MASPETH, Queens — It was quite appropriate that the Eastern New York State Soccer Association final of the U.S. Amateur Cup was decided to penalty kicks earlier this week.
After all, the final at the Metropolitan Oval pit two of the oldest rivals in the area — the N.Y. Pancyprian Freedoms and N.Y. Greek Americans.
The Greeks managed to eke out a 6-5 penalty-kick win after playing to a 2-2 draw in the tussle between two Cosmopolitan Soccer League teams.
Goals by Gabriel Camara and Adam Himeno lifted the Pancyprians into a 2-0 lead early in the second half before the Greeks made their comeback behind Shaun Foster, scoring once and creating an own goal that caused a 2-2 deadlock.
Goalkeeper Andrea-Roberto Pellegrini was the hero for the Greek Americans, making two saves on the Pancyprians’ sixth and seventh tries in the tie-breaker.
Nino, Danny Elliot, Colin Murphy, Jim Nealis, Steve Roche and Joe Ruesgen converted their attempts for the Greeks, while Andreas Chronis, former Major League Soccer striker Alecko Eskandarian, the 2004 MLS Cup MVP, Daniel Bedoya, Luis Estevez and Jeff Matteo put theirs home for the Pancyprians before Pellegrini provided his heroics.
If both teams were tired after the battle, they had some good reasons.
The Greek Americans had played their second game in 48 hours and fourth in nine days.
Ditto for the Freedoms, who competed for the fourth time in 12 days.
The Greeks advanced to the Region I tournament next spring.