These 2 powerhouses have been neck and neck the whole season. Both teams ended up with the same record and about the same goals against. The goals for and goals differential go to Elite.
This game is one of the best matchups with both teams coming in with top caliber keepers. The previous meeting of these 2 teams happened up at The Fort, a very long drive for anyone to make. Yemen Elite experienced the curse of the Fort showing up with only 7 players to start the game with 2 more joining the ranks a few minutes later. Yemen Elite controlled the ball in the beginning with only 9 guys, but Queenston was beating on the door and almost capitalized twice had it not been for a tremendous save by Semir Kadric and an absolutely amazing goal line header save by Ayman Elsayegh. Yemen was able to get 2 more bodies before the end of the half but no bencher. The half ended with no goals produced by either team. It wasn’t until 20 minutes in that Yemen’s Ali Adel took on 4 Queenston players and glided skillfully toward the net to put one past John Netter. About 10 later James Ugorji was awarded a PK and scored it with no chance of the keeper reaching it. Throughout this match, Yemen was physically exhausted with no relief of the bench and physically manhandled by a bigger stronger squad. Yemen played with heart and shook off the pummeling with a 2 goal lead. With 10 minutes left, Yemen’s Gilford Sai slid across the 18 yard line to stop an impending breakaway and missed the ball and took a shattering knee to the eye which resulted in a double whammy. One being a PK and the other ending yet a 3rd Elite member to season ending injuries. Semir stepped up big and saved the initial shot but Queenston was able to knock in the rebound. 2-1 with only 9 minutes left, Yemen held off a barrage of chances that Queenston threw at them to hold the win. Some fans that came to watch said it was the best, gutsiest showing by a Yemen team in a very long time. Missing in this game were some key players. Defenseman Ahmed Adil, Midfielders Otmane Boussag, Abdulqawi and Majed Albari, and Forward Taha Omar.
Queenston boasts a great record that equaled Yemen’s, but that loss caused them to lose the 2nd seed and home field advantage. Now Queenston must travel to hostile territory deep in the heart of Lackawanna. If there ever was a place to build a soccer stadium it would be right here on Lehigh, the fans out here are the best in the league and the most rabid. Queenston will have to face a more determined Yemen Elite team which lost last year in the semis to Celtic United at Ellicott Creek. Coach Faress hosted 2 critical practice and strategy sessions that will surely help Yemen’s game flow back in order. Queenston’s first time in the championship division this year and also to make it this far has been a surprise to others, but not to me. They are looking to continue to move up the ranks and hoping to enter Premiership after this season.
Word has spread fast and far about this game. This is the first time ever Yemen has hosted a playoff game in the championship division and probably the first time ever in Men’s Yemen Club history. The Cage will have its full serving of pandemic fans and the opponents will have to endure its intimidating atmosphere. WOW! what a game it will be.
T-shirts will be on sale at the gate for 10$ to help support and cheer your beloved Elite.
Kick off is today Sunday 6PM @Yemen Soccer Field on Lehigh St. Come show your support, bring your friends and family along for what should be a great game. (8/4/13)