Boston City failed to build on Friday’s 2-1 win in Greater Lowell by falling 2-0 at home to the Rough Diamonds in Revere and had head coach Michael Bustamante and midfielder Samuel Deossa sent off in the dying minutes.
When trailing 1-0 to Emmanuel Smith’s first half goal, the Lions (1-4-2) should have drawn level, but squandered numerous opportunities to equalize and then make a claim for three points.”
“We missed too many chances,” admitted Bustamante, who lined up at left back instead of his influential role in the middle of the park in a much-changed side. “I thought we dominated most of the second half, particularly towards the end, but we were guilty of missing chances when we should have scored. It started with me shooting straight at the keeper in the first half.”
That first best chance of the match came after 19 minutes as William Balanta played a long diagonal pass from the right back spot to find Bustamante racing down the left wing before cutting inside to fire a low finish that was blocked away by keeper Jackson Rivers.
Five minutes later, Lowell capitalized on the let off. Smith exchanged passes with Nestor Limas to turn Bustamante and shot across keeper Jake Wagmeister to score inside the far post.
The visitors continued to press until the 35th minute when Bustamante beat his marker and fed Jonathan Argueta wide on the left and his cross found Deossa, who rose high at the far post, but headed into the hands of the keeper from a tight angle.
A double substitution six minutes before halftime brought Rigoberto Jimenez and joint top-scorer Jhonata Batista into the fray for Argueta and a limping Riad El Moukhtari, who had been running selflessly up front to create openings. The effect was immediate as Batista raced clear through the middle, but saw his finish blocked by Rivers and then Batista fired just wide.
A promising spell of Lions pressure leading up to the break should have culminated in the equalizer a minute into added time. Charlie Muhlauri won a loose ball 25 yards out and fed Batista, but his finish lacked conviction and was smothered by the impressive Rivers.
John Dumbuya, who scored both goals in Friday’s 2-1 win in Lowell, replaced defender Jeremy Pachter and Ben Manoogian dropped into the back four from midfield, allowing Dumbuya to operate deep behind a three-man forward line of Batista, Jimenez and Deossa.
Four minutes in, the new formation produced a chance, but Rivers got down quickly to his left to push away a first-time left-footed shot by Batista, who had been set up 10 yards from goal by the unselfish Jimenez.
Jimenez produced a disappointing finish on the end of a surging run through the middle from his own half by Tommaso D’Agostino.
The Lions came agonizingly close again after 70 minutes as Batista won a free kick 26 yards out and Bustamante whistled a shot inches wide of the left upright.
Two great chances came for Boston City after 79 minutes but Dumbuya looped a shot over having won possession on the right then Batista directed his finish wide.
Three minutes later, the kind of goal that deserves to win matches saw Smith blast an unstoppable free kick, a left footed bullet beyond the grasp of Jake Wagmeister for a decisive 2-0 lead.
Bustamante received a straight red card in the final minutes and Deossa followed him into the locker room in time added on.