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Cardozo rallies late to pull out 2-1 win over Bayside

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Neal Kitson was tired.

The Cardozo goalkeeper was tired of falling just short against neighborhood rival, Bayside. Last year, the Judges lost a pair of 3-0 games in the Commodores’ first year in the ‘A’ league. Last month, Cardozo couldn’t hang on to a 2-0 lead in a 2-2 tie.

Saturday’s second league clash was shaping up the same way, as the Judges were reeling in the final 10 minutes after giving up a second-half goal. But Kitson made sure there would be no repeat, making several amazing saves to lift Cardozo to a 2-1 win.

“It’s about time,” Kitson said. “We should’ve had them last time but we gave up a two-goal lead. It’s a good feeling to finally beat them because we want to show we’re the best in this division.”

Kitson certainly showed he is one of the top keepers in Queens A East with a phenomenal performance. He robbed Bayside senior midfielder David Salazar several times in the second half, including perhaps his best save in the 72nd minute.

After a scramble at the far post, Bayside worked the ball across the box and Salazar got off an open shot with his left foot from 12 yards out. But Kitson lunged back across the goal line to keep the ball out.

With 1:25 left in regulation, Salazar had another open shot, this time from 15 yards out, but Kitson pushed the ball away for a corner kick.

“Neal was amazing, he saved the day but that shouldn’t have been the case,” said Cardozo coach Rich Parascos. “We made a pledge at halftime to not allow them any shots in the second half and we did [allow shots]. We also didn’t finish in the second half. It’s very frustrating.”

As frustrated as Parascos was with his team in the second half, Bayside coach Joe Corrado was equally miffed with his squad in the first half.

After having to forfeit four games Monday because of using an ineligible player, the Commodores, who once were atop the Queens A East standings, are now fighting for their playoff lives. But for whatever reason, Bayside (1-5-1 Queens A East) didn’t play with a sense of urgency in the first half.

“It’s a tough game to come back to play after the forfeits,” Corrado said. “But you can’t give a team like Cardozo the entire first half and expect to come back. They wanted the game and they took it.”

Pablo Gil put Cardozo (5-2-1 Queens A East) ahead, 1-0, in the 10th minute when he tapped Emmanuel Maninakis’ cross into the net from 10 yards out. Seven minutes later, the Judges made it 2-0 when Bayside keeper Jeffrey Duque mishandled Abad Crosby’s cross in the box and Maninakis easily slotted the ball into the net.

But the second half proved to be a different story as Bayside took control of the midfield, which was owned by Cardozo in the first half, and had the better of the scoring chances.

“It’s frustrating because we always play good in the first half and we think the game is already done,” Gil said. “We have to get fitter so we can handle the second half as well.”

In the 47th minute, Salazar found space in the midfield and took a blast from 22 yards out that was saved by a diving Kitson. But Stelios Andreou ran onto the rebound and easily pushed it into the open net to cut the Judges’ lead to 2-1.

“Normally we’re really focused in the first half, but we weren’t winning any 50/50 balls, we weren’t with it in the first half,” said Bayside senior defender Jason Knese. “It’s tough, but we just have to look to play a little better defensively. We should always be playing like we’re down.”

Francis Lewis 2, Flushing 1. Carlos Techera and Ho Sung Yoo scored for Francis Lewis (3-2-1 Queens A East).

Forest Hills 4, Bayside 1. Demba Gassama, Pablo Ortiz, Jose Batista and Kristian Zukiewicz each scored for Forest Hills (4-3-1 Queens A East).

Campus Magnet 2, Richmond Hill 0. Barrington Mighty scored a pair of second-half goals for Magnet (7-1-2 Queens B South). Richmond Hill drops to 4-2 in Queens B South.

Cardozo 5, Franklin K. Lane 2. Steve Park scored twice for the Judges.

Richmond Hill 3, Far Rockaway 1. Walter Murillejo, Diego Perdomo and Olgerio Garzon had goals for the Lions.

Newtown 9, Bryant 2. Oscar Alvarado scored four goals, Richie Lesmes and David Panchano each added a pair and Andres Gonzalez added another for Newtown (8-0-2, 7-0-1 Queens A West).

John Bowne 8, Franklin K. Lane 4. Roberto Garces netted a hat trick and Guillermo Grance and Carlos Llanos each scored two goals for Bowne (7-0-1 Queens A East).

Richmond Hill 5, Van Buren 0. Garzon and Derrick McCormack each scored two goals, Christian Koumtog had a goal and an assist and Raul Arellano had eight saves for Richmond Hill (3-1-2 Queens B South).

Campus Magnet 8, Beach Channel 0. Keon Bobb netted his third hat trick of the year and Mark Richards added a pair of goals for the Bulldogs.

Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by email at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 143.

Posted 7:25 pm, October 10, 2011
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