Oyster Bay United FC

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OBUFC falls to Hartford Athletic

Great Showing in US Open Cup!
Published Apr 8, 2022

Hartford, Connecticut

Oyster Bay United FC returned to Hartford to take on UPL-Championship squad Hartford Athletic in a much anticipated Second Round US Open Cup match.  The pro side wasn't taking any chances and dressed a very strong lineup for the match.  The cold, windy, rainy conditions made for a slippery pitch but that didn't stop both sides from showing quality in the first half.  The best chance of the half probably came in the 23rd minute where Junior Rosero's likely goal was blocked in front of goal by an Athletic defender.  Stats were pretty evenly matched in the first half with Athletic holding a nearly 60-40 advantage in possession and OBUFC holding a slight 7-6 advantage in shots.  Most importantly, the teams were level at 0-0 when the whistle for half-time blew.

Athletic made one switch at the half, taking off Juan Carlos Obregon Jr. and Rashawn Dally.  Early in the half, Athletic won a corner kick which was sent crossed into a dangerous spot by Luka Prpa and headed home by Joel Johnson.  It appeared that an Athletic player knocked over OBUFC keeper JC Perez inside the six, but that goal was allowed to stand.  OBUFC fought back valiantly and in the 58th minute won a penalty through Sebastian Ruiz who was taken down from behind and leg whipped by Tulu who was extremely fortunate to not see a second yellow.  This would prove to be a crucial moment in the match, as Junior Rosero blasted the penalty knotting the score at 1-1 in the 60th minute.

The match seasawed back and forth until the 70th minute where a parry from Perez found its way to the foot of Prpa who clinically fired home to make the score 2-1.  OBUFC would not relevent and just missed on a few chances before another critical moment in the 82nd minute where Tulu after losing possession of the ball took down Dillon Woods and subsequently hit him in the face with the ball.  While the throw was soft, it was clearly malicious and intentional, yet referee Kenneth Rojas inexplicably failed to do his job and send off Tulu with a second yellow.  We may be biased here, but that is an easy and obvious yellow card at any level, an opnion that was shared on the broadcast and in numerous articles about the match.  At the end of the day, the referee lacked the courage to make the call he should've easily made, especially after Tulu already got away with not getting a second yellow only twenty minutes prior.

While OBUFC continuted to fight, in the 92nd minute, a deft counterattack from Athletic led to Dally finding Prince Saydee who finished nicely to put the match out of reach at 3-1.  The final scoreline did not do justice to the closeness of the match or the fact that OBUFC probably shouldn've been a man up at 1-1 in the 60th minute and absolutely with competent refereeing been up a man, down 2-1 with ten minutes to play.

That said, fair play to Athletic and good luck in your match against the NY Red Bulls of the MLS.