New England Soccer Today

LUSA: Fall River, Safira Call it a Draw

Fall River midfielder Andre Antunes gets set for a throw in during Sunday's contest against Safira FC.

Fall River midfielder Andre Antunes gets set for a throw in during Sunday’s contest against Safira FC.

FALL RIVER, Mass. – Safira FC keeper Emerson Vieira opened the scoring on a brilliant free kick, but Fall River Sports midfielder Chris Arruda leveled it as the team battled to a 1-1 draw at Billy Gonsalves Field on Sunday.

Vieira’s blast came in the 15th minute, while Arruda’s equalizer arrived in the 70th minute. Fall River had chances to grab the go-ahead late, but Safira’s goalscoring keeper stopped them cold to preserve the point.

With the draw, Fall River’s record goes to 4-1-1 (13 points), while Safira’s mark goes to 2-1-3 (6 points).

Fall River claimed the first crack at goal in the 14th minute when Arruda played a ball over the top to Jordan Sindo, who had a clear look on goal before Vieira raced off his line to snuff out the opportunity.

A minute later, though, Vieira stepped line up for a Safira free kick from 30 yards. At first, the majority of the 120 in attendance thought it a ruse. But once the referee blew his whistle, the keeper ran up and ripped a shot that froze his counterpart Nellio Miranda right on the line.

Bruno Ramos’ boys searched for a response in the wake of the keeper’s showstopping shot, and nearly found it in the 44th minute when Sindo went wide, then cut into the area and fired a dangerous shot that whistled wide of the far post.

Fall River grabbed a bulk of chances in the opening scenes of the second stanza. Sindo hit the outside of the near post in the 62nd minute, and Viriato DePina sent one that escaped the far post two minutes later.

Despite its best efforts, Safira’s tired defense couldn’t hold off their relentless opponent in the 70th minute. Sindo sent a corner kick that fell to Arruda, who promptly tucked it under the bar to put the game back on level terms.

Fall River collected more chances to grab maximum points before the final whistle. Andre Antunes had Vieira sized up for a potential game-winner, but the keeper poked his right leg right in the path of the shot in the 88th minute.

Vieira came up big in the final minute of stoppage time when Karim Fernandes played it Dircelino DeBrito, who set up a golden opportunity for Pedro Craveiro. But once again, Vieira refused to leave the gate open and left Fall River frustrated one final time.

LUSA league action will be put on hold for Cup competition, which begins the weekend of Jul. 13. Fall River will host the Taunton Eagles at 7pm on Jul. 13 at Billy Gonsalves Field. Safira will face Lindo’s at 10am on Jul. 14 at Billy Gonsalves Field.

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