecticut goalkeeper Nicholas Velleca were called on to make several good saves to keep the score at 2-1. The Flames defense started to weaken a bit in the last 10 minutes of the game and AC Connecticut were able to capitalize with another goal by Greenway-Tambini in the 83rd minute. It was his fourth goal on the season giving him four goals in three games, which is a torrid pace for any forward in the USL PDL.
The Flames and AC Connecticut continued to create some good scoring chances, but the final whistle blew and the game ended at 2-2. The result leaves the Flames in 6th place in the USL PDL's Northeast Division with 4 points from 1 win, 2 losses, and 1 draw.
The Westchester Flames next game in the 2016 USL PDL season will be at home against GPS Portland Phoenix on Saturday, June 4, 2016 at 7:30 PM. All Westchester Flames home games are held at City Park Stadium in New Rochelle, New York.