EASTON, Mass. – Ali Sozeri scored in stoppage time, but it wasn’t enough as GPS Portland Phoenix staked a 2-1 win over Real Boston Rams on Saturday at Muscato Stadium.
Sozeri’s strike came from a free kick that swerved inside the far post from 20 yards. Cau Da Silva opened the scoring in the 5th minute, while teammate Kyle Shangraw grabbed what proved to be the game-winner in the 87th minute.
Da Silva wasted no time putting his stamp on the match when he collected a pass from Nathaniel Short, and sent it past keeper Brett Conrad to put the Phoenix in command early on.
The Rams tried to counter before the interval, but the Portland’s offside trap worked to perfection. Real Boston was whistled offside three times, and failed to test keeper Oliver Bloom in the minutes leading to the break.
Both clubs fought for possession in the second half, with guests pressing the issue in the 70th minute. Wil Diebold tested Conrad with a swerving ball that slipped through his fingers that Pierre Omenga nearly put through before Matt Keys cleared it out inches in front of the line.
There was nothing Keys, nor the rest of his backline could do in the 87th minute when Emmanuel Appiah cut inside and played it Shangraw, who ripped a shot from the arc that fell through to make it a two-goal game.
But Real Boston refused to back down and brought one back when Sozeri blasted a free kick that flew by Blum to spoil his bid for a clean sheet.
The Rams return to action at 7pm on Jun. 30 when they host Seacoast United Phantoms. The Phoenix return to the field at 6pm on Jul. 6 when they host the Western Mass Pioneers at Deering High School.