National Premier Soccer League | 28 June 2018 | Dock Mennonite Academy, Lansdale, PA | Scorers: Rigoberto Rojas 12; Seydou Ba 40, Anthony Allison 47, 58, Aboubakar Coulibaly 78.
A brace from Anthony Allison and a goal apiece from Seydou Ba and Aboubakar Coulibaly were enough as the Stars took a giant step to clinching a playoffs spot in the NPSL Keystone Conference with a 4-1 win away to Torch FC.
The Stars went into this match knowing that a win could boost their chances of qualifying for the conference playoffs, but they found themselves behind in the 12th minute with Rigoberto Rojas putting the Torch ahead.
Like most of the games this season, the Stars seem to play better after that goal but it wasn’t until the 40th minute that they were able to breach the backline of the Torch. A mistake from the Torch’s goalie Logan Whitney, who try to dally around with the ball, gave Anthony Allison the chance to take it off him and release to his strike partner Seydou Ba who scored in an open net to tie the game before half-time.
After their lackluster display in the first half, the Stars came into the second half blazing and found themselves in the lead just two minutes into the second half when Yaya Fane‘s corner kick was weakly punched by goalie Whitney in the path of Anthony Allison who scored with an overhead kick for the 2-1 lead.
Allison would go on to add his second of the game and the Stars’ third in the 58th minute after shrugging off the Torch’s defender to place the ball between the legs of Whitney. This was Allison’s sixth goal in seven NPSL matches and ninth goal in nine matches overall this season.
With their 3-1 lead, coach Fatoma Turay and his Technical Staff made series of substitutions and two of those substitutes combined to increase the score to 4-1 in the 78th minute with Nyakeh Kamara sending a through pass in the path of Aboubakar Coulibaly who made no mistake in putting his name on the score sheet and effectively ending the game.
With the win, the Stars (6-2-0, 18 points) moved up to third place on the Keystone Conference table, tied on points with West Chester United (6-2-0, 18 points) at second based on better goal differential, and only three points behind Conference leaders FC Motown (7-0-0, 21 points) who have a game on hand.
With only two games remaining in the regular season (at New Jersey Copa FC on June 30th and home against Hershey FC on July 8th), the Stars can clinch a playoff spot with a road win over fourth place New Jersey Copa (5-2-1, 16 points) on Saturday afternoon.
Speaking after the win, assistant coach Edgar Neewray said:
“I think we started very slow but after conceding, we picked up the tempo and played very well until we got the equalizer right before half-time. We had few words for the boys at half-time so they started the second half well and we went ahead just two minutes in. After that, we played some very good soccer and were able to add two more goals to seal the win. It’s a good win, but we still need to work on how we approach games at the start.”
STARS LINE-UP (4-1-2-3):
Ralph Jacobs,; Thaimu Turay (Kanibah Kutu-Akoi 45), Kouassi N’Guessan, Mohammed Mayah, Samba Koroma; Ayouba Fane; Yaya Fane (Sidiki Cisse 80), Deron Joe (Foray Thoronka 76); Mitchell Torh (Nyakeh Kamara 66), Anthony Allison (c) (Edward Slueue 76), Seydou Ba (Aboubakar Coulibaly 66).
Subs not used: Vincent Tasca.
Scorers: Seydou Ba 40, Anthony Allison 47, 58, Aboubakar Coulibaly 78.
Booked: Yaya Fane 33.