New England Soccer Today

Colts Beat Lions on Last Gasp Goal

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/aduamaphotography.com

Late game heroics provided expansion outfit Hartford City FC with their first-ever NPSL playoff win, as they defeated Boston City FC 2-1 Wednesday night at Brother Gilbert Stadium in Malden, Mass.

Paulinton Johnson was the hero for the Colts, providing a game-winning goal right before stoppage time to give the visitors their first-ever NPSL playoff win and first win over Boston City FC.

Lightning and rain delayed the start of the game approximately 90 minutes, pushing the scheduled time of 8:00 pm back to 9:30 pm. However, home and visiting fans didn’t have to wait much longer for their squads to find their way onto the scoresheet.

Boston City tallied the first goal of the night when Revolution Youth Academy alum Michael Rincon freed himself from a defender and put away a close range finish in the 22nd minute, giving the home side the lead. The lead was short-lived, as a 30th minute header by Rafael Junqueira leveled the score at one.

The score would hold firm through halftime, but not without multiple Boston City chances.

Shortly after the Hartford City goal, Nana Addai headed a cross off the near post in the 31st minute before the Colts cleared the ball. After a few minutes bank-and-forth play with no side able to break through, Addai again came close to putting the Lions on top, this time gathering a loose ball from a corner kick and blasting a shot off the crossbar.

Despite the Lions holding possession for the majority of the second half, another goal was not in the cards for them on Wednesday night.

Instead, Johnson, who came off the bench late, broke the draw with a long drive from 25 away from goal and into the bottom right corner. The goal gave Hartford a 2-1 lead in the 89th minute that would send them to the next round and ending Boston City’s season.

Hartford City will advance to the NPSL Atlantic White Conference Championship, where they will face Kingston Stockade FC on Saturday in Kingston, N.Y. As divisional regular season champions, Stockade were granted a first-round bye.

Despite playing on short rest, the Colts must like their chances, going unbeaten in both matchups against Kingston this season, including a 3-1 victory in Stockade in the season opener.

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