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Williams, Beckford on target but Hartford lose

Published:Friday | April 19, 2024 | 12:10 AM
Beckford
Beckford

HARTFORD, Connecticut (CMC):

Goals from the Jamaican pair of Romario Williams and Deshane Beckford failed to inspire Hartford Athletic, and New York City FC II defied them to land a 3-2 win in extra time in the United States Open Cup on Wednesday.

Williams, 29, and Beckford, 26, came off the bench after NYC FC II took the lead and scored monumental goals in the second half and in the first period of extra time respectively, in the third-round contest at Trinity Health Stadium.

But Hartford regretted missing several chances throughout the match when Maximo Carrizo scored the winner late in extra time to hand the MLS NEXT Pro outfit a bad-tempered match in which Beckford was also one of three players who were sent off.

Hartford had the best chances throughout the first half, when they controlled possession and attacking play, but they were unable to capitalise despite putting four shots on target and recording 20 touches in the New York box.

Hartford continued to pressure the visitors into the second half, but New York grabbed the lead on their first big chance of the match in the 63rd minute.

Jonathan Jimenez-Vargas made a run into the home team’s box in transition and drew Hartford goalkeeper Paul Walters out of his net, and he laid the ball off for Taylor Calheira to finish into an open net.

Hartford upscaled their attacking option after conceding and brought on Beckford and Marcus Epps in the 67th minute, and Williams in the 71st minute.

It did not take long for Williams to prove himself, and he drew a penalty in the 79th minute after dangling through defenders and getting tripped by Alexander Hauschild in the box.

Williams took the penalty kick himself and buried it to the right side of NYC FC II net-minder Tomas Romero to draw Hartford level – a scoreline that remained in place at the end of regulation time, sending the match into extra time.

The hosts drew first blood in the additional period when Beckford scored on an excellent individual effort, chasing down a lead ball in the final third, creating space in the box, and powering his shot into the bottom right corner past Romero.

The extra time lead for Hartford was short lived when Calheira headed past Walters off a well-delivered cross from Jimenez-Vargas in the 99th minute, and the first period of extra time ended level 2-2.

Carrizo netted the match-winner four minutes into the second period of extra time when he targeted an empty net off a deflected ball by Paul Walters.