Harrisburg City Islanders News Release -- www.cityislanders.com
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Another overtime, another win.
The Harrisburg City Islanders needed extra time for the second consecutive game in this year’s Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, but they upset Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls 3-1 at Skyline Sports Complex on Tuesday night. Sainey Touray and recent pickup Lucky Mkosana scored in overtime to send the Islanders into the quarterfinals of the Open Cup.
After regulation ended tied 1-1, Harrisburg coach Bill Becher gathered his side near midfield, preparing for the end to another gutsy performance by the home team. They came out firing, taking the lead on a Touray chip in the 94th minute. After being stuck in their own end, the Islanders broke out quickly with Jason Pelletier leading the charge. The crafty midfielder passed it to Touray, who lobbed it over a sliding Ryan Meara to put the Islanders ahead 2-1.
Mkosana, who was playing in his second game for the Islanders, added a late goal in the 118th to seal the victory. Off another counter-attack, Mkosana found himself inside the penalty area, where he was found by second-half substitute Yann Ekra, who laced a pass right to the foot of the Dartmouth product, whose goal gave the Islanders a 3-1 lead they would not relinquish.
On their heels for most of the match, the Islanders fell into a defensive shell, most of their opportunities coming from counters. They executed their counterpunching strategy to perfection, squeezing the athletic Red Bulls attack and pushing them toward the flanks.
Despite star players Thierry Henry and Joel Lindpere not making the trip, New York dominated possession, ending with 17 shots to Harrisburg’s 10 and earning 14 corners to the Islanders’ two.
Goalkeeper Nick Noble, who ended up with seven saves on the night, said after the match “that’s why they call it soccer, not possession.” The Islanders, who lived dangerously all match, needed another stellar effort from their hot goalkeeper. And to the 1,477 in attendance, he didn’t disappoint.
In regulation, Touray opened the scoring after running mate Brian Ombiji drove, spun and dished in the 13th minute. A leg injury would later end Ombiji’s night in the 89th. After halftime, New York finally capitalized on the constant pressure they had exerted on the Islanders as Connor Lade, who scored in New York’s previous Open Cup game against Charleston, blasted one past goalkeeper Nick Noble in the 58th minute to tie the game.
With the win, Harrisburg moves into the quarterfinals and will face the Philadelphia Union, who defeated D.C. United 2-1 in overtime on Tuesday. The quarterfinal matchup will take place June 26 at PPL Park.
New York returns to MLS play on Sunday, June 17 for a nationally televised game at the Chicago Fire on NBC Sports Network. The Islanders, meanwhile, will host their eighth consecutive game Saturday when the Wilmington Hammerheads make the trip to Skyline Sports Complex. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.