Vermont Green FC Maintain 1st Place With 3-1 Win Over Black Rock FC
"They made it really hard for us."
Vermont Green FC remains at the top of USL League Two’s Northeast Division after picking up a 3-1 win over Black Rock FC on Sunday afternoon.
Yaniv Bazini was the lone striker up top for The Green while Felipe D’Agostini, Bilal Kamal, and Federico Tellez made up the midfield. Nate Jones and Moussa N’Diaye were the mountainous center back duo with Nathan Schnur in net for Adam Pfeifer’s side.
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With the rain drizzling down, the game got off to a slow start. Both sides were a bit cautious from the jump and waited to pounce on an opponent’s mistake.
It took until the 26th minute for Vermont to create a real scoring chance but Black Rock FC goalkeeper Pablo Costa came up with a big save. Costa was one of the best players on the pitch in the match as he made some unreal saves throughout the course of the match.
Schnur was forced to make a big save of his own in the 40th minute and the game appeared like it was destined to head into halftime with the score even. Unfortunately for Black Rock, D’Agostini had other plans.
In the 44th minute, D’Agostini rocketed a rebound past Costa to give The Green a 1-0 lead heading into the locker room.
“Yeah, it was big before half,” Pfeifer said after the match. “I didn't think we played very well in the first half, it didn't feel like we really sort of understood what it was going to take just in terms of the intensity to open these guys up so I was a little bit concerned. We scored the goal. Obviously, we're happy about that, but the message at halftime was like, ‘Don't let that goal fool you like this wasn't a great performance in the first half.’ Obviously, it was big to get the goal, but it felt like we never really got out of first gear until there was about 10 minutes left. It is what it is, we got the three points and happy with that.”
Pfeifer’s first changes came in the 62nd minute with Zachary Zengue replacing Kamal. Vermont followed those changes with a triple sub in the 70th minute that saw Giorgio Probo, D’Agostini, and Tellez exit the field and be replaced by Alfredo Bozalongo, Chris Meyers, and Alexander Levengood.
Soon after the subs, Black Rock would strike back with a perfect display of counterattacking that saw Mohamed Tall find the back of the net for BFC and tie the game in the 73rd minute.
Costa’s talent would be on display towards the end of the match as the Black Rock keeper made numerous saves to keep the score level. Whether it be a point-blank shot or a curler with pace, Costa put his body on the line to keep his team in the game.
But in the 83rd minute, the dam would finally break as Nate Jones rose above defenders and headed a corner back toward the near post. Captain Jake Ashford was in the right place at the right time and walloped the ball into the open net. Seven minutes later, Bazini curled home the nail in the coffin that secured Vermont’s ninth win of the season.
This was a tough game today,” Pfeifer said. “And you know, we haven't had to win a game late really like this all year. The two games that we lost obviously we were behind, but the games that we've won, we haven't won them late and so it's good to kind of experience that as a group and get that done.”
Now Vermont will enjoy the 4th of July but the real fireworks will come on Friday night as The Green take on the Western Mass Pioneers for a top-of-the-table clash. After losing 1-0 to the Pioneers at Virtue Field, Vermont will get the chance to exact revenge as they head to Ludlow, MA looking to stake their claim as the best team in the Northeast Division.