CAMBRIDGE, MA - It took longer than they had hoped in getting on the board, but in the end the Phantoms were able to mount a 2-1 comeback victory over GPS Massachusetts in the first round of the US Soccer Lamar Hunt Open Cup. Both goals were scored in the final 20 minutes of the match by Anthony Grant (71' PK) and Sofiane Tergou (88').
CAMBRIDGE, MA - It took longer than they had hoped in getting on the board, but in the end the Phantoms were able to mount a 2-1 comeback victory over GPS Massachusetts in the first round of the US Soccer Lamar Hunt Open Cup.
Sluggish in the opening minutes, the Phantoms fell behind early when GPS scored on a header from a corner kick in the 14th minute. It wasn’t until the last 10 minutes of the first half where the Phantoms began to look dangerous on chances by midfielders Abel Perez, Terence Carter, and striker Anthony Grant.
“Credit to them (GPS), they knew what their strengths were and played very well to those strengths. It took us a while to work out how exactly we were going to combat that,” commented Phantoms head coach Iain Scott.
Facing an uphill battle entering the 2nd half, the Phantoms continued to work the ball around creating chances in the offensive end.
In the 60th minute, striker Sofiane Tergou entered the game for midfielder Alex Ryan, changing the visitor’s formation to utilize two strikers. The following 10 minute period would prove to be a turning point in the game. In the 67th minute, Phantoms found themselves down to 10 men when midfielder Terence Carter received his 2nd caution on the night on a hard tackle in the attacking end of the field. Almost immediately following, Tergou was fouled in the box while going to goal, awarding the Phantoms a great opportunity to equalize.
Anthony Grant stepped up to the spot and does what he does best – converted the penalty to even the score at 1-1 (71st minute). The goal gave Seacoast United a sense of hope knowing they had to battle the last 20 minutes a man down.
Continuing to pressure, the Phantoms' hard work was rewarded in the 88th minute. Again it involved Tergou as he beat a defender down the left hand side then ripped a shot that was deflected and floated in over the GPS goalkeeper’s head for the 2-1 lead.
“The introduction of Sofi definitely changed the game in allowing us that 2nd striker up top,” added Scott. “I’m really proud of the character of the players in coming back, especially being a man down. “A good night in the end but it could have been a lot easier if we had started well.”
With the win, the Phantoms advance to the 2nd round and will travel to Oklahoma to face the Tulsa Roughnecks (USL-PRO) on May 20th. There will be friendly faces on the opposing side as former Seacoast United Phantom captain Ben Brewster will have a chance to face his old club. Brewster now plays for Tulsa after signing a professional contract in February.
Before their next US Open Cup match, Seacoast United will travel to Portland, ME on Saturday for their 2nd PDL match of the season when they face GPS Portland Phoenix. The game takes place at Deering HS, 6pm kickoff.
About Seacoast United Phantoms
The Seacoast United Phantoms compete in the Premier Development League (PDL), with a roster consisting of collegiate, post-collegiate, and international players looking to further their development during the summer months. For more on the Seacoast United Phantoms teams, please visit www.seacoastunited.com/phantoms.