Captain Jhonata Batista scored an 89th minute winner to guide Boston City FC II into the second round of the UCal Breakaway McKenzie Cup and seal a 2-1 win over Mystic River.
The young Lions caused an upset as the club’s third division Bay State Soccer League development team, which narrowly missed out on promotion last season, knocked out their second division hosts. Boston City FC II matches are presented by Boston-based recruitment specialists, the Gaisce Group.
Boston City fell behind against the run of play, six minutes before halftime, when following a string of three Lions corners, Mystic River took the lead through a Mike Flippin goal. The visitors had earlier seen Mateus Araujo and Batista come close to breaking the deadlock.
With 60 minutes played, the Lions drew level as William Balanta’s long ball from the right side of defense was played through by Batista to Araujo, who made no mistake.
Six minutes later, Robert Montanaro made a crucial save to keep the scores level and the crossbar saved Boston City from the rebound, but the visitors continued to press for the winner as Rigoberto Jimenez scuffed his finish wide and Araujo was denied.
Two minutes from time, with golden goal extra time looming, it was Batista, who had seen two headers saved in the first half, who popped up with the winner.
Boston City FC II earn a trip to face promoted second division side Alleghany FC on April 27, renewing a rivalry from last season. The two teams split results in 2018 with the Lions winning 4-1 on home turf having lost 3-2 away to two late goals earlier in the campaign.
On Saturday, Boston City FC II welcomed back several of last season’s squad, with a handful players with NPSL experience in Batista, Jimenez and Santi Cardona, but were without trio Samuel Deossa, Chris Gilbert and Jeremy Pachter, who are currently training at the club’s academy in Brazil.