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It’s been some time since Francis Lewis lost a league game, and no team has come closer to ending that streak than rival Bayside.
The host Patriots gave the Commodores no such chance, putting on a dominant display in a convincing 4-0 win in Public Schools Athletic League Queens A East boys’ soccer Saturday. The win pushes Francis Lewis’ league winning streak to 62 games and put them in sole possession of first place. It also accomplished the feat by playing down a man for 51 minutes after Luis Argudo picked up a second yellow card. Francis Lewis won last year’s three meetings by a combined five goals.
“Huge relief, especially after last year when we played them and we were losing 3-0 at halftime,” Francis Lewis Coach Roger Sarmuksnis said of the first game a year ago. “It meant that we were playing our game right from the start.”
Lewis (6-0) hit the ground running, dominating possession from the opening whistle and was quickly rewarded in the 13th minute. A header from striker Santiago Atehortua was saved off the crossbar but the rebound was struck home by Emmanuel Alvarez.
Teammate Niko Touros was a handful down the right side when he was in the game. With speed and a powerful right foot, Touros set up the Patriots’ second goal when he foraged down the right side and unleashed a low shot that was saved nicely. Luckily, striker Charlies Yang cleaned up the rebound to double the lead in the 24th minute.
“I thought Niko was going to score it,” Yang said. “But I just stayed with it and got the rebound.”
After an aggressive challenge gave him his first yellow, Argudo was sent off when he appealed a call from an official after his teammate, Mauricio Cediel, won a free kick in the 29th minute.
“I was shocked when I saw it,” Yang said.
Down a man, Francis Lewis could not have responded any better. The ensuing free kick was headed home from the right of goal by Sharifulla Mayan to make it 3-0.
“It’s a tribute to the composure that these gentlemen had,” Sarmuksnis said. “There was a tremendous amount of time left … so anything could have happened.”
The second half was bogged in the midfield as the Bayside (5-1) defense started challenging Lewis and putting on some pressure, but Atehortua made the score more one-sided when he unleashed a 25-yard strike that hit off the keeper’s hands and into the top right corner of goal. It left Bayside feeling it missed a big opportunity to get back into the game.
“It clearly was not our best effort,” said Bayside Coach Joe Corrado. “It just happens sometimes.”
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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