John Dumbuya scored twice as Boston City FC (1-3-2) won for the first time this season, edging the Greater Lowell Rough Diamonds 2-1 in a closely contested National Premier Soccer League match.
The striker, who played for two seasons in Lowell earlier in his career, took his total to three goals in two matches having started for the first time alongside now fellow joint-top scorer Jhonata Batista.
The Lions led 1-0 at halftime through Dumbuya’s 31st minute strike from the edge of the 18-yard box. Only ninety seconds after conceding a second half equalizer, Boston City claimed the winner and maximum points with Dumbuya again creating his own chance on the corner of the box and firing home a low finish.
The sides meet again at 6pm on Sunday at Harry Della Russo Stadium in Revere as Boston City return to home action from a challenging four-match road trip.
“It’s a good overall performance from our team and I’m pleased to have a win behind us,” said head coach Michael Bustamante. “I think for how we’ve played in a couple of the games we lost and the effort we’ve put in, it’s justice for us to get three points.
“Guys are finding their feet. I think it’s an overall effort that took pretty much eighteen players to get the result and it’s a quick turnaround now for us to go at it again on Sunday.”
Bustamante gave goalkeeper Sandro van Kuijck his first start, and he was beaten by a shot from Jack Gibson that clipped the outside of the post after only four minutes before making an impressive flying save with eight minutes played to deny Francisco Ramos.
Greater Lowell had to reshuffle as they lost McKenzie Watson to a suspected broken collarbone and should have gone ahead after 18 minutes. Ramos had plenty of time and the goal at his mercy ten yards out with only van Kuijck to beat but blasted his finish over the bar.
Lions debutant midfielder Ben Manoogian made his presence known in midfield, but it was the hosts who looked the more dangerous in attack as Ramos saw a shot fly across the face of goal having struck the inside of the post.
Batista should have given Boston City the lead on the half hour mark when he raced clear on the breakaway but pulled his finish wide. A minute later, Dumbuya twisted and turned his marker on the edge of the 18-yard box and fired into the far corner for the first Lions lead of the season.
“Obviously John had a brilliant game,” said Bustamante. “Every time he’s in front of goal he’s dangerous and he proved that today. Any time you can get him in the game, he’s special and he showed that.”
Five minutes after halftime, a low cross from Bustamante set up Dumbuya but the ball got caught up in his feet and he was unable to get off a clean shot, forcing a corner.
Sweeping changes after 57 minutes saw Charlie Muhlauri and Samuel Deossa replace coach Bustamante and Manoogian in midfield, while Keith Dixon came on at right back for William Balanta.
Bustamante explained: “We’ve come off the toughest week of the season, playing some top-quality teams and our guys are logging a lot of minutes and so it was important for them and myself to get off the field and give other guys who will play an important role on Sunday some playing time.”
The Rough Diamonds equalized after 71 minutes. A well worked goal saw Nestor Limas and Ramos combine on the approach to create an opening for Emmanuel Smith who tucked his finish low inside the post past the despairing dive of van Kuijck.
Only two minutes later, Dumbuya beat home keeper Alexander Alzaibak with a shot that crept in at the near post and Boston City held on to bring home three points.