If Revere soccer fans wanted goals from the Boston City FC debut at Harry Della Russo Stadium, they certainly got them on Saturday night, but in the wrong net as far as the home team Lions were concerned.
Boston City fell to a 6-0 loss to Hartford City, a week after holding the Colts to a 3-3 draw in a thrilling clash in Hartford. It equaled the club’s worst-ever loss in its fourth season.
The Lions were playing catch up right from the start, falling behind after only four minutes and conceding again five minutes later. Twenty minutes in it was 3-0 and by halftime the deficit was five goals with Shaquille Saunchez and Luke Alvaro each scoring twice and Louis Beddouri finding the net. Alvaro completed his hat-trick in the 51st minute with the only goal of the second half, from the supply of Saunchez.
“We decided that we were going to press and try to get an early goal like we did last time, and everything seemed to work out,” said Alvaro. “We came out early and hit them hard.
“Shaquille set me up for my third goal. We talked right after halftime saying we’d help each other get a hat trick and he just happened to have the chance to play me through. He’s an unselfish player and I’m happy he gave me that ball.”
Boston City FC coach Michael Bustamante, coaching his first home match with the club, explained the loss and the marked difference in performances a week apart, saying: “It was just a lack of fire. We didn’t put them under pressure at all. We did that last week, but today we were a little bit flat and we needed a little more energy. We gave them too much room in the midfield and when it’s wide open and players have the quality to pick passes, that makes it very easy for them to pick us apart.”
Saunchez used his pace down the left flank to set up Alvaro for the opening goal after four minutes. In the tenth minute the pacey Saunchez raced behind a high back line to beat Jason Katz, despite the debut keeper getting a firm hand on the ball. After 19 minutes, Katz lost a footrace to a through ball and Alvaro made it 3-0.
Only a fine save from Katz denied Alvaro with 25 minutes played, but the Lions were on the ropes a minute later when Beddouri pounced at the far post to force the ball home at a corner.
Boston City reshuffled defensively but fell behind to a fifth goal two minutes before the interval when Mark Grant raced down the right wing and set up Saunchez to blast home his second goal. Five minutes after halftime it was six as Alvaro deservedly completed his hat trick.
Boston City stopped the rout and showed glimpses of promising attacks, but striker Jhonata Batista, whose double strike earned a share of the points last week, was shackled by an impervious visiting defense.
“Our back four did an amazing job with him,” added Alvaro. “He’s a very explosive player and they really shut him down and did a good job of containing him.”
It took an hour for Boston City to truly threaten the Hartford goal when Charlie Muhlauri’s header from a Samuel Deossa corner was pushed onto the cross bar by keeper Hami Kara. Substitute midfielder Santi Cardona then saw his low shot creep inches wide of the target.
“Now we look to fix this for next week,” added Lions coach Bustamante. “The second half was a lot better in terms of putting them under pressure and we were able to recover some balls, so we’ll build on that.”
Boston City FC travels to table-topping New York Cosmos on Saturday.