The Connecticut Football Club Azul played and hosted its inaugural game Saturday night against the Boston Victory at East Haven High School. The Azul fell to the Victory 2-1 in what became a thrilling game late in the second half.
The Azul, which is based in Hamden, dominated in the first half but were unable to find the back of the net and headed to the locker rooms scoreless.
Former Naugatuck High School and Connecticut Player of the Year Ryan Kinne scored the first goal in the young career of the Azul. The Captain received a cross from the left side from midfielder Sonny Narro and headed it past Victory goaltender Jordan Bar for the 1-0 lead in the 57th minute.
The team stood strong for eighty-five minutes but things began to fall apart in the 88th minute when Pat Hamilton received a cross from Keegan Campbell 15 yards out. Campbell juggled the ball that he received in the air, turned, and volleyed it low to the far post past a diving Greg Cumpstone to tie the game at 1.
With the Victory fans beginning to riot and clouding the opposing bleachers with smoke, the team fed off their energy and remained on attack mode as Lucas Pessanha received a low line drive pass from Matheus Assaf who one-timed it into the back of the net. The goal came in the 90th minute and would prove to be the game-winner, putting the Victory up 2-1.
“We should have won 2-nil, so I am disappointed,” Azul head coach David Kelly said. “We made some real immature mistakes at the end of the match that can’t happen with these guys.”
The Azul outshot the Victory 12-7 with just two of Boston’s shots on goal. But unfortunately both of those shots found the back of the net.
The Azul received a great turnout despite a last minute change in venues. The banging of drums rang throughout the stadium but was not to be outdone by the vuvuzelas or “Azuluzelas” as the team likes to call them. Before the game, special guest David Askinas joined the Azul for pregame ceremonies. Askinas served as General Counsel, Associate Commissioner and CEO of United Soccer Leagues from 1995 through 2004. Askinas, who is now a senior advisor to CFC Azul took the inaugural first kick.
CFC will have its first ever road trip to try and bounce back from this tough loss. They’ll travel to face the Seacoast United Phantom in New Hampshire next Sunday May 13, before traveling to GPS Portland in Maine on Saturday May 19th.