Staten Island Spanish Soccer League
KORABI Extra 4-1 Cruz Azul
Goal: Lirim Begai, Adam Hussein, Benny Harmon, Abdulla Begai
Greenbelt Recreational Center, Staten Island, NY – Sept 7, 2008 – Korabi advances to the championship game after putting on a magnificent show, playing shorthanded and easily beating a very frustrated Cruz Azul team in one of two semifinal matches of the day.
Korabi got on the scoreboard early with Lirim Begai scoring a beautiful goal in the 10th minute for a 1-0 lead. Adam Hussein scored in the 25th minute to increase the lead to 2-0. In the 33rd minute, Benny Harmon headed in a cross to increase the lead to 3-0.
At the 35th minute mark Arti Mela ran off the field and removed his shirt while complaining that he could not breathe and went straight to the cooler to get water. The referee did not react to this until a few minutes later when a stoppage was requested so that a substitute can enter to replace Arti who could not continue the game. The referee did not allow a replacement for Arti claiming that he left the field without authorization. This forced Korabi to play short for the rest of the game.
In the second half Korabi continued to dominate despite playing a player short but were unable to score. The officiating was horrendous and culminated in the 65th minute, with a very questionable penalty awarded to Cruz Azul and when the Korabi goalkeeper tried to plead with the referee he was immediately ejected from the game, now forcing Korabi to play two players down. Cruz Azul converted the penalty and play was resumed without incident. Despite all of this Korabi still continued to play well and in the 82nd minute Abdulla Begai scored to increase the lead to 4-1.