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Borges lifts Knights out of five-game losing streak

In his second season with the Brooklyn Knights Premier Development League team, Andre Borges has known nothing but losing, a stark contrast to his first season when the Knights were one of the top teams in the Premier Development League’s Northeast Division.

But after suffering through five losses, Borges made sure the sixth game of the season was a better result. He scored two goals and assisted on another to lift the Knights to a 3-2 win over the Albany Blackwatch Highlanders Saturday night at the Metropolitan Oval.

“It’s frustrating because we haven’t really seen any other teams that are better than us. We have a lot of talented players but it’s just that we haven’t been clicking,” Borges said. “So many individually good players but nothing was really coming together ... it’s a great feeling to finally get some goals and get a win.”

It hardly looked like a victory would be in order early for the Knights (3-6-0), who fell behind in the sixth minute when Matt Jones’ second rebound found the back of the net. Six minutes later Albany (5-2-1) again got behind the Knights’ defense as Joe Cook raced in on keeper Billy Gatti, who dived to his right to get a piece of the ball.

Cook regained possession and chipped the ball toward the net, but defender Pablo Orantes jumped up and headed the ball off the line, saving a sure goal. After defender Paul Brooks, who sat out the Knights’ 3-1 loss to South Jersey with a red-card suspension (his second of the year), touched the ball to Borges for a 22nd-minute equalizer, Borges fed Chris Megaloudis, who took a touch and beat Albany keeper Jordan James from 12 yards out to put the Knights ahead, 2-1, in the 31st minute.

Eleven minutes later Borges struck again, this time launching a left-footed rocket from 22 yards out to give the Knights a 3-1 halftime lead.

“At first I wasn’t used to (Megaloudis’) runs and what he did when he had the ball, but now I know what he looks to do,” Borges said. “We talk a lot about it in practice and it’s just working, and obviously we’re both playing pretty well and he gave me a great ball to get that second goal.”

Albany got within 3-2 on Oral Bullen’s 60th-minute tap-in, but the Knights hung on to win their first game since May 9. “The work ethic was excellent,” said Knights coach Dan Fisher. “When a guy was tired, the substitutes came in and got the job done and they were pressuring the ball really well and that’s what we were missing, a couple of workhorses.”

The Knights search for their first road win of the year Saturday night when they take on the Vermont Voltage before playing at Albany Sunday.

MetroStars 2, Brooklyn Knights 1. It was a mild-mannered Super Y-League U-19 game until the 73rd minute, when Ariel Castellanos put the Knights in front, 1-0, on a controversial penalty kick Saturday at the Oval.

The MetroStars (5-0-1) were awarded an equally controversial free kick in the 86th minute and before the Knights got organized defensively, Ryan Cordeiro snuck the ball past Knights keeper Ilir Durkovic from 20 yards out.

The Knights protested the goal and several heated confrontations ensued over the next 10 minutes. When order was finally restored, referee Steve Ambrus sent off Cordeiro for his second bookable offense and Knights defender Diego Martinez with a straight red card.

The MetroStars won the game in overtime when Farleigh Dickinson-bound Pino Tubido touched the ball, turned on a defender and lifted it over Durkovic.

Reach Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 143.

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