Match Recap: Men vs. Cedar Stars

Written by Michael Lewis

UNIONDALE, N.Y. – The Long Island Rough Riders suffered their first loss of the USL League Two season on Monday afternoon, dropping a 2-1 decision to Cedar Stars at Mitchel Athletic Complex.

Despite the defeat, the Rough Riders (7-1-1, 22 points) remained atop the Metropolitan Division with five games remaining in the regular season.

Forward Tony Yeboah netted a first-half brace and substitute goalkeeper Jayden Hibbert made countless saves for the Cedar Stars (3-3-1, 10), including a spectacular stop on center Nick Dang’s header in the sixth minute of second-half stoppage time.

The game was a rescheduled match from June 7, when smoke from the Canadian wildfires made outside activities on Long Island unplayable and dangerous.

For the second game in a row, Dang put the Rough Riders ahead. He headed home Filip Mirkovic’s point-blank corner past goalkeeper Eryk Dymora, who got a hand on the ball, which trickled into the net.

It looked like the Rough Riders were ready to roll, but the visitors had some other ideas.

Within a 17-minute span, Cedar Stars took control of the match.

Yeboah equalized in the 20th minute, volleying home Michael Leon’s superb right-wing cross at the far post past goalkeeper Wessel Speel.

Cedar Stars took the lead in the 37th minute, as Yeboah headed in long feed from the right flank for a 2-1 edge.

The Rough Riders pushed up in the second half looking for the equalizer against substitute goalkeeper Jayden Hibbert, who was superb. For a good portion of the stanza, they dominated play and at times laid siege to the Cedar Stars net but could not solve the defense or Hibbert.

It seemed that every Rough Riders had an opportunity to score during the waning moments of the match.

In the 88th minute, Bryson Hankins slipped the ball off the top of the crossbar. 

Jared Gilbey shot straight to Hibbert in the 88th minute. Four minutes into injury time, the Cedar Stars keeper saved Kasper Poulsgaard’s header off a free kick.

A minute after Hibbert’s spectacular save on Dang, center back headed the ball on target, but the keeper stopped that attempt.

The Rough Riders will hit the road for three consecutive matches. They visit Ironbound SC on Wednesday, June 21 at 7 p.m., then play at the Westchester Lames on June 24 and at Cedar Stars on July 1.

Long Island returns home to host Manhattan SC and New Jersey Copa FC in its two final regular-season matches on July 8 and July 1, respectively.

In the opening game of the doubleheader, the Rough Riders women returned to first place in the USL W League Metropolitan Division behind a 3-1 win over Cedar Stars.


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