Cosmopolitan Soccer League
Metro-1 Division East
Sporting Astoria – KORABI 2:4 (1-3)
Goals: Alban Zekaj, Arban Musa, Berat Islami (2)
Kujtim “Timmy” Begai
Roosevelt Island, NY – Sunday, Oct 24, 2010 – An early Sunday morning game is just not for some Korabi players as they did not show up at 8:30am, anyway we counted 12 players, no goalkeeper and the injured Lirim Begai was going to take the goalkeeping duties for today. Some players fell asleep during the 45 minute drive to Roosevelt Island. Five minutes before game time Azmir Dzemovski started eating his bagel with eggs & cheese, and a large Dove-Smooth milk chocolate bar as desert which he was nice enough to share with his fellow players, but not the bagel.
Sporting Astoria players and coach show up a bit late, but nevertheless, well prepared as they had 19 players on their roster and 25 players dressed up for a game against Korabi.
Korabi attacks in the early minutes of the game, creating four scoring opportunities, two of which were saved by Sporting Astoria goalkeeper and the other two were shot wide. On the defensive end Azmir seemed to be having trouble digesting his bagel. A bad defensive blunder from a corner kick was pounded into the net by the Sporting Astoria forward as the ball hit the right post and went into the net to give the hosts a 1:0 lead in the 17th minute.
This goal was a wakeup call to some Korabi players as Alban Zekaj intercepted the ball at midfield and cut into the opponent’s box before ripping a shot past the diving Sporting Astoria goalkeeper in the 22 minute to tie the score at 1:1. Again, in the 26th minute youngster Arban Musa was able to get past two defenders on the left side of the box and take a perfect shot to the right corner past the outstretched goalkeeper for a 2:1 Korabi lead. It seemed that Korabi was outplaying and dominating Sporting Astoria until the 33 minute when a defensive blunder forced Russo to tackle an Astoria player outside the box and be shown the red card.
Goalkeeper Lirim Begai played well in the goal and made some crucial saves in the first half until his teammates started clicking on all cylinders again and although shorthanded in the 43rd minute Berat Islami was able to break past Sporting Astoria’s defense and score for a 3:1 Korabi lead in the first half.
During the half time break Azmir was looking for his Dove-Smooth chocolate bar but found no remnance of it. I don’t think he will bring any more chocolate bars to the games, although I hope I’m wrong.
In to the second half a 10 man Korabi team with one substitute player available was going to play a defensive game and protect their lead. Sporting Astoria attack was relentless and due to fresh substitutions did score in the 80th minute and trail Korabi 3:2. Lirim Begai made some excellent saves, especially in the 84th minute, a diving save from a well placed free kick.
Finally, Berat Islami’s closing show, by winning the ball in the Korabi half and taking it in for a 2:4 score in the 90th minute. All players gave maximum effort as it was a well played game and well deserved victory.