New England Soccer Today

Victory Silenced in 2-0 Loss to Azul

The Victory couldn’t capitalize on their chances late in Wednesday’s 2-0 loss to CFC Azul. (Photo: Chris Aduama/

QUINCY, Mass. – Traffic on Interstate 93 delayed the Azul’s arrival to Veterans Memorial Stadium on Wednesday, but they certainly weren’t slowed on the field in a 2-0 win over Boston.

Sony Narro scored the opening goal in the 16th minute and Mario DiMiceli added an insurance goal in the 69th minute in a game that started 30 minutes after its 7:00pm scheduled start. Azul keeper Matt Sangeloty thwarted the four shots he faced to earn his second-straight clean sheet against Boston.

“We weren’t that sharp today,” Boston head coach Sergio Taborda said. “But CFC should get the credit. They have a great team and they showed they wanted it more than us and they deserved to win.”

Although the interstate was congested en route to Quincy, the Azul attack easily weaved its way through the midfield and put Boston on its heels in the opening minutes.

The guests found their first crack at goal in the 7th minute when Conor Doyle skipped a hard shot off the rain-slickened surface. But Vinny Papageorgiou smothered the first of four saves he’d be called upon to make.

There was nothing Papageorgiou could do nine minutes later, though. Ryan Kinne played it down the left wing to Narro, who cut inside and blasted a shot that slid inside the near post to give the Azul the early advantage.

Kinne kept his foot on the pedal in the 24th minute when he pierced the rear guard and fired a shot that tested Papageorgiou, who made the save.

CFC nearly made it a two-goal lead before the interval. Justin Brewer sent a cross to the far post, where an unmarked Doyle awaited. But the midfielder’s header slipped wide, much to the relief of the Victory defense.

Stifled by the Azul’s short passes and smart off the ball runs for the better part of the game, the Victory finally started to spark a response as the hour mark approached.

With club captain Andrew Sousa, who started out on the wing, moving centrally and Brazilian playmaker Lucas Pessanha taking over along the edges, the chances eventually started to materialize.

“Coach (Taborda) saw that we were losing it a little bit with me out wide,” Sousa said. “So he asked me to step into the middle and have me take control of the game and I think that’s what changed.”

In the 58th minute, Lucas Pessanha tried to tame a wild ball near the six with only Matt Sangeloty to beat. The ball, however, refused to cooperate and the chance evaporated after an Azul defender punched it out of harm’s way.

Just when it seemed like Boston was ready to equalize, second half substitute Mario DiMiceli put a serious dent in the hosts comeback hopes. Only moments after he came onto the field, the shifty midfielder snaked inside the area and lodged a shot into the upper 90 to extend the lead in the 69th minute.

“Every time we make a mistake, we end up paying for it,” Taborda said. “We’re not making other teams pay for their mistakes and that’s (becoming) obvious every week.”

Two minutes after DeMiceli’s strike, Ruben Resendes nearly brought one back for Boston. After Andrew Sousa chipped it forward and Resendes beat the CFC backline with went alone on Sangeloty. But the midfielder’s shot missed as it skipped wide of the right post.

If there was one play that exemplified the Victory’s fortunes in the attacking third, it was an 84th minute sequence that saw Sousa grab it inside the area with a clear shot in front of him. But an acrobatic save from Sangeloty kept Sousa from scoring in his third straight game, and kept the lid on the Boston attack for good.

“I think we responded well in the second half,” Sousa said. “We were two chances away from being (back) in the game. We came out better in the second half, but that’s just how the game is sometimes.”

The Victory return to action on Saturday at 7:00pm against the Ottawa Fury on Saturday at Muscato Stadium in Easton, Mass. CFC Azul return to the Nutmeg State on Saturday when they host Western Mass Pioneers at 7:30pm.

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