Madrid and Sevilla begin Downtown season in midseason form

Sunday’s warm sunshine and clear blue skies made the Saturday rains from Hurricane Hanna barely a memory.  The Downtown Soccer League’s Real Madrid took to the Battery Park City field in full force, against the Sevilla’s diminished field of 9, and started a very exciting contest.  The two teams traded the ball back and forth, with a lot of good passes and blocks on both sides. 

Sevilla’s Cole Hawthorne passed to Jacob Roter for the first shot on goal, which was saved by R.M.’s goalie Clyde Huibregtse.  Roter snagged the rebound and tried again, but the shot was wide.  Madrid answered with a breakaway by Ryan Porcaro, who was beat out by Sevilla’s Tyler Rohan.  Goalie James Carney came out of the goal to retrieve the ball but R.M.’s Luke Dilworth got there first, shooting wide, past Luke Marable, who’d covered the goal for Carney.  R.M. kept the offensive pressure on when Porcaro intercepted a goal kick and neatly deposited the ball in the back of the net, unassisted for his first goal of the season.

Minutes later, Tyler Adams cleared the ball for Sevilla, and Roter was able to pass it to Hawthorne, who scored to tie the game at one.  Sevilla’s Anthony Miguez blocked R.M.’s Fischer Bodwell in a nice play, and sweeper Marable sent it downfield with a boot.  Sevilla’s Elias Griffin made a great pass to Roter, but his motion towards the goal was blocked by Milo Bernfield-Millman.  Dilworth picked it up and dribbled down field, with Sevilla on his tail, and scored his first goal of the season.  Porcaro’s free kick was well-blocked, but R.M.’s Sophia Stoch moved the ball nicely towards their goal.  But Midfielder Rohan leaped high to head away a pass downfield.  Sevilla moved the ball towards their goal, culminating in a rocket from the inside of the 18-yard box by Hawthorne into the back of the net to knot the game at two. R.M.’s Felix Parker, who was everywhere the ball was, booted it towards the goal.  But his shot was wide, and the whistle blew to end the first half, still in a tie.

Sevilla started the second half with a free kick, which was wide of Simon Curtis-Ginsberg in the goal.  More offensive pressure by R.M.’s Parker followed, but Sevilla’s Lumia Nocita, who played the point position in Sevilla’s diamond defense, helped keep it in check.  Sevilla’s third goal was started with a great defensive play by midfielder Adams, who sent it downfield to striker Hawthorne, who then assisted Carney to put Sevilla ahead. The pressure was on Sevilla’s Griffin in goal to keep the lead, and he did well by making several key saves.  Another great defensive clear from Bodwell was picked up by R.M.’s Grace Bristol, who passed it to Jasper Stoch.  His square pass to Juila Marinaccio was stolen by Marable, who punted it to the goal.  Curtis-Ginsberg caught it neatly in the air and sent it back out to R.M.’s offense.  Deejai Riangkrul took advantage of the opportunity with a soaring boot, but Griffin trapped it and got it to Rohan, who made the first of several long kicks towards the Sevilla goal.  Porcaro bobbed and weaved downfield to try to even the score, but his shot on goal was blocked by Rohan’s shoulder and grabbed by Griffin.  R.M.’s Midfielder Advay Sriram was in the middle of the action as R.M. tried to score their third goal.  But it was Sevilla who took control of the ball.  Roter’s shot, however, was caught by Curtis-Ginsberg, and the exciting game ended with a win for Sevilla, 3-2 over Real Madrid.