The night didn’t start well, but for the Long Island Rough Riders, the evening ended with a flurry of goals and a victory in the first round of the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
On Wednesday night at John Burns Park in Massapequa, Long Island came back from a 2-0 deficit in its 6-3 win over Kingston Stockdale FC. With the win, the Rough Riders move into the second round of the U.S. Open Cup and will face Louisville City FC on Wednesday, May 16, at 7 p.m. at Lynn Stadium in Louisville.
“Overall it was a very good performance, but we have some work to do because the first half wasn’t good enough so hopefully, we learn from that,” first-year head coach Stephen Roche said. “Obviously we’ll have some confidence and learned some lessons tonight.”
Playing in the tournament for the first time since 2016, Long Island fell behind in the 11th minute as Bruce Jeter tapped in a cross from Pedro Espindola. In the 52nd minute, Kingston doubled its advantage on a goal from Michael Creswick.
With Kingston seemingly in control of the match, the Rough Riders began their comeback. In the 56th minute, Alexander Dexter’s drive down the left side led to a near-post cross that found Tyler Botte who headed home for Long Island’s first goal of the game.
Neither team could then find the back of the net and as the match entered the final 10 minutes of regulation, the Rough Riders would draw level. In the 82nd minute, Tom Wharf would head home the tying goal.
As the game hit the 90th minute, Kingston’s Bernardo Mattos was shown a second yellow card, which allowed Long Island to play a man-up during extra time. The Rough Riders’ tsunami of goals would start as Junior Rosero and Charlie Ledula would score to give Long Island a 4-2 lead. Botte’s second of the game extended the lead to three but Kingston pulled one back following a penalty kick. Ledula would round on the scoring with his second of the match to give Long Island a 6-3 win.
“I was very proud of what we were able to do at the end, especially being 2-0 down,” Roche said.